Electronic Toll Collection to Be Introduced on Croatian Motorways

By 17 August 2017

Transport Minister also spoke about the Pelješac Bridge and Uber.

Transport Minister Oleg Butković said on Wednesday evening that motorway tolls in Croatia would in the future be paid via an electronic system. When will that happen and what will that include, Butković did not say. Actually, he admitted that not even the government knows what will happen, reports on August 17, 2017.

But, it is a serious project. All EU member states will have to introduce a uniform electronic toll collection system. So, the government will be forced to launch the project. In other words, thousands of people who are now doing work that can be done by any computer could lose their jobs in the near future.

“In the first seven and a half months of this year, compared to the same period last year, the number of vehicles on motorways in all categories has increased, and revenues are rising, despite the fact that we needed to introduce higher seasonal tolls, increase them because we have said we will not sell the highways, we will not monetize them. We have launched the process of restructuring of the debt of road companies. A few days ago, a public call for expression of interest for drafting a study on future electronic toll collection system was announced. That is in line with all the reforms we have to implement in the next four or five years and in line with the recommendations of the European Commission, which demands that all EU member states must have a uniform electronic toll collection system. But, let's wait for this study to be ready,” said Butković.

Minister Butković also talked about the Pelješac Bridge and the recent protests coming from Bosnia and Herzegovina against its construction.

“The road link project with southern Dalmatia, which includes the construction of the Pelješac Bridge and access roads, fully implements the agreement between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina which was reached and signed in 2006. Croatia fully respects the right of safe passage through the Croatian internal sea waters and territorial sea, for all ships going to the port of Neum in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We fully respect the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, in particular, Article 45 regulating the right of safe passage. The project of road link with southern Dalmatia has passed all the steps, all procedures of the European Commission. The EU has granted us 357 million euros for the project. These comments which we can hear lately coming from Bosnia and Herzegovina are more politically focused,” said Butković.

“Everything was agreed in 2006. Croatia has implemented the demands of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which requested that the height of the bridge must be 55 metres, the width of the waterway 200 metres. We have accepted their demands, and now we are in the second stage of the tender for the selection of the contractor. Offers are scheduled to be submitted by the end of August, and we expect that the construction of the Pelješac Bridge will start in the fall,” he added.

Butković also spoke about legal future of Uber in Croatia.

“We are preparing a new law on road transport that deals with this issue. The task force is concluding its work, and it includes representatives of taxi services, Uber, the Chamber of Crafts and Trades, the Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry and experts. The fact is that we will go in the direction of at least partial liberalisation because the lack of licenses is evident. The market shows there should be more licenses, and we will go in that direction. However, everybody must work in accordance with the law, and everyone must follow the same rules,” said Butković.

“Let's wait for the law to come out in the autumn. Then we will first have the public consultation period when everyone will be able to get involved with their comments, and later the law will go to the government, and then to Parliament. We will have a ready solution by the beginning of September,” he concluded.

Translated from