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Plans to tighten controls on suspicious mail

In order to tighten control over suspicious postal items, especially drugs, as well as to expand the possibilities of the State Revenue Service (SRS) to control such items more effectively, this week the Saeima conceptually supported amendments to the Postal Law and related draft laws, the Saeima press service informed Delfi.

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The purpose of the changes is to extend the rights of the customs authority regarding the inspection of cross-border postal items, removal, storage and destruction of suspicious postal items, according to the annotation of the draft law.

The amendments seek to define suspicious mail. It is intended to be a cross-border postal item suspected of containing narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, raw materials (precursors) for the manufacture of these substances, new psychoactive substances or products containing them.

If a postal operator has suspicions about sending prohibited substances and objects, it will have to inform not only the State Police, but also the SRS, the conceptually supported amendments provide.

If a customs official who inspects cross-border postal items finds a suspicious postal item, he will have to inform the postal operator about the need to suspend its sending to the addressee. The postal merchant will have to suspend the sending of such a consignment to the addressee and immediately hand it over to the customs official, amendments to the law provide.

The Saeima also conceptually supported the related amendments to the SRS Law and the amendment to the Customs Law in order to expand the competence of the tax administration and customs authorities in the inspection, removal, storage and destruction of suspicious cross-border postal items.

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The amendments stipulate that the officials of the SRS Customs Board will send an invitation to the person to come to the SRS within 30 days to receive it at the address indicated in the suspended suspicious mail item. If the person does not come to receive it within 30 days, the SRS will be able to destroy the shipment.

Currently, the number of criminal proceedings related to cross-border mail is growing rapidly. They contain various types of narcotic and psychotropic substances. The amount of substances most often found in postal items is up to 10 grams. Most postal items with drugs in Latvia come from the Netherlands, as well as a small part from Spain, Great Britain, Belgium and Germany, the authors of the draft law have indicated in the annotation.

At present, the regulation prohibits the transmission by post of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, pornographic or erotic material describing or depicting the sexual exploitation of children, human sexual activities with animals, necrophilia or pornographic violence. It shall also not be permitted to send items or substances the importation or circulation of which is prohibited in the countries of destination or which, by their nature or packaging, may contaminate or damage other postal items or postal equipment.

Explosive, flammable, radioactive, perishable biological and infectious substances are also prohibited in postal items, as well as money, coins, banknotes, securities of any kind and animals.

For the changes to take effect, they must be adopted by the Saeima in the second and third readings.

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