Disclaimer: The English language text below is provided by the Translation and Terminology Centre for information only; it confers no rights and imposes no obligations separate from those conferred or imposed by the legislation formally adopted and published. Only the latter is authentic. The original Latvian text uses masculine pronouns in the singular. The Translation and Terminology Centre uses the principle of gender-neutral language in its English translations. In addition, gender-specific Latvian nouns have been translated as gender-neutral terms, e.g. chairperson.
Text consolidated by Tulkošanas un terminoloģijas centrs (Translation and Terminology Centre) with amending laws of:
1 May 2004;
30 March 2006;
19 December 2006;
18 October 2007.
If a whole or part of a section has been amended, the date of the amending law appears in square brackets at the end of the section. If a whole section, paragraph or clause has been deleted, the date of the deletion appears in square brackets beside the deleted section, paragraph or clause.
The Saeima 1has adopted
and the President has proclaimed the following Law:
On Agriculture and Rural Development
Section 1. Terms Used in this Law The following terms are used in this Law:
1) agriculture – an economic sector that ensures the production of agricultural products and the provision of services related thereto;
2) rural development – production of non-agricultural products in a rural territory, as well as the provision of services related to the utilisation of water and land resources and the upkeep of the countryside;
3) [1 May 2004];
4) [1 May 2004];
5) rural territory – all the territory of Latvia, except cities of the republican importance and district centres;
6) transformation of land utilised for agriculture – change of the type of usage of land utilised for agriculture; and
7) [1 May 2004]
8) [1 May 2004]
9) integrated growing of agricultural products – the growing of agricultural products utilising environmentally friendly measures, preserving biological diversity and reducing risks to human health and the environment, at the same time ensuring plant protection, animal health and welfare measures.
[1 May 2004; 18 October 2007] Section 2. Purpose of this Law The purpose of this Law is to provide a legal basis for agricultural development and to specify sustainable agricultural and rural development policy in accordance with the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy of the European Union.
Section 3. Scope of Application of this Law This Law determines the implementation, supervision and evaluation of policy in the sphere of agriculture and rural development in order to facilitate the sustainable development of this policy.
Implementation of Agricultural and Rural Development Policy Section 4. Fundamental Principles and Methods of Implementation of Agricultural and Rural Development Policy (1) The fundamental principles of the implementation of the agricultural and rural development policy shall be as follows:
1) observance of specific regional features; and
2) State and foreign investments, as well as investments of natural persons and legal persons which promote rational development of agricultural production, optimum utilisation of the factors of production and the preservation of the rural environment, provide the producers of agricultural products with support of income and market prices and promote the development of rural support and structural measures.
(2) The methods of implementation of the agricultural and rural development policy shall be as follows:
1) State aid and European Union support;
2) credit and tax policy;
3) market intervention;
4) application of quotas;
5) application of foreign trade regime;
6) support of producer groups; and
7) other methods which arise from the international commitments of Latvia.
Section 5. State Aid and European Union Support (1) State aid and the European Union support shall be granted in order to promote agricultural, rural and fisheries development, as well as to raise the standard of living for the population of rural territories and to create equal competition preconditions for Latvian and European Union Member State producers of agricultural products.
(2) [18 October 2007].
(3) State aid for agricultural development in the form of subsidies may not be less than 2,5 per cent of the total expenditures of the annual base budget which are covered from grants from general revenues, deducting the contributions to the budget of the European Union.
(4) The procedures by which State aid and European Union support shall be granted to agriculture and the procedures by which State aid and European Union support shall be granted for rural and fisheries development shall be determined by the Cabinet.
(5) Long-term credits with preferential provisions and credit interest subsidies may be allocated to the producers of agricultural products as specified in the national programmes approved by the Cabinet.
(6) The Cabinet shall, within a period of one month after the proclamation of the annual State Budget Law, issue regulations regarding the annual State aid for agriculture and the procedures for the granting thereof.
(7) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures by which State aid and European Union support shall be administrated and supervised and the procedures by which European Union support for rural and fisheries development is administrated and supervised.
(71) A decision of an institution involved in the administration of State and European Union aid regarding the approval or refusal of an application shall be taken not later than within a period of five months after the receipt of the aid application. If for the evaluation of the aid application the determination of additional facts is necessary, the time period for the taking of a decision may be extended to 12 months and notifying the applicant regarding this.
(8) The procedures by which the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund, European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Fishery Fund shall be administered, as well as the competence and duties of institutions involved in the administration of such funds shall be determined by the Cabinet.
(9) The beneficiaries of State and European Union agricultural aid and the amount of received aid shall be deemed to be generally accessible information, which shall be publicised. Information regarding beneficiaries of State and European Union agricultural aid indicating the given name and surname of natural persons, as well as the Rural Support Service regional agricultural office at which the application for aid was received, or name and registration of legal persons, as well as the amount of aid received shall be published according to the procedures specified by the Cabinet.
(10) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures by which, in developing the draft law regarding the budget for the current year, State obligations regarding guarantees, which have been provided in conformity with agricultural and rural development credit guarantee programmes shall be provided for, and the appropriate procedures for supervision of the guarantees provided by the agricultural and rural development credit guarantee programmes.
