Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark regarding Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters
The Governments of the Republic of Latvia and the Kingdom of Denmark, hereinafter referred to as the Contracting Parties,
Recognizing the need for international cooperation in matters related to the application and enforcement of their customs laws,
Considering that offences against customs laws are prejudicial to the economic, fiscal, social and commercial interests of their respective States,
Considering the importance of assuring the accurate assessment of duties and other taxes collected on the importation or exportation of goods, as well as the proper implementation of provisions of prohibition, restriction and control,
Convinced that actions against customs offences can be made more effective by the cooperation between their Customs Authorities,
Having regard to the Recommendation of the Customs Co-operation Council in Brussels on Mutual Administrative Assistance of December 5, 1953,
Having regard also to the Single convention on Narcotic Drugs (New York, 30 March 1961), the Convention on Psychotropic Substances (Vienna, 21 February 1971) and the Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Vienna, 19 December 1988);
Have agreed as follows:
For the purposes of the present Agreement,
1. “Customs law“ shall mean provisions laid down by law, or regulation concerning the importation, exportation and transit of goods, whether relating to customs duties, excise duties or other liabilities, or to measures of prohibition, restriction or control.
2. “Customs Authorities“ shall mean in the Republic of Latvia, Customs Department of the State Revenue Service (Valsts ienemumu dienesta Muitas departaments) and, in the Kingdom of Denmark, The Ministry of taxation, Central Customs and Tax Administration (Skatteministeriet, Told- og Skattestyrelsen).
3. “Offence“ shall mean any violation of the customs laws as well as any such attempted violation.
SCOPE OF AGREEMENT
1. The Contracting Parties shall, through their Customs Authorities afford each other mutual administrative assistance to prevent, investigate and repress any offence, in accordance with the provisions of the present Agreement.
2. Assistance, as provided in this Agreement, shall be rendered upon request for the purpose of assessing customs duties, excise duties and other liabilities and for the purpose of enforcing controls within the authority of the Customs Authorities.
3. Assistance within the framework of this Agreement shall be rendered in accordance with the laws of the requested Contracting Party and within the competence and resources of the Customs Authorities.
4. Assistance under this Agreement shall not extend to the collection of customs duties, taxes, fines and other charges on behalf of the other Contracting Party.
COMMUNICATION OF INFORMATION
1. The Customs Authorities shall, on their own initiative or upon request, furnish each other all available information regarding activities which may result in offences within the territory of the other Contracting Party. This would include documentation relating to transportation and shipment of goods showing value, disposition and destination of those goods.
2. Upon request, the Customs Authorities shall inform each other whether goods exported from the territory of one Contracting Party have been lawfully imported or brought into the territory of the other Contracting Party. The information shall, upon request, contain the customs procedures used for the goods and particulars concerning such goods.
3. If the Customs Authority so requested does not have the information asked for, it will seek that information in accordance with the provisions of its customs laws.
1. The Customs Authority of one Contracting Party shall, upon request, supply to the Customs Authority of the other Contracting Party reports, records of evidence or copies of documents giving all available information on transactions, detected or planned, which constitute an offence of the customs laws of that Contracting Party.
2. Originals of files or documents shall be requested only in cases where copies would be insufficient. Upon specific request, copies of such files, documents and other materials shall be appropriately authenticated.
3. Originals of files or documents which have been transmitted shall be returned at the earliest opportunity.
The documents provided for in this Agreement may be replaced by computerised information produced in any form for the same purpose. All relevant information for the interpretation or utilization of the same material should be supplied at the same time.
CONTROL MEANS OF TRANSPORT, GOODS AND PERSONS
Upon request, the Customs Authority of one of the Contracting Parties shall, to the extent of their abilities exercise control of:
a. means of transport, known or suspected of being used in Committing offences against the customs law and within the territory of the requesting Contracting Party,
b. goods known by the requesting Contracting Party as the object of an extensive illicit traffic into or from its territory,
c. persons known or suspected of committing offences against the customs laws of the requesting Contracting Party.
1. If permitted by basic principles of the domestic legal systems of the Contracting Parties, the customs administrations of the Contracting Parties may, by mutual agreement and arrangement, apply the method of controlled delivery of narcotic drugs and psycotropic substances at the international level with a view of identifying persons involved in the illicit trafficking of those drugs and substances.
2. Illicit consignments whose controlled delivery is agreed to, may with consent of both customs administrations, be intercepted and allowed to continue with the narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances intact or removed or replaced in whole or in part.
3. Decisions concerning to use controlled delivery shall be made on a case-by-case basis and may, when necessary, take into consideration financial arrangements and agreements made between both customs administrations.
