OREANDA-NEWS.  On 1 January 2014 Latvia will join the euro area and from that date the euro will be used in place of the Latvian lat at the exchange rate of 1 euro = 0.702804 lats. Eesti Pank, like the other central banks of the euro area, will exchange lat banknotes for euros from 2 January until the end of February at no charge.

From 2 January 2014 it will be possible to exchange lat banknotes for euro cash at the central exchange rate and with no service fee in the Eesti Pank Museum during its opening hours. The daily limit per person and per transaction is 1000 euros. Latvian coins will not be exchanged in Eesti Pank.

Lat banknotes and coins can be exchanged at the central rate in bank offices in Latvia until the end of June next year and in 302 Latvian post offices until the end of March. From 1 January the Latvian central bank will exchange lats for euros at the central rate with no limits on amounts or on time.

Lats in current accounts in Latvian banks will be automatically converted to euros at the central rate without any service fee.

The lat will continue to serve as legal tender for two weeks following the changeover to the euro but from 15 January the euro will be the only legal tender in Latvia.

Estonian kroons can still be exchanged in cash handling offices of Swedbank and SEB across Estonia until the end of this year but from 1 January 2014 it will only be possible to exchange kroons for euros in the Eesti Pank Museum.