In the European Union, the rights and obligations of railway passengers, as well as the competent institutions of the member states in this area, are currently determined in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/782 of the European Parliament and of the Council (April 29, 2021) on rail passengers’ rights and obligations (recast), which supplements and replaces the previous regulatory act in this field - Regulation (EC) No. 1371/2007 (October 23, 2007).

Competent institutions in the field of railway passenger rights in Latvia

In the Republic of Latvia, the competence of institutions in the field of protecting the rights of railway passengers in accordance with the requirements of EU Regulation No. 2021/782 is provided for in Article 33.3 of the Railway Law. According to it:

  1. the responsible authority for domestic railway passenger transport is the Road Transport Directorate;
  2. in international railway passenger transport – State Railway Administration (VDA).

In addition to this, railway passengers have the right to submit complaints also using the “Alternative Dispute Resolution” mechanism (ADR), which derives from Article 33 of EU Regulation 2021/782. In Latvia, adopting the Directive 2013/11/EU of the European Parliament and the Council, it is determined that the competent ADR institution is the Consumer Rights Protection Center (PTAC).

In 2015, the European Commission has developed and published guidelines (Commission statement 2015/C 220/01) on the European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) no. 1371/2007 on the rights and obligations of railway passengers, which contains explanations of the requirements and conditions of the said regulation:

EC Interpretative Guidelines on Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council on rail passengers' rights and obligations

Exceptions to passenger rights requirements provided for in Latvia in relation to international rail transport

In accordance with EU Regulation 2021/782, Latvia has provided for exceptions regarding the application of the said regulation in domestic and international rail transport. According to the law “Amendments to the Carriage by Rail Law” (only in Latvian), which was adopted by the Parliament on December 6, 2023 and entered into force on January 3, 2024, it is provided that “Regulation No.2021/782 does not apply to international rail passenger and luggage transportation, which is carried out between stations located in Latvia and a country that is not a member of the European Union”.

Amendments to the Carriage by Rail Law” (only in Latvian)

The procedure for submitting complaints in international rail transport (resulting from EU Regulation 2021/782)

A passenger using international rail transportation in the territory of Latvia has the right to file a complaint about violations of international rail passenger rights in the following manner:

  1. In the first stage – the passenger applies a complaint to the railway transport company or the station manager;
  2. In the second stage – within three months after the passenger has received information about the rejection of the initial complaint, a complaint can be submitted to the State Railway Administration.
  3. If, after submitting a complaint to the railway transport company or the station manager, the passenger has not received an answer within three months, the passenger has the right to submit a complaint to the State Railway Administration.

Within two weeks after receiving the complaint, the VDA confirms its receipt. The complaint handling procedure lasts no more than three months, counting from the date of creation of the complaint file. In difficult cases, the VDA can extend the mentioned period up to six months. In such a case, it shall inform the passenger of the reasons for the extension and the estimated time required to complete the procedure. Only those cases related to legal proceedings can be considered for longer than six months.

Contacts for submitting a complaint to the VDA: e-Governance: _DEFAULT@90000696177; e-mail:

In addition, any passenger can file a complaint about a violation of this regulation by contacting PTAC directly in accordance with the “Alternative Dispute Resolution” mechanism in the sense of EU Directive 2013/11/EU (in Latvia it has been taken over by the Law On Out-Of-Court Consumer Dispute Resolution Bodies). In this case, the deadlines set by the mentioned EU directive for handling disputes apply.

Contacts for submitting a complaint to the PTAC web-site: For communication purposes the following PTAC e-mail address can be used:

Further information on passenger rights on the European Union site: