New Taxi Services Law Sent to Parliament

By 5 April 2018

ZAGREB, April 5, 2018 - The Croatian government on Thursday sent to the parliament a bill on road transport to be discussed under fast-track procedure. Among other things, the bill will make it possible to order and pay for taxi services via an electronic application. It also removes the existing limit on the number of taxi licences and makes it possible for taxi drivers to determine fares on their own.

One of the novelties is that taxi drivers will be able to choose between a taximeter and an electronic application to charge their clients. Also, under the bill, Uber is not allowed to register as a special form of transport.

The government estimates that the liberalisation of the taxi services market would at least double the number of taxi drivers. Currently, there are around 3,000 taxi drivers, which is a small number considering that Croatia is a tourist country. The bill is also expected to lower the prices of taxi services.

Under the bill, future taxi drivers without valid licences will have to be at least 21 years old and have a good reputation, meaning that they will not be able to provide taxi services if they have a previous conviction or if in the last two years they have been fined more than 25,000 kuna.

Rules for taxi services that are yet to be defined will also determine how old a taxi can be. Under the bill, taxi drivers with valid licences may continue operating for the next five years. Future taxi drivers will have to pass a theoretical exam while the obligation of three-year-long professional education will cease to exist.

Local government units will have to issue licences to taxi drivers from all over the country and not only those in their territory, which has been the case until now.

Another novelty in the bill is the expansion of the national register of road transport providers, digitisation of services, and the introduction of on-demand public transportation services in sparsely populated areas.

The bill creates conditions for the introduction of integrated passenger transport, which means that it will make it possible for a passenger to use different modes of transport on a single fare.

Transport Minister Oleg Butković said that the bill would help the Croatian market adapt to new market trends, new modes of transport and EU regulations. He said that the bill could result in the price of a taxi licence going down and that that could boost employment.

Butković noted that it was important that the new law went into force before the peak tourist season, which was why the government was sending the bill to the parliament to be discussed under fast-track procedure.