ABOUT CROATIA
General Informations +

Geographic position
Croatia occupies the largest part of the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea which, as a part of the Mediterranean Sea, penetrates deepest into European soil. Croatia’s shoreline and numerous islands enjoy the majority of the Adriatic coastline. The narrow Dinara Mountain Range separates the country’s Mediterranean region from its central European continental part, which spans from the easterly edges of the Alps in the North-West to the shores of the Danube in the East, encompassing the southern part of the fertile Pannonian lowlands.

Surface area
The mainland covers an area of 56 594 km2 and coastal waters cover a surface area of 31 479 km2.

Population
Croatia has 4 290 612 inhabitants.

Demographics
The majority of the population are Croats, with the largest minorities being Serbs, Bosnians, Slovenes, Hungarians, Czechs, Italians and Albanians.

System of government
Croatia is a multi-party parliamentary republic.

Capital
With 792 875 inhabitants, Zagreb is the economic, transport, cultural and academic centre of the country.

Length of the coastline
6 278 km, of which 4 398 km is made up of island coastlines, solitary rocks and reefs.

Number of islands, islets, solitary rocks and reefs
1 244. The largest islands are Krk and Cres. There are 50 inhabited islands.

Highest peak
Dinara, 1 831 m above sea level.

Climate:
There are three climate zones in Croatia: in the country’s continental interior the prevailing climate zone is moderately continental , while the mountain climate prevails at 1200m above the sea level. The areas along the Adriatic coast have a pleasantly mild Mediterranean climate with a large number of sunny days, summers are hot and dry and winters are mild and wet.
The average temperatures in the continental interior are: January -2 oC to 0 oC, with somewhat lower temperatures in the mountains; July temperatures reach 20 oC-22˚C, and around 13˚C in the highlands. The average temperatures in the Littoral (Adriatic Coast) are: January 5˚C - 9 oC and July 23°C - 26°C. Winter sea temperature is about 12 oC and it reaches approximately 25 oC in the summer.
Information: www.meteo.hr (dhmz@cirus.dhz.hr)

Currency:
The official currency in Croatia is the kuna (1 kuna = 100 lipa). Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices, post offices and in the majority of tourist information offices, hotels and campsites.
Credit cards (Eurocard / Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Diners) are accepted in almost all hotels, marinas, restaurants, shops and cash machines.
Power supply: 220 V, frequency: 50 Hz

Tap water is safe to drink in all of Croatia.

Travel Documents +
A valid passport or some other identification document recognised by international agreement; for certain countries a personal identity card is sufficient (a document which testifies to the identity and citizenship of the bearer). 

Information: Diplomatic missions and consular offices of the Republic of Croatia abroad or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Croatia.
Tel: +385 1 4569 964, 
e-mail: stranci@mvpei.hrvize@mvpei.hr
web: www.mvpei.hr  

 
Customs Regulations +

Customs regulations in the Republic of Croatia are almost entirely harmonised with EU regulations and standards, but the value of those non-commercial items that are brought into the country for personal use and are exempt from tax duty or PDV (VAT), is limited to only 1,000 HRK (kuna).

Foreign and local currency and cheques may be freely taken in and out of the country by both foreign and Croatian citizens with foreign residence, but transfers of an amount of 10,000 Euros or more must be declared to a customs official. Valuable professional equipment and other technical devices must also be declared to a customs official at the border crossing. 

VAT is refunded to persons who do not have permanent or temporary residence in Croatia, for individual goods purchased in Croatia, for amounts in excess of 740.00 HRK (Kuna), upon the presentation of a Tax Cheque form verified by a customs official during the export of purchased goods, at the latest 3 months from the day of purchase. Foreign nationals must claim Tax refunds within six months of the receipt issue date.

For additional information please contact the Customs Administration: www.carina.hr 

The Import Of Live Animal +

The transport of house pets across state borders is possible only with the necessary veterinary documentation certifying the animals’ state of health. Cats and dogs must be fitted with an electronic identification system (microchip). Up to five pets can be imported at border crossings approved for the circulation of certain house pets, whilst the import of larger numbers of animals must be made at a border crossing where there is a border veterinary inspection.

When travelling with your pet, you are responsible for it
When bringing your pet into the Republic of Croatia, it is your responsibility to meet all the conditions necessary for its importation. Please check, for instance, whether your pet has been vaccinated, that is, re-vaccinated, on time, whether an antibody titer test has been performed and whether it has a valid passport or veterinary certificate. If your pet does not meet these criteria, then your entry into the Republic of Croatian may be denied, that is, your pet can be returned to the country of origin or quarantined at the permitted border crossing. The owner will bear all costs arising from the implementation of these measures.