1. If the Customs Authority of one Contracting Party so requests, the Customs Authority of the other Contracting Party shall initiate official inquiries concerning operations which are or appear to be contrary to the customs law. It shall communicate the results of such inquiries to the Customs Authority making the request.
2. These inquiries shall be conducted under the law and regulations of the contracting Party which has been requested to make them.
EXEMPTIONS FROM ASSISTANCE
1. If compliance with a request for assistance is considered to infringe upon the sovereignty, security, public policy or other essential interests of the requested State, compliance may be refused, or assistance provided partly or subject to certain conditions or requirements.
2.If the Customs Authority of one Contracting Party requests assistance which it would be unable to give if requested to do so by the Customs Authority of the other Contracting Party, the requesting Customs Authority shall draw attention to this fact in its request. Compliance with such a request shall be within the discretion of the requested Customs Authority.
3. If a request for assistance cannot be complied with, the customs Authority which has asked for assistance shall be notified without delay and shall be informed of the reasons for the refusal to provide assistance.
OBLIGATION TO OBSERVE CONFIDENTIALITY
1. Information, documents and other communications received by the Customs Authority of one Contracting Party shall be subjected to the same official confidentiality as applied by that Contracting party to the same kind of information and documents.
2. Information, documents and other communications received in the course of mutual assistance may only be used for purposes specified in the present Agreement. Such information. documents and other communications may be used for other purposes only when the supplying Customs Authority has given its express consent in writing.
3. The use made of such information and documents as evidence in courts and the weight to be attached thereto shall be determined in accordance with national law.
FORM AND SUBSTANCE OF REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE
1. Requests pursuant to the present Agreement shall be made in writing. Documents necessary for the execution of such requests shall accompany the request. When required because of the exigency of the situation, oral requests may also be accepted, but must be confirmed in writing.
2. Requests pursuant to paragraph 1 shall include the following information:
(a) the authority making the request;
(b) the nature of the proceedings;
(c) the object of and the reason for the request;
(d) the names and addresses of the parties concerned in the proceedings, if known; and
(e) a brief description of the matter under consideration and the legal elements involved.
3. All communication between the Contracting Parties shall take place in the English language or in another language acceptable to both Contracting Parties. Information, Documents and other communication between the Contracting Parties, shall be translated into English or the above mentioned agreed language in addition to the original language.
4. If a request does not meet the requirements under paragraph 2, its correction or completion may be demanded; the ordering of precautionary measures shall not be affected thereby.
1. Assistance shall be carried out in direct communication between officials designated by the Heads of the respective Customs Authorities. The Heads of the respective Customs Authorities shall exchange letters regarding the designation of the officials.
2. If the assistance requested by the requesting Customs Authority is not the responsibility of the requested Customs Authority, the request may be transmitted by the requested Customs Authority to appropriate other agency. It is within the discretion of such other appropriate agency to provide assistance. Any assistance so provided shall be transmitted through the requested Customs Authority.
The Customs Authority shall waive all claims for reimbursement of costs incurred in the execution of the present Agreement, with the exception of expenses for experts and witnesses.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AGREEMENT
The Customs Department of the State Revenue service of the Republic of Latvia and The Ministry of Taxation, Central Customs and tax Administration of the Kingdom of Denmark may communicate directly for the purpose of dealing with matters arising out of the present Agreement. Matters which cannot be resolved in this manner, may be addressed through diplomatic channels.
This Agreement shall be applicable to the customs territory of the Republic of Latvia and to the customs territory of the Kingdom of Denmark (which does not include the Faroe Islands and Greenland).
ENTRY INTO FORCE, REVISION AND TERMINATION
1. The Agreement is subject to approval according to the law of each of the Contracting Parties. The Contracting Parties shall notify one another by an exchange diplomatic notes that have accepted its terms, and all necessary national legal requirements for entry into force have been fulfilled. The Agreement shall enter into force thirty days after the last notification has been received.
2. The Contracting Parties agree to meet in order to review this Agreement at the end of three years counted from date of its entry into force, unless they notify one another in writing that no review is necessary. However, at any time questions concerning revision may be taken up at the request of one of the Contracting Parties.
3. This Agreement is concluded for an indefinite period of time. It may be terminated by written notification through diplomatic channels by either Contracting Party and shall cease to be in force six months after such notice has been received.
Done at Copenhagen, 31st August 1995, in duplicate, in the Latvian, Danish and English languages, all texts being equally authentic. In case of any divergence of interpretation of the provisions of the Agreement, the English text shall prevail.
For the Government of the Republic of Latvia
For the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark