Monday, 24 January 2022

Pasman Island to Receive 164,500 Kuna for Traffic Safety Enhancement

January the 24th, 2022 - Pasman island which lies among several others in Zadar County is set to receive a generous amount to be spent on the enhancement of traffic safety.

As Morski writes, back in September last year, the working group in charge of implementing the National Road Safety Plan of the Republic of Croatia for the period from 2021 to 2030 published a call/invitation for applications for projects in the field of road safety in Croatia.

Out of over 200 registered projects for 2021 and 2022, about 70 were selected, and one of them is the project of the Municipality of Pasman - The installation of new vertical signs and equipment in Dobropoljana, which will be co-financed by the Ministry of Interior (MUP) in the amount of 164,500 kuna, while the total value of the project stands at 235,000 kuna, as was explained from Pasman island.

The Mayor of Pasman, Kresimir Cosic, stated that this is the third tender of the Ministry of the Interior in which a project from Pasman island has been accepted.

''We're constantly working on road safety in the area of ​​our municipality, so this is the third time we've managed to pass a tender from the Ministry of the Interior for the reconstruction of potentially dangerous places in terms of traffic. We participated for the first time back in 2018 when we received funding for the calm traffic zone on the part of the D110 state road in Nevidjani near the Vladimir Nazor Elementary School. Then, back in 2020, we received 172,000 kuna from another tender from the Ministry of the Interior for the installation of traffic lights from the main entrance to the centre of Pasman,'' said Cosic.

The municipality applied for this project due to the need to increase traffic safety in the zone of the kindergarten positioned along the LC 63 136 local road that connects the D110 state road with the centre of the settlement positioned there. There are no pedestrian paths along this road, meaning that parents and their children need to walk along the pavement to the kindergarten, and since the pavement is sloping down towards the sea, drivers passing can easily further endanger overall pedestrian safety.

An agreement between the competent services of the Ministry of the Interior and the Municipality of Pasman will soon be drafted and signed, on the basis of which the project will be co-financed.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 31 December 2021

Lost Your Croatian Driving License or License Plate? Here's What To Do

December the 31st, 2021 - If you've lost your Croatian driving license, or any other document that it is necessary to have here, you'll know the headache involved in a country which just loves lines and paperwork. What about if you've lost your actual license plate from your car? Here's what you need to do in either situation, made clear.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to the official instructions issued by the Ministry of the Interior (MUP), the loss or disappearance (and discovery) of a Croatian driving license issued either here in Croatia or in another country in the European Economic Area needs to be reported, without delay, to the nearest administrative police station. A request for the issuance of a new Croatian driving license should then be submitted at the same place.

The request can be submitted at any time, as there is no deadline for obtaining a new document of this type. The application form will be printed out by the clerk at the counter, and the applicant must then confirm the accuracy of all of the printed data with their signature placed on the form, writes HAK.

The applicant for a new Croatian driving license must enclose the following:

If the original Croatian driving license was issued in another EEA member state, proof from the competent authority of the issuing country that the person was issued a driving license from their national authorities must be enclosed.

One photograph measuring 35 × 45 mm. It is not necessary to attach a photo if the applicant has been issued (within the last five years) a biometric passport, an electronic identity card, an identity card containing their OIB or if they had a Croatian driving license (or one from the EEA) issued since the 4th of September 2017, for the publication of which a photograph was already attached, and the appearance of the person hasn't significantly changed.

Proof of payment of the administrative fee in the amount of 151 kuna. Payment can be made via payment slip or via internet banking. Under the description of the payment, it is necessary to state ''state administrative fees/drzavne upravne pristojbe'' and the payment should be made to the IBAN of the state budget, which is as follows: HR1210010051863000160, model HR64, reference number 5002-713-OIB.

Please note that any administrative fees in the amount of up to 100 kuna can be paid in state notaries.

Proof of payment of 151 kuna (regular procedure), 200 kuna (accelerated procedure) or 450 kuna (urgent procedure) for a Croatian driving license issuance form via a payment slip issued at the administrative police station, general payment slip or via internet banking, to the IBAN of the state budget: HR1210010051863000160, model HR65, reference number 7005-477-OIB.

With regard to registration/license/number plates, the owner of the vehicle is also obliged to report their disappearance, without delay, to the police. The fine for failing to do so is 300 kuna. They will then be provided with a police certificate which will remain valid for a period of 30 days, and when applying, people need to bring the following:

Proof of the vehicle in question's ownership
A valid ID card

A new license plate can be requested the next day at the vehicle inspection station. The police have also warned that if one plate is missing from the car, it is usually a loss, but if both are missing, they've probably been stolen, which is a criminal offense.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Import of Foreign Workers Hampered by Croatian Bureaucracy

November the 16th, 2021 - The import of foreign labour from outside the EEA into Croatia, typically from neighbouring countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, is proving cumbersome with the infamously slow and arduous Croatian bureaucracy.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Dario Knezevic writes, with the stil impaired liquidity due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, ''getting the staff'' and having a qualified workforce is still the biggest problem of the Croatian hospitality and catering industry, especially since wages in the sector are still low and workers prefer to choose other occupations or instead opt for emigration.

