How is the conformity assessment and certification of tourist accommodations performed?
The conformity assessment and certification of tourist accommodations is performed by LLC “Hotel and Restaurant Centre” (hereinafter – HRC) founded by the AHRL in 1999. The process of voluntary conformity assessment performed by the HRC, as a result of which the tourist accommodation receives the Certificate of conformity of a certain category, is divided in two parts:
- assessment of compliance of the facility to the requirements of the state standard, which is performed by the Inspection Commission; - certification of the facility performed by the HRC according to the recommendations of the Inspection Commission, received documents and statements on performed corrective actions at the facility after its inspection.
The Inspection Commission is composed of non-staff employees of the HRC – experienced experts in the field of tourist accommodations and hospitality industry, who are competent to assess the compliance of hotels and other tourist accommodations to the requirements determined in the State Standards. To obtain the Certificate of conformity, the representative of the guest-lodging and servicing accommodation receives from the Director of the HRC the application of established form, where he specifies the desirable classification category of the guest-lodging and servicing accommodation according to the relevant State Standard. The application blank specifies also the documents required for reception of the certificate to be submitted to the Director of the HRC, as well as the costs of the services related to certification. After reception of the filled-out application and documents specified in it, the Director of the HRC assesss the received documents and, if they are in proper order, composes the inspection commission. The Director of the HRC coordinates the composition of the commission and potential time of inspection with the responsible representative of the facility to be inspected. The inspection commission inspects the guest-lodging and servicing accommodation according to the blanks of inspection report prepared in accordance with the requirements of the relevant State Standard (for hotels, including motels LVS 200-1:2009; for guest houses LVS 200-2+A1; for campsites LVS 200-5:2000; for youth hostels LVS 200-6:2000). After inspection and preparation of the report, the client is made acquainted with the statement. If the client has any objections to the assessment, the client has the right to enter his objections in the statement. One counterpart of the report is kept by the client, the other is returned to the Director of the HRC. The Director of the HRC collects the documents, if needed, receives missing documents and assesss the documents submitted by the guest-lodging and servicing accommodation, Inspection Report and adopts the final decision on certification of the guest-lodging and servicing accommodation or motivated refusal of such certification, which is notified to the representative of the guest-lodging and servicing accommodation. The certification is not granted until all indicated incompliances are eliminated and it has not been verified by the Director of the HRC and/or a written confirmation of the representative of the guest-lodging and servicing accommodation has been received. The certification commission assesss the compliance of the documents submitted by the guest-lodging and servicing accommodation with the requirements of the relevant State Standard (VS 200-1+A1:2004, LVS 200-2+A1:2004, LVS 200-3+A1:2004, LVS 200-5:2000, LVS 200-6:2000) and gives recommendation to the Director of the HRC to adopt the decision on certification of the guest-lodging and servicing accommodation or motivated refusal of certification, which the Director of the HRC notifies to the representative of the guest-lodging and servicing accommodation.
What documents are necesary to perform the conformity assessment and certification?
To start the process of voluntary conformity assessment, the representative of the guest-lodging and servicing accommodation submits to the Director of the HRC a filled-out application blank, where the desirable classification category of the guest-lodging and servicing accommodation according to the relevant State Standard.
To the application the following documents are enclosed / listed also in the application blank /: - transcript / copy of the registration certificate of the merchant; - transcript / copy of the charter of the merchant; - statement of the State Revenue Service on entrance into the taxpayers’ registers and payment of the taxes stipulated in the laws; - transcript / copy of the document attesting the ownership or lease rights of the enterprise / capital company to the respective hotel, guest house, camp site or youth hostel; - statement from the State Firefighting and Rescue Service on compliance of the facility with the firefighting norms and rights to receive guests; - statement from the Health Inspection on compliance of the facility with relevant normative and rights to receive guests; certificate of the Food and Veterinary Service – for catering companies; - copy of the effective insurance policy of the facility against fire / Article 1213 of the Civil law /; other types of insurance – at discretion of the businessman; - document on acceptance in operation of the facility as the guest-lodging and servicing accommodation / hotel, guest house, motel, campsite, youth hostel / acceptance statement or stock-taking record of the facility / copy – for companies opened recently.
How much do the conformity assessment and certification cost?
Prices of services per year, when evaluating the compliance of the hotel/ guest house/ camp site/ youth hostel with classification categories, according to the requirements of the State Standards LVS 200-1:2009, LVS 200-2+A1:2004, .......... LVS 200-5:2000, LVS 200-6:2000:
First-time conformity assessment and certification (for the first time or once in every 5 years):
one star hotel / * /
two star hotel / ** /
three star hotel / *** /
four star hotel / **** /
five star hotel / ***** /
For Guest Houses / Motels:
first category / I /
second category / II /
third category / III /
fourth category / IV /
For Youth Hostels / Campings:
first category / I /
second category / II /
third category / III /
Repeated annual supervision:
For hotels depending on the number of rooms: - up to 25 rooms – 60% of the charge for the first-time compliance certification; - 26-50 rooms – 70% of the charge for the first-time compliance certification; - 51-100 rooms – 80% of the charge for the first-time compliance certification; - 101-200 rooms – 90% of the charge for the first-time compliance certification; - 201 and more rooms – 100% of the charge for the first-time compliance certification.
For guest houses, campsites, youth hostels: - 90% of of the charge for the first-time compliance certification.
Charge for the service, as well as all technical and organisatorial costs related to certification, including the production and issuance of the certificates, is included into the VAT.
For how long period is the Certificate of Conformity issued? Starting from 2007, the Certificate of Conformity is issued for the term of 5 years. The supervision procedures of the tourist accommodation are performed each year.
Why is it important to perform the conformity assessment and certification?
1-5 stars for hotels, I – IV categories for guest houses, I – III categories for campsites and youth hostels, which are awarded by the HRC is a kind of hallmark guaranteed by the HRC and a tool of successful marketing of the tourist accommodation. It is a clear signal to the foreign and local consumer that he will receive a high-quality service. If for the tourist accommodation conformity assessment and certification according to the Latvian national standards have not been performed, it has no right in its advertising and public informative materials to refer to the classification categories of the Latvian national standard or stars for hotels that follow from the requirements for advertising stipulated in Article 3 of the Law of Advertising, which must be legal, truthful and objective, as well as Article 11.4 of the Law of Prohibition of Dishonest Commercial Practice on provision of untrue information, which is a misleading commercial practice.
What is ensured by the Certificate of Conformity issued by the HRC? - widely distributed information and advertising about the tourist accommodation; - recognisability among clients, tour operators and mass media; - maintenance of certain quality level and symbol – stars; - increase of the competitive capability of the company; - reception of assessment by qualified specialists; - reception of information on alterations in the state standards and procedures of conformity assessment; - joining the unified Nordic-Baltic Hotel Classification System and consequently – recognisability in the region and whole Europe.