(11) In the amount specified in the law regarding the State budget for the current year, the State shall be responsible for the guarantees, which have been provided in conformity with agricultural and rural development credit guarantee programmes.
(12) A decision regarding the granting of State aid revokes the time period specified in Article 15 of Council Regulation (EC) No 659/1999 of 22 March 1999 laying down detailed rules for the application of Article 93 of the EC Treaty, if the European Commission takes a decision specified in Article 88 (2) of the Treaty establishing the European Community. Dispute of a decision regarding the recovery of State aid shall not suspend the operation thereof.
[30 March 2006; 18 October 2007] Section 6. Market Intervention (1) Market intervention shall be implemented in order to stabilise market prices by utilising intervention procurement or private storage mechanisms.
(2) The procedures by which market intervention arrangements shall be administrated and supervised in the cropping, stock farming, fishery and aquaculture production market shall be determined by the Cabinet.
Section 7. Quotas (1) Quotas shall be applied in order to reduce the non-conformity of supply and demand of agricultural products and to improve the market balance.
(2) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures by which transactions with milk quotas are carried out, as well as the procedures for the administration of these quotas, and control, calculation and collection of the default interest.
(3) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures for the allocation and administration of quotas for the production of potato starch.
Section 8. Foreign Trade Regime (1) A foreign trade regime shall be applied in order to implement uniform arrangements in relation to the importation (import) and exportation (export) of agricultural products and the processed products thereof and to regulate the procedures for the supervision and administration of these procedures.
(2) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures for the administration of the foreign trade regime.
Section 8.1Application of Securities (1) The securities specified in Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2220/85 of 22 July 1985 laying down common detailed rules for the application of the system of securities for agricultural products shall be applied in order to guarantee the fulfilment of obligations in the implementation of the common agricultural market organisational management measures.
(2) The procedures for the application of securities for agricultural and the processed products thereof shall be determined by the Cabinet.
[18 October 2007] Section 9. Producer Groups (1) Producer groups shall be established in order to ensure the quantity and quality of agricultural products, planning and gearing up production to meet demand, to facilitate concentration of supply and marketing of the products produced by the members of the groups referred to, to provide services, to reduce production costs, to stabilise producer prices and to facilitate environmentally friendly production waste recovery, as well as the maintenance of the landscape and the biological diversity of the environment.
(2) The criteria for the approval of a producer group and the procedures for the approval, operational conditions and operational control shall be determined by the Cabinet.
Section 10. Use and Preservation of Land (1) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures by which the land utilised for agriculture is transformed into the land not utilised for agriculture and the procedures for the issuance of a permit for the land transformation.
(11) A State fee shall be payable for the preparation, issuing and extension of the term of validity of a permit for the transformation of land utilised for agriculture. The amount of the State fee and the procedures for payment shall be determined by the Cabinet.
(2) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures by which the information regarding the fertility level of the land utilised for agriculture and the changes thereof is obtained and compiled.
(3) Persons who own land or use it on a permanent basis shall have the following duties:
1) to ensure the land use in conformity with the types of use drawn in the land boundary map and with the purposes for the utilisation of the land which are registered in the State cadastre of the immovable property; and
2) to take measures in order to prevent destruction or deterioration in the quality of the fertile layer of the soil
(4) The duties specified in Paragraph three of this Section shall be performed by the leaseholder of the land if it is provided for in the land lease contract.
[19 December 2006] Section 11. Organic Farming and Integrated Growing of Agricultural Products The Cabinet shall determine:
1) the procedures for the supervision and control of organic farming;
2) directly applicable European Union legislation regarding the procedures for the circulation of unregulated animals, wild plants and the products acquired therefrom;
3) integrated growing of agricultural products, the requirements for the storage and labelling thereof, as well as control procedures;
4) the amount of State fee and procedures for payment regarding applications for evaluation for the issue of permits for the utilisation of vegetative propagation materials, which have not been acquired with organic farming production methods; and
5) the amount of State fee and procedures for payment regarding applications for evaluation for the issue or extension of permits for the utilisation of such components of organic farming, which have not been acquired with organic farming production methods.
[18 October 2007] Section 12. Co-operation with Agricultural and Fisheries Organisations (1) In developing and implementing the agricultural and rural development policy, the Ministry of Agriculture shall enter into consultations with the Co-operation Council of Agricultural Organisations, but in relation to the fisheries development policy – with the Fisheries Advisory Council.
(2) The Co-operation Council of Agricultural Organisations shall be a consultative authority. It shall itself approve its by-law specifying the objectives and main tasks of the Co-operation Council of Agricultural Organisations.
(3) The Fisheries Advisory Council shall be a consultative and co-ordinating institution the aim of which shall be to produce a balanced policy of fisheries development and to co-ordinate the views of State and non-governmental organisations regarding the implementation of the fisheries policy. The Fisheries Advisory Council shall be composed of the representatives of State and fisheries organisations. The Cabinet shall approve the by-laws of the Fisheries Advisory Council.
