Sunday, 9 May 2021

Bozinovic Discusses Digital Green Certificates for Travel During Pandemic

May the 9th, 2021 - Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic has discussed the controversial new ''covid passports'' which he insists are not passports and must not be referred to as that, despite it being both easier to remember and easier to say. Could Croatia's digital green certificates be ready by next month?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Bozinovic stated that ''they aren't passports, let's not call get into the habit of calling them that, maybe it's easier to say that these are digital green certificates that refer to facilitating international travel. They will be interoperable, and they'll allow mutual recognition of vaccination, recovery and testing certificates.

By a majority vote, European Union lawmakers backed the digital green certificates proposal, Bozinovic noted, adding that the final proposal has yet to be adopted, and that it will likely happen in the first half of June.

"Croatia is in the advanced stage of implementing a national technical solution and we're ready to test it on the available European Union platform. Particular emphasis should be placed on the importance of databases, the accuracy and entry of all data as certificates will be issued based on the databases of people who have already recovered from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, those who have been tested in the last 48 hours and people who've been vaccinated.

We're in favour of the adoption of these regulations as soon as possible. With out participation in the pilot project, we've become one of the EU member states that will be ready to issue certificates as early as June the 1st. In Croatia, these certificates will be issued in digital PDF format, and people will be able to submit their applications through the e-citizens system. Certificates in physical form for people who request them will be issued in some of the 150 HZZO offices. The verification of these certificates will be carried out by reading QR codes, and 250 certificate readers have already been deployed at the country's border crossings,'' pointed out Bozinovic.

The portal will provide announcements for the arrival of foreign nationals, which will shorten the time spent at Croatian borders. Passengers will be able download their receipts for their digital green certificates in PDF format on the aforementioned page before their arrival for the purpose of verification as soon as possible.

For more on coronavirus in Croatia, from border, travel and quarantine rules to the locations of vaccination points and testing sites across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and choose your preferred language.

Thursday, 22 April 2021

The Latest on Covid Passports in Croatia Revealed

April 22, 2021 - Covid passports in Croatia could be implemented as early as June. shares the latest on Covid passports in the country. 

Croatia is working intensively on 'Covid passports' which should be in circulation as early as the beginning of June, according to

"It is designed to be issued digitally. An application will be created to generate a secure QR code that will contain information about the passenger, their name and surname, the date when they received the vaccine, when they were tested, or when they recovered from Covid. This is being done intensively; Croatia is certainly among the countries working most actively on it. Our plan is for everything to be finished by the beginning of June," said Index's well-informed source.

The Ministry of Health will be in charge of everything related to the Covid passport or the mentioned QR code.

Croatia is one of thirteen European countries that have already agreed on criteria for Covid passports, i.e., digital certificates that would facilitate travel during the pandemic.

Along with Croatia, Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain are involved in the initiative, and the European Commission should soon comment on the criteria.

Austrian Minister of Tourism Elisabeth Köstinger recently stated that this initiative for the faster introduction of the passport should enable the survival of the European tourism sector.

This confirmation would guarantee passengers that they will not end up in quarantine.

Recall that the European Commission in mid-March proposed introducing a digital green certificate for free movement within the EU during the pandemic, which would be evidence of vaccination, a negative test, or proof that you have recovered from the virus. 

France became the first EU member state to start testing digital covid passports. The TousAntiCovid application is part of the state program for searching for contacts of infected people. It has been upgraded to store data such as a negative result on passengers' mobile phones.

France's Le Monde reported that from April 29, the application would include vaccination data.

Everyone who is tested for coronavirus will also receive a digital confirmation by message or e-mail, which they will be able to store in the TousAntiCovid application.

Several EU member states are developing similar systems. Denmark was also among the first to present its Coronapas.

Football fans are allowed to enter stadiums, bars, and restaurants, and museums are reopening as Denmark takes a big step to lift restrictions. The condition for Danes to take advantage of the new freedom is that they must prove they are not infected, showing the Coronapas, writes the BBC.

It is a digital application MinSundhed (MyHealth), that shows whether a person has had a negative test result in the last 72 hours or a confirmation of vaccination or proof of a previous infection two to 12 weeks ago.

By the way, the extraordinary board of the World Health Organization (WHO) this week recommended that vaccination certificates not be a precondition for international travel because the vaccine is unevenly distributed between countries.