In line with the Regulations on veterinary conditions for the non-commercial transportation of pets, the following animals species are considered as pets: dogs, cats, pet ferrets (Mustela putorius) from the marten family (Mustelidae), invertebrates (except for bees and crayfish), ornamental tropical fish, amphibians, reptiles, all bird species (except for poultry), rodents and rabbits.

Maximum number of animals
The importation of a maximum of five animals can be considered as non-commercial. The animals must be subjected to an identification and document inspection by a customs official at a border crossing of the Republic of Croatia. These animals will not be considered a commodity and must be accompanied by their owner or a person authorised by the owner to accompany them for the entirety of the trip.

Conditions
General import conditions for dogs, cats and tame martens (also called domestic ferret, white ferret, African ferret, weasel, skunk, tamed ferret, domestic weasel or tamed weasel – Mustela putorius) coming from EU member states and low-risk countries outside the EU:
They must be fitted with an electronic identification system (microchip). If the animal is fitted with a microchip that is not in line with the ISO Standard 11784 or 11785, the owner must provide the appropriate microchip scanner. The name and address of the animal’s owner must be determinable at all times. The animal’s passport or certificate, which is transported with the animal, needs to contain the microchip number which has been issued by a veterinarian.
They must be accompanied by a passport or certificate issued by a veterinarian authorised by the relevant body.
They must be vaccinated against rabies

Animals coming from EU countries, or countries outside the EU that are considered low-risk, that are under three months of age and have not been vaccinated can be imported into the territory of the Republic of Croatia if the owner or accompanier holds a valid passport or certificate and if the animals have been living in the same place since birth and have not been in contact with wild animals which may have been exposed to infections, or are travelling with their mother on whom they are still dependent.

Dogs, cats and members of the marten family coming from high-risk countries must fulfil the following conditions:
They must be fitted with an electronic identification system (microchip)
They must have a veterinary certificate issued by an official veterinarian or, at re-entry, a passport (dogs from Croatia)
They must be vaccinated against rabies
They must have undergone a test on the neutralization of antibodies with the titration of antibodies equalling at least 0.5 IJ/ml on a sample taken by a certified veterinarian, in a certified laboratory, 30 days after vaccination at the earliest and three months prior to transfer. A list of authorized facilities can be found at the following web page: http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/liveanimals/pets/approval_en.htm.

The stipulated period of three months is not applicable in the case of the re-entry of pets from the Republic of Croatia whose passport confirms that the titration of antibodies with a positive result was carried out before the animal left the Republic of Croatia.

Animals imported commercially, and those being shipped as a parcel, need to be examined by a veterinarian prior to shipment.

For additional information please contact the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development – Administration for Veterinary Medicine
Tel. +385 1 6109 499; +385 1 6106 703 and +385 1 6106 455;
web: www.mps.hr

Health Service +

There are hospitals and clinics located in all larger towns and cities, while smaller centres have dispensaries and pharmacies only.

Foreign visitors who are covered by health insurance in their own country are not obliged to pay for emergency medical services during a private stay in the Republic of Croatia if a convention on Social Security has been signed between Croatia and the visitors’ country of origin, i.e. if they have in their possession a certificate stipulated by such a convention confirming their right to health care. Health care (including transport) is used for emergency cases in the manner and according to regulations valid for Croatian citizens covered by Social Security, with identical participation in health care costs (participation). Persons coming from countries with which no such convention has been signed personally bear the costs of health services rendered. 

For further information, please contact the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance
Tel: +385 1 4806 333, 
web: www.hzzo-net.hr 

Public Holiday +

1 January - New Year’s Day
6 January - Epiphany
Easter Sunday & Easter Monday
1 May - Labour Day
Corpus Christi
22 June - Anti-Fascist Resistance Day
25 June - Statehood Day
5 August - Victory Day and National 
Thanksgiving Day
15 August - Assumption Day
8 October - Independence Day
1 November - All Saints’ Day
25-26 December - Christmas Holidays  

Shops and Public Services Working Hours +

During the tourist season, most shops are open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on weekdays, and many are also open during the weekend.

Public services and business offices generally work from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Post and telecommunications +

Weekdays, in smaller centres from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. Some offices work a split shift. In most towns and tourist centres, duty post offices are open on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Phone cards are used in all public telephones and may be purchased from post offices and from newspaper kiosks. International calls may be made directly from any public telephone. 

Web: www.posta.hr 

In the Event of an Accident, Phone 192 for Help! +

This number can be reached any time, day or night, regardless of where you are in the Republic of Croatia or in the European Union.