Importing workers is currently an inevitable solution as the situation grows more tense, but there are a lot of problems in this regard as well, because there is a long procedure for obtaining work permits for foreigners and Croatian bureaucracy is still running at a snail's pace, hampered by draconian laws and what often seem to be senseless rules.

The sector is still plagued by high tax burdens, and the biggest problems are being faced cafes and nightclubs who suffered tremendously during lockdowns, warned participants in the Zagreb Caterers' Forum, held on Friday and organised by the Zagreb Caterers' Association and the Independent Caterers' Association.

Cafes are on the brink of survival

"Coffee bars and nightclubs have had and continue to have a very hard time surviving, when they have little or no traffic, restaurants are doing a little better because they haven't been closed for as long as bars and clubs were, and their traffic drop is around 30 percent when compared to 2019. If we fail to make more money during the advent season, we will have a very harsh winter and the number of 1,100 closed restaurants in Zagreb could increase in relation to the very beginning of the pandemic,'' warned Zakline Troskot, president of the Independent Association of Caterers.

Officially, three requests were sent from the Forum of Caterers to the City of Zagreb. They're looking for resolutions to the problem of being allowed to operate as normal in open spaces and on outdoor terraces. They are also seeking the lowering the coefficient of utility fees for these companies from 10 down to 7, as well as more involvement from representatives of those in the hospitality and catering sector when it comes to decision-making.

They want the state to reintroduce economic assistance measures to keep jobs and reimburse fixed costs, speed up the tragic state of Croatian bureaucracy, ie the process of issuing work permits for non-EU foreigners and further tax relief, in order to ensure higher incomes of employees working in the hospitality sector.

Namely, with the exception of large employers, wages in tourism and catering are still low, and many employers don't have room for raises due to the coronavirus pandemic, and workers are leaving en masse. Quality foreign workers aren't easy to come by either.

As it has been shown that workers from neighbouring countries manage and fit in much better among foreign workers than from distant cultures, the emphasis is on the search for workers in Croatia's immediate region, but the issue is that these European countries are not EEA/EU member states. This means that the paperwork and red rape is even more of a hassle for would-be employers.

The president of the Croatian Tourism Union, Eduard Andric, revealed that his union is negotiating with the Macedonian union, in order to bring Macedonian seasonal workers in an organised manner with less paperwork and fuss. According to current interest, there are about 5,000 to 10,000 of them.

At the same time, the Macedonians are willing and interested in their employers to give them some preparatory training, whether someone comes to them or they come to Croatia a little earlier for some training.

''Because as much as Macedonians are willing to work, we've had situations where they didn't know things like the names of certain drinks, the names of certain dishes, and we'd have to really educate them to make it better,'' pointed out Andric, adding that workers from that country are more desirable to work in Croatia than, for example, Filipinos, as their culture and language are closer, and communication is therefore far easier.

He revealed that they are also talking to Slovenes about a model to employ their workers in this country during the summer, and for them to go to Slovenia in the winter, which has more developed winter tourism. And this will be worked on in cooperation with the Slovenian trade union.

For more, follow our business section.

Sunday, 24 October 2021

Dubrovnik Police Donate Mandarins to Central Croatian Colleagues

October the 24th, 2021 - Dubrovnik police have shown that their Central Croatian colleagues haven't been forgotten as they donate over one tonne of mandarins from this southern Dalmatian area, more precisely the Neretva Valley, to the Petrinja and Glina police forces.

Central Croatia has had an extremely difficult time over the last year since the devastating earthquake struck Petrinja back at the very end of December last year. The area has far from recovered from that horrendous natural disaster and the authorities there have been working hard than ever before as a result.

As Morski writes, almost ten whole months have passed since the devastating earthquake that hit Sisak-Moslavina County at the end of last year, and Dubrovnik police officers have offered a small but extremely thoughtful gesture in the form of much-loved southern Dalmatian fruit.

Together with the Chief of the Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Administration Ivan Pavlicevic, the Deputy Chief of the Police Administration Miro Bajo, as well as police officers from the Neretva Valley from which this fruit was sourced, they delivered mandarins for all employees of the Petrinja and Glina police stations in a simple act of kindness and solidarity.

