The legal basis, tasks, functions and competence of the State Border Guard, as well as responsibilities and rights of border guards are determined by the Border Guard Law.

The State Border Guard is a direct administration State institution, under the supervision of the Ministry of the Interior. The State Border Guard is armed, and the functions thereof are to ensure the inviolability of the State border and the prevention of illegal migration.

The operations of the State Border Guard is organized in conformity with the law, humanism, human rights, transparency, a single command structure, and based upon the assistance of the inhabitants.

The State Border Guard protects the rights and lawful interests of persons irrespective of their citizenship, social, financial or other status, race or nationality, gender or age, education or language, attitude towards religion, or political or other opinions.

The Border Guard ensures that the rights of a person to move from one state to another state are observed.

The Border Guard provides an opportunity for arrested persons to exercise their rights to a legal defense.

On issues of guarding and control of the State border, as well as on issues, which are associated with the control of the observance of the entry, residence, exit and transit of aliens and stateless persons regulations, and other issues within the competence thereof, the State Border Guard cooperates with other State and local government authorities, merchants and international organizations, unions or communities.

State and local government authorities, as well as merchants and their officials provide assistance to the State Border Guard in the performance of its duties.

The Border Guard, in the interests of the service, both directly and by means of the mass media, informs the State and local government authorities, as well as the general public regarding the results of its operations, while observing the requirements of the Law On Official Secrets.

A border guard is an official of a Ministry of the Interior system institution, who ensures the fulfillment of the tasks of the Border Guard and to whom is granted a special service rank.

Tasks of the State Border Guard are:

  • in accordance with the State Border Law of the Republic of Latvia, to guard the State borders, border signs and other border structures, and to prevent any attempts to change illegally the location of the State border in a geographical area;

  • in co-operation with the National Armed Forces, to prevent and repel armed attacks on the territory of Latvia, territorial and inland waters, as well as air space, to prevent armed provocations on the State borders and in cases of criminal threats, to provide assistance to inhabitants in border areas;

  • to carry out surveillance of the land territories, waters and airspace adjacent to the border;

  • to not allow persons and means of transport to cross the State border, or freight and other property to be moved across the State border outside the locations provided for this purpose or in any other illegal way, to detect and arrest violators of State borders, as well as detect violators of border area, border area zone, border control point and border crossing point regimens;

  • to organize the work at border crossing points and, together with the customs and Food and Veterinary Service institutions, the work at border control points, to co-ordinate the activity of the control services working at the border control points;

  • jointly with customs institutions, to provide for workplaces at border control points for other authorities and private persons who conduct border crossing control on other matters pursuant to law or provide services to persons crossing the State border;

  • to carry out border control and allow persons, means of transport, freight and other property to cross the border if the documents granting the right to cross the State border have been correctly drawn up, and the border guard, customs and other State service control operations have been completed;

  • independently or jointly with customs institutions, to prevent the importation into or transit through the territory of Latvia of prohibited items for illegal movement across the State border. To not allow the movement of goods or other items across the State border, evading customs control;

  • to maintain the State border, border zone and the border crossing points;

  • independently or jointly with international seaport, airport, sea passenger and railroad station administrations, in co-operation with customs institutions, police, the National Armed Forces units and the relevant local governments, to ensure and control the observance of the regimen of the State border, border areas, border zones, border control points and border crossing points;

  • to provide to specially authorized State institutions the necessary assistance for preservation of natural resources and for controlling the observance of regulations on economic activity, and for the protection of the environment against pollution, the extinguishing of fires and the elimination of the consequences of natural catastrophes in the border area;

  • to ensure that obligations binding on Latvia on issues regarding the State border regimen provided for in international agreements are implemented, and within the scope of its competence, to regulate the incidents associated with violation of the State border regimen;

  • to ensure prevention of violations of laws and other regulatory enactments related to border crossing;

  • within the scope of their competence, to examine administrative violation matters and to impose administrative sanctions;

  • to control how are observed the entry, residence, exit and transit of aliens and stateless persons regulations in the territory of the Republic of Latvia, as well as within the scope of their competence, to perform the activities provided for in the Law On Asylum;

  • within the scope of the competence specified in the Criminal Procedure Law, to perform pre-trial investigations

For the performance of tasks at sea, the State Border Guard uses the technical resources, floating means and aircrafts of the National Armed Forces according to the procedures specified by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Responsibilities of the Border Guards

The responsibility of any border guard, on receiving information regarding an occurrence that threatens the inviolability of the border or is associated with the illegal crossing of it, or on determining himself or herself of such an occurrence, is to carry out all possible measures in order to prevent the violation, to detect and arrest the persons who have committed the violation, as well as to notify the nearest unit of the State Border Guard regarding the occurrence.

Border guards fulfil their service duties in accordance with relevant laws, State Border Guard regulations, by-laws and other regulatory enactments, as well as the orders and directives of supervisors.

Border guards without objections execute the lawful orders and directives of their immediate supervisor and supervisors in higher-ranking positions. Knowingly carrying out unlawful orders or a directive shall not discharge a border guard from liability.

Within the scope of his or her competence, the supervisor shall act independently and take care that in the unit subordinated to him or her, laws and regulations are observed and orders are executed.