Calls to this number are free of charge.

Calls can be made through all operators and all telephone devices by dialling 192.

In the event of an accident, the 192 Centre can be contacted in any one of the following foreign languages:
English
German
Italian
Hungarian
Slovakian
Czech

CALL 192!

If you need:
Emergency medical assistance,
The assistance of fire fighters,
The assistance of the police,
The assistance of the Mountain Rescue Service,
The assistance of other emergency services and operative search and rescue forces.

If you see:
a fire,
spills or leaks of dangerous substances, pollution of drinkable water, streams, rivers, or the sea,
other instances which present a danger to the life and health of people or animals, cultural heritage or the environment.

When you call, pass the following information:
what happened,
where it happened,
when it happened,
are there any injured persons,
what the injuries are,
what assistance is required,
who is calling.

Practical Advice +

Outdoor activities
Tell relatives or friends the route and plan of your journey
Walk on marked paths and trails
Take sufficient quantities of water with you
Prepare adequate clothing and footwear
Prepare mobile telephone devices
Monitor weather forecasts
Handle open fires carefully and in line with regulations
Do not throw cigarette butts or flammable objects outside

Fire prevention
Check that you have undertaken all the necessary measures to prevent fire!
Do not throw burning or inflammable objects into the environment!
Observe signs forbidding the lighting of fires!
Take care that your parked vehicles do not obstruct fire fighting vehicle approaches and access roads.

What should you do in case of fire?
Immediately notify the fire brigade of the fire on the telephone number 112.Use a hand-held fire extinguisher (if one is available) and only attempt to extinguish the fire if doing so does not endanger you or others.
Notify people in the area about the fire.
FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN BY THE FIRE BRIGADE

REMEMBER:
Non compliance with fire protection regulations will result in the Ministry of Internal Affairs raising a violation report or imposing a fine on the perpetrator.

On the road
Avoid traffic jams during the peak tourism season and driving at weekends and holidays,
Be well rested when driving,
Adjust your speed to the conditions on the road and the speed limits,
In the event of a traffic jam, be patient and take sufficient quantities of water with you.

At sea
In case of an accident or sea pollution, call 9155 (National Headquarters for Search and Rescue at Sea) or 112.
Before setting sail, inform yourself of the weather forecast, especially for the Adriatic,
While swimming, stay in sight of other swimmers,
Inform family and friends of the approximate location in which you will be diving and mark the area appropriately,
Moderate your exposure to the sun and use protective mediums
Do not overestimate your own capabilities,
Have sufficient quantities of drinking water with you.

Environmental protection
The protection of biodiversity is in compliance with valid EU regulations.
With regards to swimming, the waters of the Croatian Adriatic Sea are of a high quality according to EU criteria.

In the event of environmental pollution, please phone 112.

Radio News in Foreign Languages During the Tourist Season +

Croatian Radio broadcasts programmes in foreign languages designed for tourists in Croatia on several frequencies. 

A daily programme is broadcast at 8:05 pm on Channel One, in English, for a duration of approximately 10 min. 

During the summer season, Channel Two of the Croatian Radio (98,5 Mhz – northwestern Croatia and the Dubrovnik Littoral; 105.3 Mhz – Istria; 96.1 Mhz – Split; 98.9 Mhz – the Makarska Littoral; 93.3 Mhz – Gorski kotar) will broadcast, in addition to regular news and reports from HAK (the Croatian Automobile Club) in Croatian, traffic information in English and German, and in August, also in Italian. Traffic and congestion alerts from HAK are broadcast in Croatian and English. 

During the summer period, on Channel Two of the Croatian Radio, news is broadcast every hour from the Third Channel of Austrian Radio and Bayern 3 in German, RAI Uno in Italian, Radio Prague in Czech, Absolute Radio in English and from the International Station of Croatian Radio – “Voice of Croatia” also in English, German and Spanish. 

During the summer, Radio Prague reporters broadcast news for their nationals staying in Croatia via the following regional radio stations: Radio Split, Radio Dubrovnik and Radio Rijeka.  

Important Telephone Numbers +

International country code for Croatia: +385
Ambulance: 194
Fire Brigade: 193
Police: 192
National Centre for Search and Rescue at Sea: 195
Unique National number for all emergency situations: 112
General information: 18981
Information on local and intercity numbers: 11880; 11888
Information on international numbers: 11802
Weather forecast and road conditions: 060 520 520 

Croatian Automobile Club (HAK):

Roadside vehicle assistance: 1987

(When calling from abroad or by mobile phone, call +385 1 1987)
+385 1 46 40 800, 
Web: www.hak.hr
E-mail: info@hak.hr 

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