The aforementioned citrus gift is a sign of togetherness and friendship towards all police officers and employees of the aforementioned police stations, who suffered the most in the earthquake of December 2020. On October the 21st, the mandarins were handed over to the Petrinja police station in person by the Deputy Chief of the Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Administration, Miro Bajo.

For more, make sure to check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 17 September 2021

MUP Confirms: Visa-Free Travel for Croatians to USA Possible by End of 2021

September 17, 2021 - MUP confirms that visa-free travel for Croatians to the USA should be possible by the end of the year.

A decision on Croatia's entry into the US Visa Waiver Program should be made by the end of the US fiscal year, while Croatian citizens could travel to the US without visas by the end of this year, the Ministry of the Interior reported on Index.hr.

Interior Minister Davor Božinović met with US representatives on an evaluation visit to Croatia from September 12 to 18 to enter the US Visa Waiver Program.

Božinović pointed out that this evaluation visit, despite the coronavirus pandemic, is a critical moment in Croatia's accession to the Visa Waiver Program and expressed satisfaction with the intensive cooperation over the past years, which significantly helped Croatia reach this advanced stage of the accession process.

The Croatian government is committed to meeting all political, legal, and security preconditions for accession. These preconditions, among other things, included reducing the rate of rejected visa applications to a minimum and creating conditions for better cooperation in law enforcement between the two countries, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

They add that the intensification of interstate and interdepartmental cooperation has led to the fact that in May 2019, Croatia submitted answers on 176 pages. After verifying the submitted answers, which indisputably show significant progress of Croatia in meeting the security requirements, significant efforts have been made to lower the level of rejected visa applications.

The rate of rejected visa applications was lowered below three percent in 2020, which the State Department officially confirmed on February 16, 2021. Meeting that condition has been a major challenge for years.

In the process of joining the Visa Waiver Program, several security requirements also had to be met, with the Department of the Interior working intensively with the US Department of Homeland Security for the past four years.

Most of the security conditions were related to strengthening the capacity and providing technical conditions for collecting and analyzing biometric data of passengers entering Croatia, security of travel documents, strengthening the capacity to fight terrorism, exchanging information on foreign terrorist fighters, and a range of other relevant security information with the relevant U.S. services, primarily those in the Department of Homeland Security, and then the FBI, the Terrorist Surveillance Center, and the DEA.

Minister Božinović reminded that during this process, Croatia and the USA concluded important international agreements and arrangements aimed at improving security and data exchange between the two countries while at the same time working on building the highest security standards.

A pre-evaluation visit by a delegation from the Ministry of Homeland Security to Croatia was held earlier this year, from June 14 to 18. A draft report submitted to the State Department by the US Department of Homeland Security following a visit was followed by a formal invitation from US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to include Croatia in the program, one of the last steps before a formal visa waiver decision.

Minister Božinović emphasized that the Government of the Republic of Croatia was also working on Croatia's accession to Schengen and that all preconditions had been met in that field.

"Croatia is determined not only to meet all the requirements for access to the visa waiver program but also to maintain compliance with these requirements. This determination stems from our deep conviction that this compliance will further improve cooperation between Croatian and US authorities and increase the security of our citizens," said Božinović.

As part of the evaluation, from September 12 to 18, the US delegation visited, among others, the Port of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Airport, the Karasovići and Bregana border crossings, and the Ježevo Reception Center for Foreigners.

Following this week's evaluation visit, the US Department of Homeland Security will submit to the State Department a final report on meeting all the necessary conditions and a proposal for a final decision on Croatia's accession to the US Visa Waiver Program.

The members of the American delegation clearly underlined that due to the seen readiness and equipment of the Croatian police, their earlier optimism for fulfilling the conditions turned into satisfaction, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

Accordingly, the US expects that the decision on Croatia's entry into the US Visa Waiver Program should be made by the end of the US fiscal year, more precisely by September 30, 2021, while Croatian citizens could travel visa-free to the US by the end of this year. 

For more, check out our dedicated travel section.

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Drivers, Beware! Croatian Police Begin Using New, Modern Application

September the 9th, 2021 - Croatian road users have yet another reason to watch out while driving as the Croatian police begin using a brand new, modern app which allows them to see if you've committed any offences in the Republic of Croatia, even if you're driving a vehicle that is registered outside of the European Union's borders.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, As of 31st of August, 2021, the Croatian police situated at the country's borders are stepping up their game in terms of the use of new technology and monitoring. It no longer matters where your car is registered or what you might have done, they'll know about it, and you'll no longer be able to escape any fines.

''In continuation of the comprehensive project of the modernisation and digitalisation for the traffic police, Croatian police officers began working with a new application.

