In Latvia, there are two legal documents that regulate the accessibility of digital services – Regulation LV 2020/445 for public sector bodies and the Act on Accessible Goods and Services for both public and private sector bodies.
Regulation LV 2020/445
Regulation LV 2020/445 (LV – Ministru kabineta noteikumi Nr. 445 – Kārtība, kādā iestādes ievieto informāciju internetā) was enforced on July 2020 and is the Latvian implementation of Directive EU 2016/2102 for public sector bodies. The document regulates the procedures and conditions for Latvian institutions to publish information on the Internet and ensure that information is made accessible to all individuals, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. It applies to all state and municipal institutions in Latvia, including ministries, agencies, and government bodies, as well as municipal administration institutions.
It is worth noting that the document does not cover content published by private individuals or businesses, nor does it extend to websites that are not affiliated with state or municipal institutions. However, it underscores the significance of ensuring accessibility in the context of information dissemination on the Internet.
Throughout all of Latvia, the authority in charge of implementing this regulation is the Latvian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development.
Act on Accessible Goods and Services
Act on Accessible Goods and Services (LV – Preču un pakalpojumu piekļūstamības likums) was enacted on March 2023 and will come into force on June 2025, and is the Latvian implementation of the European Accessibility Act (EAA, EU Directive 2019/882) for both public and private sector bodies. The document regulates rules and requirements regarding the accessibility of goods and services for persons with disabilities in Latvia.
This law establishes the obligations and standards that goods and service providers must adhere to in order to ensure accessibility for individuals with various functional limitations. It applies to various sectors, including public buildings, transportation, electronic communications, education, healthcare, cultural and sports events, as well as information and communication technologies.
The document includes requirements related to accessibility, such as architectural and construction solutions, information and communication devices, websites, and mobile applications. It also imposes obligations regarding the provision and preparation of information for individuals with different disabilities.
The law does not apply or apply partially if:
- the requirements of this law go way beyond the budget of the company (reach the disproportionate burden criteria),
- the modifications that are required for the product or service to be accessible lead to significant changes in the basic character of the product or service,
- the company employs less than 10 employees.
The supervision of this law is divided between several institutions, depending on the industry the product or service is provided to:
- The Public Utilities Commission (Sabiedrisko pakalpojumu regulēšanas komisija),
- The National Electronic Mass Media Council (Nacionālā elektronisko plašsaziņas līdzekļu padome – NEPLP),
- Civil Aviation Agency (Civilās aviācijas aģentūra),
- State Ltd. Road Transport Administration (VSIA Autotransporta direkcija),
- State Railway Administration (Valsts dzelzceļa administrācija),Consumer Rights Protection Centre (Patērētāju tiesību aizsardzības centrs),
- Regulation LV 2020/445 (in Latvian) on Likumi (2020)
- Act on Accessible Goods and Services (in Latvian) on Likumi (2023)
- Assessment of the website in accordance with the accessibility requirements of the digital environment (in Latvian) by the Latvian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development
- Website and mobile app accessibility (in Latvian) by the Latvian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development