Contact person for provided information:
|Bronislovas Mikuta State Enterprise
Centre of Registers Chief of International Relations Division
|Information provided on 5
Lithuania is located at the western end of the East European Plain,
on the shores of the Baltic Sea. It borders Latvia, Belarus, Poland
and the Russian Federation (Kaliningrad district) and is the biggest
of the three Baltic States. The total area is 65,300 sq. kilometers
making the total of 1273 km land boundaries and 99 km of coastline
bordering the Baltic Sea. The geographical centre of Europe (54°51'
north and 25°19' east) lies in Lithuania, 20 kilometres north
of Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania. There are 758 rivers
and streams longer than ten kilometers. The longest river is the
Nemunas at 937 km in length (475 km through Lithuania). The country
boasts more than 2800 lakes covering 1.5% of the country's area.
Lithuania is a low-lying country, its highest point rising 292
meters above the sea. Forests make up about 30 % of the total
area. Agricultural land makes 53%.
The population amounts to about 3.46 million (83% of ethnic Lithuanians;
6,7% of Polish origin; 6,3%of Russian origin; 4% Latvians, Jewish,
Belarus and others) of which 68% live in the cities and towns.
The first recorded mention of Lithuania was in 1009 AD in the
Quedlinburg Annals. The Lithuanian state was founded in the middle
of the 13th century by Duke Mindaugas, who was crowned as a king
in 1253. By the beginning of the fifteenth century, Lithuania
was one of the largest countries in Europe and its territory extended
from the Baltic Sea up to the Black Sea. From 1648 onwards, the
state faced attacks from the Russians and from Sweden. These wars
critically weakened the state and, in the partitions of Poland,
which took place between 1772 and 1795, Lithuania was largely
annexed by the Russian Empire. These pressures helped to encourage
the development of a national movement. Independence was declared
on 16 February 1918. After the outbreak of the Second World War,
Lithuania was annexed to the USSR and the occupation lasted till
1990. The restoration of independence was declared on 11 March
In 2000 Lithuania started negotiations for EU membership and
in late 2002, was accepted for membership in both the EU and NATO
Current Political and Administrative
Lithuania is a parliamentary democracy based on a free competition
of political parties. The country is headed by the President elected
by popular vote for a five-year term. The legislative branch is
represented by the Parliament or Seimas composed of 141 members
of Parliament serving for the period of four-years. The Central
Government consists of 13 ministries, each responsible for its
own specific area.
Administratively Lithuania is divided into 10 counties and 60
municipalities, which have relatively broad powers of self-governance.
Historical Outline of Cadastral
The roots of the Lithuanian cadastre date back to the early medieval
ages when the land was considered as a primary symbol of wealth
and resources. At that time land-based relations were defined
by the customary law; some time later they were subject to the
regulation by Grand Dukes' privileges and finally, in the 16th
century, by the Statute of Lithuania.
In 16th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania performed an important
land administration reform resulting in the separation of lands
in terms of their ownership (possessed by noblemen, peasants and
the Grand Duke). The size of the land parcels allocated to peasants
was based on valakas (measurement unit equal to 21 ha). A descriptive
inventory of all public lands was formed. Soon after mapping activities
The update of those cadastral data was made in the 19th century
when after the abolition of the serfdom peasants were entitled
to the ownership of a land parcel. Such re-parceling of lands
allowed to improve land use, establish boundaries of villages
and, consequently, update mapping material.
At the beginning of 20th century, all land was subject to a new
cadastral surveying leading to the re-parceling of former estates
to the new owners. The cadastral identification was used to support
the land ownership and land transfer system. The conception of
the cadastre system as a measure for land sale and marketing strengthened
In 1940, after Lithuania was announced a Soviet Republic, all
the land was declared as state ownership however the buildings
and flats remained in private ownership. During the Soviet period
the Bureaus of Technical Inventory administered and registered
buildings, flats and construction.
After the reestablishment of state independence (in 1990) the
Republic of Lithuania adopted the laws, which legalised private
ownership in land, forest and other immovable property. The restoration
of ownership rights to land started and in 1992 the computer-based
registration of land was launched. In 1997 a new institution the
State Land Cadastre and Register (from 1 April 2003 named the
State Enterprise Centre of Register) was established, which merged
the registration of land and buildings (flats and other immovable
objects) and rights thereto in one organisation. A demand for
complex information in the field of land management, environmental
protection, business, housing, etc. promoted the establishment
of a multi-purpose cadastre and register system.
