Latvia (since 1 January 2014)
Latvia joined the euro area on 1 January 2014. On that date the euro replaced the lats at the fixed exchange rate of €1 = LVL 0.702804. Following a two-week period when both currencies were in circulation, the lats ceased to be legal tender on 15 January 2014.
Exchanging Latvian lats
Lats can be exchanged at 302 post offices in Latvia at the fixed exchange rate, free of charge, until 31 March 2014. Banks will do the same until 30 June 2014.
Latvijas Banka will also exchange Latvian lats banknotes and coins at the fixed exchange rate in unlimited amounts for an indefinite period. This service is free of charge.
Other euro area national central banks (NCBs) will exchange Latvian lats banknotes, free of charge, from 1 January to 28 February 2014. The amount is limited to €1000 for any given party/transaction on any one day.
Key changeover dates at a glance
- EU Council approves Latvia’s admission to euro area.
- European Central Bank and national central banks of euro area start transporting euro banknotes to Latvijas Banka, the central bank of Latvia.
- Minting of Latvian euro coins starts.
- Prices in Latvia are shown in both lats and euro until 31 December 2014. "Fair euro introducer" campaign starts.
- Transfer of euro banknotes and coins from Latvijas Banka to commercial banks starts.
- Transfer of euro banknotes and coins from commercial banks to businesses, retailers and cash machine operators starts.
- Coin starter kits, each containing the eight denominations, go on sale at commercial banks.
- Euro banknotes and coins start circulating and bank accounts are converted into euro.
- For two weeks, to smooth the transition, both currencies - lats and euro - are in circulation and can be used for payments.
- Euro banknotes and coins become sole legal tender.
- Deadline for exchanging lats banknotes and coins at post offices.
- Deadline for exchanging lats banknotes and coins at commercial banks.
- No deadline
- Lats banknotes and coins can be exchanged at Latvijas Banka indefinitely.
Changeover communication campaign
The European Central Bank (ECB) and Latvijas Banka have prepared a communication campaign for Latvia. It includes:
- the production and distribution of publications on euro banknotes and coins and the cash changeover;
- two short videos in English, Latvian and Russian on the cash changeover and how to check euro banknotes and coins;
- the euro exhibition in Riga at the Dailes Theatre (Brīvības iela 75, LV-1001, Rīga) from 25 October until 13 December 2013;
- a high-level Euro Conference on 12 September 2013 .
Let's join forces: the Partnership Programme
The Partnership Programme provides communication materials to businesses and other organisations which are interested in passing on information about euro banknotes and coins in Latvia.
Latvijas Banka and the European Central Bank invite you to join forces with them to spread the euro “message”. As a partner, you will have access to information on the euro that you can pass on to your customers, business associates and employees. It will ensure that all your stakeholders have accurate information from a reliable source in good time.