The State Inspection for Heritage Protection of Latvia is a public institution, which operates on behalf of the Cabinet of Ministers under the Ministry of Culture and implements the cultural heritage preservation policy in Latvia. The Inspection performs investigation, expertise and control of cultural heritage preservation. Latvia has a very strict policy regarding the protection of the country's cultural objects. In this regard, the State Inspection holds a national Register of Movable Cultural Objects, whose location or ownership can not be modified without its agreement. The Inspection also maintains a Register of National Protected Cultural Monuments. Furthermore, the State Inspection is the authority in charge of controling the trade of cultural objects in antique shops, art galleries and auctions in order to prevent illicit traffic.
The control of the art market's legality in Latvia also falls under the State Inspection's mandate. In order to protect national cultural values and prevent the export of stolen and lost cultural objects, the State Inspection takes the decisions regarding the export of cultural objects and issues standard export licences. In this regard, the State Inspection maintains a close administrative cooperation with the General Customs Office and assists the work of customs services.
Within its terms of reference, the Inspection performs the return procedure of illegally removed cultural objects and by the agreement of involved parties can perform as a mediator in the extrajudicial review procedure ensuring return of cultural object to its legal owner.