Information Necessary for Supervision and Evaluation of Agricultural and Rural Development Policy Section 13. Registration of Agricultural Information (1) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures by which information regarding the prices and trading volumes of agricultural products during a specified reference period shall be gathered and compiled.
(2) Each year, the Ministry of Agriculture shall ensure compilation of information regarding the revenue, production costs, results of economic activity and the structural and production traits of holdings of the producers of agricultural products, as well as the inclusion of the information referred to into the recorded data of agricultural holdings network. Holdings shall be classified in accordance with the economic size and specialisation thereof.
(3) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures for the establishment, maintenance and operation of the recorded data of agricultural holdings network.
Transitional Provisions 1. With the coming into force of this Law, the Law On Agriculture (Latvijas Republikas Saeimas un Ministru Kabineta Ziņotājs, 1996, No. 23; No. 7, 2001; No. 2, 24, 2002; No.4, 2004) and the Saeima Announcement of 15 June 1998 regarding the Rural Development Programme of Latvia (Latvijas Republikas Augstākās Padomes un Valdības Ziņotājs, 1998, No. 13) are repealed.
2. Until the day of the coming into force of the new Cabinet regulations, but not longer than until 1 May 2004, the following Cabinet Regulations are applicable insofar as they are not in contradiction with this Law:
1) Cabinet Regulation No. 330 of 30 July 2002, Procedures for the Establishment, Maintenance and Operation of the Recorded Data of Agricultural Holdings Network;
2) Cabinet Regulation No. 331 of 30 July 2002, Regarding Purchase of Grain from the Suppliers of the Limited-liability Company Riga Bestsprit in 2002;
3) Cabinet Regulation No. 303 of 10 June 2003, Regulations regarding Intervention in Market in Cereals;
4) Cabinet Regulation No. 540 of 27 December 2001, Procedures for Establishing a Uniform System of Administration for Aid to Rural Areas, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry;
5) Cabinet Regulation No. 514 of 26 October 2002, Procedures for Circulation and Certification of Organic Agricultural Products;
6) Cabinet Regulations No. 232 of 29 April 2003, Procedures for the Registration of Persons Engaged in the Circulation of Organic Agricultural Products and Procedures for the State Supervision and Control of the Circulation of Organic Agricultural Products;
7) Cabinet Regulation No.7 of 3 January 2002, Regulations regarding the List of Agricultural Products;
8) Cabinet Regulation No.363 of 1 July 2003, Procedures by which Information Regarding Prices and Trading Volumes of Agricultural Products is Provided, Gathered and Compiled.
3. Until the day of coming into force of the new Cabinet regulations, but not longer than by 1 June 2004, Cabinet Regulation No. 385 of 28 August 2001, Conditions for Transformation of the Utilised Agricultural Area and Procedures for the Issue of Permits for Land Transformation shall be applied insofar as it is not in contradiction with this Law.
4. The Cabinet shall issue the regulation provided for in Section 5, Paragraphs four and seven of this Law by 1 May 2004.
5. Section 1, Clauses 3, 4, 7 and 8 are in force until 1 May 2004.
6. The Cabinet shall issue the regulation provided for in Section 10, Paragraph two and Section 12, Paragraph three of this Law by 1 September 2004.
7. The Minister for Agriculture order No. 101 of 8 March 2004, Regarding Implementation of the Agricultural State Subsidy Programme in 2004 is in force until 31 December 2004.
8. The organic farming certificates issued in accordance with Cabinet Regulation No. 514 of 26 November 2002, Procedures for Circulation and Certification of Organic Agricultural Products, shall remain valid until 1 October 2004.
9. The Cabinet shall issue the regulations provided for in Section 5, Paragraph nine of this Law by 1 June 2006.
10. The information indicated in Section 5, Paragraph nine of this Law in respect of the period from Latvia’s accession to the European Union up to 1 May 2006 shall be published by 1 September 2006.
11. The Cabinet shall issue the regulations provided for in Section 5, Paragraph eight of this Law by 1 January 2007.
12. Up to the day of the coming into force of the regulations provided for in Section 5, Paragraph six of this Law, but not longer than by 1 January 2007 Cabinet Regulation No. 21 of 3 January 2006, Regulations regarding State Aid for Agriculture in 2006 and the Procedures for the Granting thereof shall be applicable insofar as they are not in contradiction with this Law.
13. Up to the day of the coming into force of new Cabinet regulations, but not longer than 31 December 2008 Cabinet Regulation No. 379 of 12 June 2007, Procedures for the Supervision and Control of Organic Farming shall be applicable insofar as they are not in contradiction with this Law.
14. The Cabinet shall:
1) by 1 January 2008 issue the regulations provided for in Section 11, Clause 3 of this Law; and
2) by 31 December 2008 issue the regulations provided for in Section 11, Clause 2 of this Law.
15. Section 11, Clauses 4 and 5 shall come into force at the same time as corresponding amendments to the Law On Taxes and Fees.
[30 March 2006; 18 October 2007] This Law shall come into force on the day following the proclamation thereof.
This Law has been adopted by the Saeima on 7 April 2004.