On November 2, 2023, the Saeima adopted amendments to the Road Traffic Law, which will come into force on November 15, 2023.
The point of these amendments is to prohibit the use in Latvia of vehicles registered in the Russian Federation. Now, according to Part 16 of Article 10 of this law, vehicles registered in the Russian Federation are prohibited from participating in road traffic in Latvia.
By identifying the unauthorized use of a vehicle registered in the Russian Federation that is not registered in Latvia, the official may confiscate the vehicle. This right of an official is determined by Article 43(10) of this law.
To ensure the seizure and confiscation of a vehicle registered in the Russian Federation, an official may apply an wheel lock to the vehicle.
The decision to apply punishment for this offense is made at the exact place where the violation was detected, regardless of the presence of the owner of the vehicle. The decision on the application of punishment determines the confiscation of the vehicle.
In addition to the confiscation of the vehicle, the legislator also provided for an administrative fine – for the unauthorized use in road traffic of a vehicle registered in the Russian Federation that is not registered in Latvia, a monetary fine of 150 to 400 monetary fine units is applied, i.e. from 750 euros to 2000 euros (1 unit of monetary fine is 5 euros).
Nevertheless, there are exceptions and a period of time when one can avoid the penalties established by law. If a vehicle is registered in the Russian Federation, then registration of this vehicle can be carried out in Latvia on a general basis and regardless of the period of time during which the vehicle physically was in Latvia, participated in road traffic, and regardless of the citizenship of the owner of the vehicle.
The vehicle must be registered no later than February 14, 2024 (Article 68 of the transitional provisions). Until this time, the use of a vehicle registered in the Russian Federation in road traffic in Latvia is permitted. After the end of this period, a vehicle registered in the Russian Federation can be used in Latvia if this vehicle crosses the territory of Latvia no more than once in transit and if, using the CSDD e-services, information required by law has been submitted.
Also, the use of a vehicle registered in the Russian Federation after the end of the above period is permissible if the vehicle is owned or retained by a person who: