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CROATIA - General Information useful to tourists 

Customs: You should declare all technical goods taken into the country and upon departure present all received receipts in order to claim local VAT/PDV back.  There are no known restrictions in how much money you are allowed to bring into the country. The following goods may be taken into Croatia without incurring customs duty: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco; 1l of wine and 1l of spirits; 250ml of eau de cologne and 1 bottle of perfume.

Note: (a) Valuable professional and technical equipment must be declared on arrival. (b) Articles of archaeological, historical, ethnographic, artistic and other scientific or cultural value require an export licence issued by the Croatian authorities. (c) Passengers carrying firearms (for hunting and sporting purposes) or radios for communication (CB, walkie-talkie) must hold a valid passport.

Health and Vaccination:  There are no needs for any preventive vaccination or health check ups.  Travel insurance is nevertheless highly recommended.  The health service is of a good standard. You have to pay for seeing a doctor or being treated in a hospital. Certain countries such as European countries have reciprocal medical arrangements whereby, in principal, you should not have to pay for any emergency treatment. It is therefore useful to wave you passport first and mention this.

General and Geographical Data

Geographical position: Croatia extends from the foothills of the Julian Alps in the north-west and the Pannonian Plain in the east, over the Dinara mountain range in its central region, to the Adriatic coast in the south.

Surface Area: 56,542 km2, with an additional 31,067 km2 of territorial waters.
Territorial Waters: 31.067km2
Population: 4.381.352. The majority of the population are Croats. National minorities include Serbs, Moslems, Slovenes, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Italians, and others.
Highest Peak: Dinara at 1.831 meters above the sea level
Capital: Zagreb (almost 1mil inhabitants - the administrative, cultural, academic and communication centre of the country).

Length of coast: 5,835 km - including 4,058 km of island, islet and reef coastline.

Number of islands, islets and reefs: 1,185. The largest islands are those of Krk and Cres. There are 67 inhabited islands.

Climate: Northern Croatia has a continental climate; Central Croatia has a semi-highland and highland climate, while the Croatian coast has a Mediterranean climate. Winter temperatures range from -1 to 30C in the continental region, -5 to 0C in the mountain region and 5 to 10C in the coastal region. Summer temperatures range from 22 to 26C in the continental region, 15 to 20C in the mountain region and 26 to 30C in the coastal region.  Required clothing: Lightweights with rainwear for summer. Mediumweights for winter with heavier clothing for inland areas.

Official language and alphabet: Croatian language and Latin alphabet.

Religions: The majority of the population are Roman Catholics, and in addition there are a number of those of Orthodox faith, as well as Muslims, and Christians of other denominations.

Government: Under the 1990 constitution, legislative power rests with the bicameral Sabor, both houses of which are directly elected for four-year terms. The lower house, the Chamber of Representatives (Zastupnicki Dom), has 127 seats, of which 80 are elected by proportional representation, 28 in single-seat constituencies, with the remainder variously earmarked for recognised ethnic minorities and Croats who are resident abroad. The upper house, the Chamber of Districts (Zupanijski Dom), has 68 members 63 elected in three-seat constituencies, plus five appointees. Executive power is held by the President, elected for five years, who appoints a cabinet of ministers.


Economic Overview 

Before the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the Republic of Croatia, after    Slovenia, was the most prosperous and industrialized area, with a per  capita output perhaps one-third above the Yugoslav average. The economy emerged from its mild recession in 2000 with tourism the main factor, but massive structural unemployment remains a key negative element. The government's failure to press the economic reforms needed to spur growth is largely the result of coalition politics and public resistance, particularly from the trade unions, to measures that would cut jobs, wages, or social benefits. This however is seen as the major advantage for small to medium investors as particularly growth in tourism requires plethora of projects along the coast.

With substantial support and investment from abroad, the Croatian economy recovered well after the break up of Yugoslavia and several years of civil war. Industry is the most important sector in the economy, producing textiles, chemicals, processed foods, finished metal goods and construction materials. Agriculture, which produces maize, wheat and sugar beet, is important for domestic purposes but has never contributed significantly to the export economy. Mineral deposits of exploitable size include oil, coal and natural gas. Croatia also has an important tourist industry, based on the Dalmatian coast, which has recovered after being all but wiped out by the civil war. Since seceding from Yugoslavia, the overall performance of the economy has been moderate. The government initially introduced a programme of privatisation and other market reforms. Croatia joined the IMF in January 1993, and then the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Trade Organisation. In May 1994, the Government introduced a new currency, the Kuna: low inflation has allowed the government to keep its value reasonably stable. The countrys most important trading partners are Germany, Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Business: In many ways one of the more conservative areas of the former Yugoslav Federation, Croatia tends towards formal business protocol, but this image of Western-style efficiency is often belied by the fact that things go very slowly on account of the cumbersome bureaucracy. Communication, however, is no problem, as English and German are widely used as second languages. Business cards including professional or academic titles should be exchanged just after formal introductions. There is also a large number of local agents, advisers, consultants and, to a lesser extent, lawyers, willing to act for foreign companies, but none should be engaged before being thoroughly checked in advance. Croatia has created a more liberal framework for foreign investments so that foreign investors are guaranteed special rights and incentives for investing in Croatia. Office hours: Mon-Fri 0800-1600.

Commercial Information: The following organisation can offer advice: Croatian Chamber of Economy, Trg Rooseveltov 2, 10000 Zagreb (tel: (1) 456 1555; fax: (1) 482 8380; e-mail:; website:

The Croatian National Tourist Board can offer advice through their Convention Bureau (see Contact Addresses section), which also has a Zagreb Convention Bureau located at Koptol 4, 10000 Zagreb (tel: (1) 489 8555; fax: (1) 481 4949; e-mail:; website:

Exchange Rates

Kuna (HRK) - US dollar $  -  8.452 (January 2002), 8.340 (2001), 8.277 (2000), 7.112 (1999), 6.362 (1998),

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