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Preparations Begin for Digital Green Certificates in Croatia

April 9, 2021 - A working group is being set up to develop a technical solution for cross-border interoperable digital green certificates in Croatia.

"Vaccination of employees in the tourism sector begins with the third phase of vaccination. I believe it will be very soon," said the Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac, adding that based on data received so far in the proposed surveys, the number of employees who would enter priority vaccination in the tourism sector is about 68,000, reports HRTurizam.

"Given the nature of the work as well as the significant number of contacts that tourism workers make, it is necessary to vaccinate before the start of the season," said Brnjac.

A working group is being set up to develop a technical solution for cross-border interoperable digital green certificates in line with EU-level talks.

At Thursday's 52nd Government session, the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) proposed a Decision to establish a working group to develop a technical solution for cross-border interoperable digital green certificates.

"We will soon start creating a digital system of certificates of vaccination, testing, and recovery to enable citizens of the Republic of Croatia and the EU free and epidemiologically safe cross-border mobility and residence in our country," said Davor Bozinovic, Minister of the Interior.

Namely, the European Commission coordinates a common European response to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic. Following the development of the epidemiological situation and health and medical measures, it is necessary to develop other effective measures to combat COVID-19 and enable free movement in EU member states and third countries or green digital certificates, so-called 'covid passports'.

Therefore, they have recognized the need to ensure freedom of cross-border movement through establishing a system for issuing, verifying, and accepting vaccination, testing, and recovery certificates to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic (digital green certificate) that would be interoperable between the EU Member States and third countries.

To this end, on 17 March 2021, the European Commission presented a Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a framework for issuing, verifying, and accepting cross-border interoperable vaccination, testing, and recovery certificates to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic (digital green certificate). 

Croatia has expressed readiness to establish a national system of digital green certificates and their cross-border interoperability through the EU accession plan that the European Commission plans to establish in April, May, and June 2021, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

To establish a technical solution and to develop a national system of digital green certificates, the Ministry of the Interior is tasked with concluding a contract with AKD d.o.o. (Agency for commercial activity production, service, and trade d.o.o.), since AKD was established to perform the tasks of creating personal ID cards, passports, visas, driver's licenses and other solutions in the field of identity and security.

The Decision instructs the Ministry of Health to provide the Working Group referred to in this Decision with all necessary professional support, especially in fulfilling the following tasks: representing Croatia in the operational working groups of the European Commission's eHealth Network, which coordinates implementing the pilot project of the technical solution for digital green certificates; ensuring the integrity, confidentiality, availability, and non-repudiation of machine-readable data on vaccinated, tested and sick persons automatically and in real-time, accessible from data sources owned by the Ministry of Health, which will be the basis for issuing cross-border interoperable digital green certificates.

Recall that according to the new and expanded criteria for the entry of tourists into Croatia, tourists who have either been vaccinated, contracted COVID-19, or have a negative PCR or antigen test from the list of EU tests, can enter Croatia.

Follow the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Split IT Company Tech Resources Offers EU Covid Passport Solution

March 25, 2021 - Split IT experts from Tech Resources offer a travel solution that could facilitate drafting the new digital green certificate and protect citizens' privacy.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that Europe is preparing to introduce digital green certificates, the so-called 'Covid-passport,' and an initiative is coming from Split that could facilitate drafting this document and protect the privacy of citizens.

As Secretary of State for Europe Andreja Metelko-Zgombić said at an informal video conference of European ministers on Tuesday, Croatia welcomes the Commission's proposal to introduce digital green certificates aimed at facilitating free and secure movement at the EU level.

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs website stated in the information about the meeting that the adoption of the legislative proposal and the completion of technical preparations following the plan are expected by June so that the certificates can be applied as soon as possible. A digital green certificate should be evidence that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has recovered from it, or has a negative test result.

While preparations for the production of Covid passports are underway, the Split IT company Tech Resources, founded in 2016 by Josip Majić, a returnee from America, already has an almost conceptual solution feasible in practice, based on blockchain technology and smart contracts.

When you hear the word blockchain, you may first think of cryptocurrencies, but the possibilities of applying these technologies are much wider.

This Split company currently has 20 employees who work mainly for foreign clients, i.e., for export. Among the most important projects that speak about the team's expertise is the fiscalization of bills for Montenegro, which has been implemented since the beginning of 2021, and the toll collection system in Great Britain. By the way, this company's focus is on innovation and application of new digital technologies in real current problems of both the private and public sectors.

"Covid has affected our business, both directly and indirectly, so we took the problem of Covid passports as a project task to check whether it is possible to create such a document with complete data security, without compromising anyone's sovereignty and without the possibility of misuse, while maintaining full functionality and fulfilling the purpose of such a document. We worked on it for two months and managed to make a conceptual solution that can be implemented in practice," says Leo Žanetić, project manager.

He notes that this solution requires the association of Croatian IT experts to be feasible in practice. In this way, Croatia will save significant amounts of money, and at the same time, will protect the personal data of its citizens because the solution they devised completely protects privacy.

"We must protect our interests, citizens, and the state, as much as the situation allows us. We in the company are ready to gather a consortium of experts for free, communicate the solution, and fully transparently manage the project," says Žanetić.

It would work following the guidelines published by the European Commission.

"Every EU citizen would receive a specially created digital document (similar to the online vaccination appointment system) containing their personal data and information on the type, time, and location of vaccination. When a citizen is vaccinated, the state issues them a smart passport in the form of a card with a printed code on it. When scanning the code, information is obtained from a digital document," explains Žanetić and cites several examples.

You travel, for example, from Croatia to Italy to visit relatives you haven't seen for a long time because of the lockdown. The police officer will scan the code from your smart passport at the border crossing and receive a confirmation that you - Mate Matić under vaccination ID number 123456789 - was vaccinated 2 days and 18 hours ago.

After entering Italy, you will jump to buy gifts at the mall. At the mall entrance, the security guard will scan the code from your smart passport and receive confirmation that the holder of that card has been vaccinated. He does not need to know your name or ID number or when or where you were vaccinated.

After a few days in Italy, you had a small accident and will be admitted to a local hospital with a swollen leg. The doctor who receives you will scan the code from your smart passport and receive a confirmation that you - Mate Matić, health insured in the Republic of Croatia under number 65432, have been vaccinated with the Pfizer Mo vaccine. C113 2 days and 18 hours ago in Split, with the remark that you are allergic to penicillin.

As the Split IT experts point out, all this can be done with the help of blockchain technology, building a distributed application that uses a smart contract as back-end functionality. Thus, they would make their own blockchain with their own smart contract in which all the scenarios that, for example, Mate Matić had when visiting relatives in Italy were defined.

"This means that state information centers, i.e., data centers where e-citizen systems, e-referrals, e-cadastre, etc., work, would become the so-called "Miners" of that blockchain. By reaching a mathematical consensus, they would verify each other's credibility on the items from the smart contract. No one on that network could read any data without first the whole network approving and verifying it. All data is in blocks arranged in a chain and merged by reaching the specified consensus, hence the name blockchain. This achieves complete decentralization of the database as well as its management. No one can decide anything on their own without the approval of other miners," explains Žanetić.

He emphasizes that this means that a citizen can only endanger their data and no one else's. Also, the possibility of direct cyberattacks on weak points is eliminated because there are none.

"There can be no error on the server so that the system "crashes" because the system is not located on any server but is online and updated on the systems of all miners. If one miner falls, the only thing that can happen is a slight and short-term slowdown of the system until a new miner is activated and takes over the job of the one who fell," says Leo Žanetić.

Now it is the turn of the Croatian Government and competent institutions to could consider this initiative. Domestic knowledge and domestic resources are available to them.

To read more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Croatia Expects Digital Green Certificates to be Ready by June, Says official

ZAGREB, 23 March, 2021 - Croatia expects a law to be adopted and technical preparations to be completed by June to enable the introduction of a digital green certificate proving that its holder has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has recovered from it, or has tested negative, an official said on Tuesday.

Andreja Metelko-Zgombić, the State Secretary for Europe, today took part in an informal conference of European affairs ministers, at which she stressed the importance of ensuring a stable, predictable and faster delivery of vaccines so that the common EU goal of inoculating 70% of the EU population by summer could be achieved.

She stressed that member-states should be equal in vaccine distribution, and that it was necessary to have a balanced approach to vaccine distribution as some countries currently have a lower vaccination rate due to delays in vaccine delivery, a statement said.

Metelko-Zgombić said that Croatia welcomed the European Commission's proposal for the introduction of digital green certificates that would facilitate free and safe travel within the EU.

She said that Zagreb "expects the adoption of the relevant legislative proposal and completion of technical preparations according to plan, by June, so that certificates could start to be used as soon as possible."

