Use of the e-address will be mandatory in Latvia starting from January 1st 2023

10.10.2022 Use of the e-address will be mandatory in Latvia starting from January 1st 2023

Latvian companies, branches, associations, foundations registered in the Republic of Latvia, and other entities registered in the registers of the Enterprise Register need to immediately activate the official electronic address (e-address).

What is an e-address? 

The official electronic address is a digital mailbox for communication between public administration institutions and individuals. One can receive and send letters, applications, documents, and request (often also receive) services there.
 
The official e-address is created in a closed information system (like internet banking or electronic declaration system – EDS). It is established and maintained by the State of Latvia. It will not be possible to receive or send messages in the official e-address using a regular e-mail address.
 
From 1 January 2023, for legal entities and associations, the official e-address will be the only means of communication with public administration institutions; notifications and documents to the registered address will no longer be dispatched (Paragraph 3 of the Transitional Provisions of the Law on the Official Electronic Address).
 
Through this system, it will not be possible to send e-mails to private individuals (business persons), including to the official e-address of another private person.

Who shall have a mandatory e-address? 

The use of the e-address is mandatory for:

  1. All entities registered in the registers of the Enterprise Register – merchants (e.g., limited liability company, joint stock company, general partnership, individual merchant, etc.), branches, associations, foundations, religious organizations, arbitration courts, parties and their associations, other registered entities; 
  2. Public administration institutions – public institutions (e.g., the Food and Veterinary Service, the State Labour Inspectorate), local government institutions (schools, hospitals), courts, police, prosecutor's office, notaries public, bailiffs, insolvency administrators, and other persons performing any public administration function;
  3. Military personnel – soldiers, reserve soldiers, national guardsmen, and other military personnel (Article 5 of the Law on the Official Electronic Address).

The official electronic address is also available, but shall not be mandatory, to private individuals, including performers of economic activity (self-employed persons) registered with the State Revenue Service (Article 5 of the Law on the Official Electronic Address).

Access to the e-address 

An e-address can be accessed and used in one of two ways:

In portal Latvija.lv 
One can connect to the e-address of a legal entity on the public administration services portal Latvija.lv, by identifying oneself using one of the following means of electronic identification:
  • eID (electronic identification card or electronic personal identity certificate);
  • eParaksts (eSignature);
  • eParaksts Mobile, a mobile application; or
  • eIDAS.eID (electronic identification conforming to the European Union EIDAS Regulation available in other Member States of the European Union) (Article 9 of the Law on the Official Electronic Address).
By connecting an e-address to a document management system
If a legal entity has its document management or information system, the e-address can be integrated into this system for more convenient use. To do this, the legal entity performs the following actions:
  • submits an application to the State Regional Development Agency (SRDA) for testing;
  • carry out testing;
  • submits an application to the VRAA for connecting e-address;
  • connects e-address to its document management system.
These types of access are mutually exclusive: if the e-address is integrated into the document management system of the legal entity, it will no longer be possible to access it on the portal Latvija.lv.

Access by registered representatives (on the portal Latvija.lv)

First-time access 
Only those representatives of the legal person whose right of representation is registered in the relevant register (registered representatives) may access the e-address for the first time and activate it on behalf of the legal person or association. For example, the e-address account of a limited liability company or a joint stock company can initially be accessed only by its management board members registered in the commercial register.
 
The e-address system is connected to the information system of the Enterprise Register. Therefore, persons whose right of representation is not registered in the registers of the Enterprise Register will not be able to access the e-address without special authorization (Article 15.1(10) of the Law on the Official Electronic Address).
 
Further access 
For further operations with the e-address, the official e-address account of legal entities can be accessed by:
  1. registered representatives of the legal entity;
  2. authorized persons authorized for this purpose by registered representatives of the legal person, e.g., lawyers, accountants, or administrative employees of a merchant (Article 10 of the Law on the Official Electronic Address).
    - The authorization shall be drawn up in the e-address system.
    - In the case of a joint right of representation, the authorization established by one registered representative must be approved by the second or by the other representatives.
    - Upon termination of the employment relationship, the authorization must be revoked. Otherwise, the person will retain access to the e-address account of the legal entity.
    - Authorised persons may be granted the right to read, send and delete correspondence to revoke access rights granted to other users.
 

If the board members are foreigners

eIDAS.eID
Currently, it is possible to connect to the e-address using the electronic identification service corresponding to the European Union EIDAS Regulation from the following countries (Article 21(4) of the Law on Electronic Identification of Natural Persons):
Belgium
Czech Republic
Croatia
Estonia
Italy
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Portugal
Slovakia
Spain 

If a management board member of a legal entity registered in Latvia has a secure electronic signature issued in one of the above countries, there is a high probability that the relevant person will be able to connect to the e-address by using it.
 
Foreigner's eID or alternative – appointment of a local management board member or other representative 
Representatives of merchants and other entities registered in Latvia have the right to obtain an electronic identification certificate (eID).
 
A foreigner's eID may be received on the basis of a prior application at any of the branches of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs of Latvia in Latvia or at any of the embassies or consulates of Latvia specified for this purpose (mostly outside the European Union).

Alternative – appointment of a local management board member or other representatives who will be able to access the e-address.

Benefits 

The main expected benefits of switching to electronic communication using an official electronic address:

  • Fast circulation of information as opposed to sending letters;
  • Convenient use – messages can be received and sent at any time of the day from anywhere;
  • Environmentally friendly, as it does not consume paper and road transport;
  • Safe, because confidential information can only be received by the addressee after its identification and only from an identified sender;
  • A tidy and organized working environment is closed for spam and mundane correspondence because the e-address system is separate from ordinary e-mail.

NB!

  • Access to the e-address must be provided, and the e-address activated promptly to ensure that the legal entity or association will indeed have access to the e-address after 1 January 2023. For entities that have not started the e-address themselves by this date, it will be activated automatically, but since sending official correspondence in paper form will be stopped from 1 January 2023, there is a risk that persons may not receive important information from public authorities if they are not able to connect to the e-address. The information sent to the e-address will, in any case, be considered received (Article 9(11) of the Law on Notification). 
  • If the registered representative of a legal person is removed from office or resigns, the changes must be immediately registered in the Enterprise Register so that the leaving representative does not have the opportunity to access confidential information at the company's e-address.
  • If an employee is authorized to access the e-address leaves, a power of attorney must be revoked immediately so that the employee cannot access the confidential information of the merchant. 
 
In case of any questions or need legal assistance regarding the activation, use, or access of the e-address for foreigners or any other related issues, please contact your contact person at TGS Baltic.