Since the accession of the Republic of Latvia to the EU, according to the requirements set by Article 108 of the Treaty and according to other regulatory enactments of the European Union, the European Commission is the responsible authority for the State aid surveillance. The European Commission is an administrative institution of the EC which is responsible for application and development of the State aid policy according to interests of the EC.
Since May 1, 2004, however, the Ministry of Finances as a national State aid surveillance institution has the following responsibilities:
- Perform initial assessment of planned aid programmes or individual aid projects. This requirement applies also to amendments planned in existing aid programmes or individual aid projects;
- Submit to the European Commission notifications on planned aid programmes or individual aid projects, as well as amendments planned in existing aid programmes or individual aid projects. This was the function of the Ministry of Finance from May 1, 2004 till January 1, 2006. However, since notifications on new aid should be sent to the European Commission only electronically as of January 1, 2006, and since all correspondence about notified aid measures between the European Commission and Member States is done electronically, the Ministry shall ensure information circulation between involved institutions and European Commission (regarding information about State aid expert meetings organized by the DG Competition; issues regarding notified aid programmes and individual aid projects submitted by Latvia, as well as regarding submitted complaints; letters about different issues in the State aid control field). However, now notifications on measures and summary information about aid granted according to the so called exemption regulations should be submitted to the European Commission by respective line ministry by means of State Aid Notifications Interactive – SANI – under the management of the European Commission;
- Prepare annual reports regarding aid provided for commercial activities.
It should be noted that the competence of the Ministry of Finance in the State aid field does not cover aid for activities related to agriculture products set forth in Annex 1 of the EC Treaty, fishery products, as well as for activities in the forestry sector, except for cases prescribed in the Law on Control of Aid for Commercial Activity.