Real property cadastre and registration activities are carried
out on the national level, this task being delegated to the State
Enterprise Centre of Registers (Centre of Registers). The Centre
of Registers is a governmental agency under the Ministry of Justice
engaged in the following main activities: administration of Real
Property Cadastre and Register, the Register of Legal Entities,
the registration of real property objects and rights in them,
the registration of legal entities, the appraisal of real property,
cadastral surveying and providing official information on registered
real property and rights to it, and about legal entities, also
is responsible for addresses, and maintenance of the Register
of Administrative Units, Settlements and Streets and cadastral
map. Today the State Enterprise Centre of Registers has its central
office and 11 Branch Offices with their local divisions.
The land reform and restitution is carried out by private and
state surveying companies, this process being administered by
County Manager Administration and the National Land Service, where
the latter provides methodical guidance and supervision of the
land reform process.
Cadastral surveying of land and buildings is carried out by the
public sector and the private sector represented by licensed surveying
companies, supervised by the National Land Service under the Ministry
of Agriculture. The matters related to buildings, flats, engineering
utilities, etc. are coordinated with the Ministry of Environment.
Lithuania has a private notary system supervised by the Ministry
of Justice. Registration of mortgages is in charge of the Central
Mortgage Office, which is subordinate to the Ministry of Justice.
Private Sector Involvement:
The private sector represented by the licensed surveyors in private
practice is involved in the cadastral surveying of land and buildings.
Private surveying companies are also engaged in the topographic,
geodetic, designing and etc. licensed activities. Requirements
for the private surveyors are set forth by the licensing regulations,
also the order on cadastral surveying of real property objects.
Professional Organization or
The Lithuanian Surveyors Association was established in 1994;
it is a member of FIG. The association unites the engineers in
geodesy, cartography, land surveying, scientists and other professions
and aims at discussing the land reform and management, real property
cadastre and register, geodesy and cartography, and other similar
issues. The number of members amounts to about 250 of physical
Only licensed surveyors are entitled to conduct cadastral surveying
of land and buildings. The National Land Service under the Ministry
of Agriculture issues the licenses to legal entities, the head
thereof have relevant university or college education and the
duration of theoretic and practical course on geodesy and cartography
within the studies makes at least 200 hours. The specialists working
with cadastral surveying should also have university or college
education and relevant qualification. The companies should have
proper surveying equipment, hardware and tolls for processing
surveying data. On 1 December 2003 the number of issued licenses
At the university level the Lithuanian Agricultural University
offers the education in real property cadastre, register and surveying.
In the year 2002 about 50 BSc and about 28 MSc graduated the university.
The Vilnius Gediminas Technical University offers the education
in real property cadastre, geodesy and cartography for the BSc
and MSc level courses, where in 2002 about 50 BSc and 20 MSc graduate
At the college level the Kaunas College, the Kaunas College of
Forestry and Environment Engineering, the Vilnius College of Construction
and Design and the Kretinga Higher Agricultural School offer education
in land management, cadastre, geodesy and engineering. Studies
last for 3 years and in 2002 about 100 students graduated these
Purpose of Cadastral System:
The Real Property Cadastre and Register in Lithuania, including
cadastral map, is an integrated multipurpose system administered
by one institution. It secures the registered rights to real property;
supports lawful conveyance of real property; serves for fiscal
purpose, i.e. land taxation; it is also an instrument for national
real property policy and a supporting tool for real property and
credit market development in the country. Nowadays the real property
cadastre and register data are becoming more and more important
in other fields of public life including real property administration,
valuation, territory planning; fulfillment of municipal tasks,
the development of e-society and information infrastructure etc.
An increasing use of information by different market participants,
such as banks, notaries, real estate agencies, insurance companies,
citizens and other entities puts new demands on the quality of
data and easy access to information as well as on efficient dissemination.
Types of Cadastral Systems:
Lithuania has one cadastral system covering the whole territory
of the country and it is an integrated Real Property Cadastre
and Register system. The system covers the urban and rural areas,
the privately and state owned property, the land, houses and apartments.
The system features comprehensive data on all specified real
property objects including all kinds of land uses (urban, rural,
protected areas, public places), inland water bodies, roads, buildings
(houses, apartments), engineering utilities, etc.; also provide
data on legal possession of real property objects, encumbrances
on the rights, servitude, mortgages and legal facts. There is
a direct link between the cadastral map and the real property
register. The real property cadastre and register system uses
the necessary information from other public registers and cadastres,
such as forestry cadastre, entrails cadastre, cadastre of protected
areas, register of cultural heritage and others.
The cadastral system of Lithuania is based on surveyed land parceling
and records graphical and attribute data pertaining to real properties.