PM says Pfizer vaccine delivery to be stepped up

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said today that work was underway on transferring the delivery of some of the vaccine supplies from the fourth to the second quarter so that the dynamic of vaccination could be stepped up before summer and that the vaccine in question was expected to be the Pfizer vaccine.

For more about COVID-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 18 March 2021

Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac Welcomes European Commission's Digital Green Certificate

March 18, 2021 - Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac welcomes the European Commission's digital green certificate proposal. 

HRTurizam reports that the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to establish a common framework for digital green certificates and an additional proposal to ensure that digital green certificates are issued to third-country nationals residing in the Member States or Schengen countries and visitors entitled to travel to other Member States.

Digital green certificates are digital evidence proving that the traveler has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has recovered from it, or has a negative test result. Apart from possible uses in health care, the certificate also serves for the safe free movement of citizens of one European Union country in another.

Of course, the digital green certificate has no meaning if EU countries do not accept it. That is why the European Commission has announced that it will work closely with the European Union members. Namely, cooperation is needed to find technical solutions for the use of certificates as soon as possible. The authenticity of certificates can be verified safely throughout the EU and finally enable the mutual recognition of certificates or endorsements throughout the European Union. Member States are still responsible for deciding which public health restrictions for travelers can be lifted and will apply the same to travelers holding a digital green certificate.

Digital green certificates will meet data protection, security, and privacy requirements. For the certificates to come to life by the summer, EU member states must speed up preparations and their introduction. The European Commission will help develop a legal solution for a common framework for vaccination, testing, and recovery certificates to facilitate free movement within the EU. Member States are expected to establish technical solutions at the national level rapidly. In this way, certificates could be issued and verified securely anywhere in the European Union.

Digital green certificates should be established based on interoperability guidelines, which define common data sets and unique identifiers for vaccination certificates. A common data set for test results is already agreed upon by Member States.

Certificates will be issued in digital or paper form. Both versions will have a QR code containing the necessary basic information and a digital signature to ensure that the certificate is authentic. Certificates shall be made available free of charge in the official language or languages of the issuing Member State and English.

All persons, vaccinated and unvaccinated, should use digital green certificates when traveling within the EU. To prevent discrimination against non-vaccinated persons, the Commission proposes not only issuing an interoperable vaccination certificate but also a COVID-19 test certificate and a certificate for those who have recovered from COVID-19.

If Member States accept proof of vaccination to lift certain public health restrictions such as testing or quarantine, they would be required to accept vaccination certificates issued under the digital green certificate system under the same conditions. This obligation would be limited to vaccines authorized in the EU, but Member States may accept other vaccines.

The digital green certificate will be valid in all EU Member States and can be used by Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. The digital green certificate should be issued to EU citizens and their family members, regardless of nationality. It should also be issued to third-country nationals residing in the EU and visitors entitled to travel to other Member States.


The digital green certificate system is a temporary measure. It will be suspended after the World Health Organization declares an end to the extraordinary public health threat caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the proposal to be ready before the summer, it needs to be adopted quickly by the European Parliament and the Council. At the same time, Member States must apply the reliability framework and technical standards agreed within the eHealth network to ensure the timely introduction of digital green certificates, interoperability, and full compliance with personal data protection. The goal is to complete the technical work and proposal in the coming months.

The certificates will be available free of charge and are expected to be implemented by the summer, i.e., from 1 June.

The Minister of Tourism and Sports, Nikolina Brnjac, stated that Croatia welcomes any document that will facilitate tourist movements through uniform and predictable rules.

"The EC today adopted an important proposal for a common framework for the recognition of certificates, which should facilitate free movement during the pandemic. As a tourist country, Croatia welcomes any document that will facilitate tourist movements through uniform and predictable rules. In the forthcoming discussions in the Council, which must agree on the final version of the document, we will advocate that the announced certificate in no form constitutes a restrictive factor for free movement and that it is not discriminatory. In parallel with the preparations for adopting this document at the EU level, the Government of the Republic of Croatia regularly coordinates positions regarding border crossing conditions, taking into account the epidemiological situation in the Republic of Croatia well as in the major markets. Facilitation is also being intensively discussed with the EU Member States as well as third countries," Brnjac said and emphasized that to ensure predictability for business entities in tourism, the Government will make a detailed decision on the conditions for entry of tourists into the Republic of Croatia, which will be in force at least until the establishment of a common European model.

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