Main unit within the real property cadastre and register, that
is surveyed and registered, is a real property object. Real property
object means land parcel and other properties that are related
to land (buildings, premises, flats, engineering facilities, and
other properties, which are intended to serve and to be used as
immovable property). Only formed and surveyed real property object
may be recorded in the Real Property Cadastre and Register, and
only registered property may be transacted. Data on surveying
of the real property object and other cadastral data are recorded
in the Real Property Cadastre in accordance to the location of
the real property object. Every real property objects (including
land parcels, buildings, flats, premises, constructions and engineering
utilities) have a unique identifier.
The Lithuanian integrated Real Property Cadastre and Register
distinguishes the following main segments:
- Descriptive data, i.e. description of a real property object,
its location and main qualitative and quantitative characteristics,
type of use; the value and price of a real property unit;
- Legal data, i.e. records who is an owner, possessor or manager
of a property object and specifies the type of possession (ownership,
lease, trust and other right), also indicates the encumbrances
on the right of possession and other relevant data;
- Legal facts, i.e. transactions certified by notaries;
- Graphical description, i.e. cadastre and register map.
Content of Cadastral System:
Lithuania has a unified Real Property Cadastre and Register system
containing the registration of real property objects, rights to
these objects and legal facts.
The Real Property Register records real rights to real property
objects, such as ownership, and encumbrances on these rights,
and keeps information on mortgages.
Real Property Cadastre contains information on qualitative and
quantitative characteristics of real property objects as well
as its value.
Cadastral maps demonstrate all properties graphically corresponding
to the registered title and linked to it through the unique identifiers.
The unified Real Property Cadastre and Register system is fully
Digital cadastral map represents graphical contents of the cadastral
system specifying the geometric components (location and the boundaries)
of the real property objects by means of national coordinate system.
Cadastral map consists of the graphical layer (object plans) and
descriptive layer (numerical data), inter-linked together.
Cadastral map consists of the following main layers:
- geo-referential data: vector-based or raster cartographic
material; coordinates of the national and local geodetic base
points and other information describing these points;
- boundaries, names and codes of administrative units;
- boundaries, names and codes of settlements;
- boundaries, names and codes of cadastral areas;
- boundaries, names and codes of cadastral blocks;
- boundaries of land parcels in the coordinate system, and
their unique and cadastral numbers;
- coordinates of central point of buildings in the national
coordinate system and unique numbers;
- coordinates of central lines of engineering facilities in
the national coordinate system and unique numbers;
- market values, zones, names and codes of immovable object.
Example of a Cadastral Map:
Extract from the digital cadastral map in urban area.
Role of Cadastral Layer in SDI:
Cadastral map forms a layer of the georeferential system. It is
- land reform and restitution on the national level;
- cadastral works, i.e. formation of land parcels;
- concluding real property transactions;
- territory planning in urban and rural areas;
- different designing activities, i.e. for roads, engineering
- land consolidation.
The Real Property Cadastre and Register system underwent many
developments over the last decade. Its development started in
1992, when the digital registration of land was started from scratch.
In 1997 the responsibility for registration of land and buildings
(flats, premises) was merged into one organisation.
Main problems nowadays in Real Property Cadastre and Register
System are as follows:
- First, inadequacy of surveyed land parcel boundaries. In
the course of the land reform in Lithuania there are two types
of surveys: simplified (by using cartographic material) and
precise (by using geodetic instruments). Due to this sometimes
it is difficult to match the boundaries of parcels, what results
in gaps and overlapping of parcel boundaries. This leads to
inaccuracy of cadastral map and sometimes to boundary disputes.
- Second, separate registration of one real right to real property,
i.e. mortgage, which is registered in the Mortgage Register.
Such a situation makes the mortgaging and conveyance process
slower, more expensive also it is not convenient for clients.
- Third, the previously existed separate registration of land
and buildings on it resulted in the fact that some buildings
are not integrated with land, and it happens that the land and
the buildings on this land have different owners and addresses.
- Fourth, the absence Address Register that needs to be developed
and may serve a cross-reference register for the exchange of
data pertaining to real property.
- The overlapping parcels and those with gaps are adjusted
during the development and improvement of the cadastral map.
- In 2003, an international project on strengthening the state
registers was initiated and will start in 2004. It will address
the issues on improving the technological links between the
Register on Real Property and the Register on Mortgage.
- In 2003 the Centre of Register is implementing a new version
of the information system of Real Property Register, which aims
at integrating the land and buildings on it.
- The issue of Address Register has been touched upon while
implementing international projects that made analysis of the
current situation and lodged proposals for its establishment,
including the legal, technological and technical aspects. Also
a pilot project in Trakai district was implement, which addressed
the issue of addresses. At present the Government of the Republic
of Lithuania passed a resolution and delegated the Centre of
Registers to establish Address Register. An initiative is taken
and a new project is under preparation, which will focus on
the establishment of Address Register.