With the help of this application, they have an insight into the records of vehicles with foreign registration plates from countries which lie outside of the territory of the European Union (EU), with which drivers have committed a traffic offense while driving in the Republic of Croatia.

During the process undertaken while at border control, the Croatian police officers will determine who the owner of the vehicle is, regardless of where it is registered, and process any traffic violations through the aforementioned application,'' the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) recently announced.

According to a report from Vecernji list, upon arrival at the border crossing, Croatian police officers will deal with the perpetrators of misdemeanors who don't have their permanent residence address registered in the Republic of Croatia, but still have unpaid fines for the committed misdemeanors, through the application.

For more, make sure to check out our lifestyle section.

For all you need to know about driving in Croatia, as well as tips, ferry connections and laws you might be unfamiliar with, have a look at our dedicated section.

Thursday, 5 August 2021

Zarko Katic Discusses New Croatian ID Cards, Driving License Integration

August the 5th, 2021 - There are some big changes coming to Croatian national ID cards, with new biometric tech and the ability to do much more using just them and not other documents on the horizon. Croatian driving licenses will also eventually be integrated into these new ID cards according to State Secretary Zarko Katic, making life even easier, hopefully.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, State Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) Zarko Katic spoke live about the new ID cards and just what they'll be able to offer their holders for N1 Studio.

On the first day of their announcement, over 7,200 applications for new second-generation ID cards were submitted, almost twice as many as are normally submitted to MUP for approval on a daily basis.

''There's a thirty day wait for the new ID cards, when done and paid for in an accelerated procedure, the wait is ten days, and if the application is done in an urgent procedure, then the wait is three days. In Zagreb in that final case, the cards are done and provided on the same day. In that case, personal ID cards are a bit more expensive,'' explained Zarko Katic.

As of 11:30 yesterday morning, 8,500 requests for a new ID card had been received by MUP.

Just how Croatian driving licenses will be integrated into this new card is prescribed by an EU directive, and until the directive is changed, a driver's license cannot be integrated into an identity card, Zarko Katic added.

The application process is entirely protected, and identity theft isn't possible, he pointed out and added: ''ID cards and passports are protected by the highest measures. The possibility of counterfeiting is not only not minimal, I would say it's impossible.''

Who needs to get a new ID card?

Zarko Karic reminded once again that citizens aren't obliged to change their ID card if their current one hasn't expired yet. Nor do they need to get one if their current one isn't damaged or of the holder hasn't changed their personal data.

"Only those who need a new one now should come and get one,'' he said.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Friday, 16 July 2021

Croatian Interior Ministry Purchasing 500 New Vehicles for 75 Million HRK

July the 16th, 2021 - The Croatian Interior Ministry (MUP) is set to procure some brand new vehicles, as many as 500 of them, for the huge price tag of 75 million kuna.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian Interior Ministry will procure the aforementioned vehicles through an operating lease lasting four years. According to a report from Vecernji list, the estimated value of this purchase stands at a massive 75.2 million kuna, and that amount doesn't include VAT, so it isn't the final price.

For this move, the bidders are required to deliver new, unused vehicles and the Croatian Interior Ministry will primarily look at nine criteria when choosing the models. The first is the price, which carries 50 out of 100 points in this tender. Carbon dioxide emissions and engine power carry from two to ten points, and the authorised service network in the Republic of Croatia carries 20 points.

Support for keeping the vehicle in the lane, heating for the front seats, a factory tinted rear side and rear window of the vehicle, LED front headlights and the driver's and front passenger's seat boasting spine/back support carry two points in the tender.

The new police vehicles must also have a wealth of mandatory equipment: power steering adjustable in height and depth, an ABS anti-lock braking system, an electronic vehicle stability system (ESP) and Front Assist, or an automatic braking system in the event of a collision with a pedestrian or obstacle in front of the vehicle, airbags for the driver and front passenger, air conditioning, central locking and other equipment that is serially installed in new vehicles.

New vehicles are also being procured through financial leasing by the Ministry of Justice and Administration. For 5.6 million kuna without VAT, that ministry is looking for 10 vans and 12 caravans for the transport of persons deprived of their liberty. The van must have nine seats and the caravan must have five seats.

Both ministries are looking for diesel engines.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Friday, 16 July 2021

Croatian National ID Cards to Cost More, Adults and Kids Equated

July the 16th, 2021 - Croatian national ID cards are set to have their prices bumped up, with both adults and children needing to pay more for these mandatory documents.

As if waiting and watching the clock tick in long lines in airless rooms at MUP offices only to be told you're missing one piece of paper wasn't quite exciting enough, you'll now have to pay more for the pleasure of it.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to the new Ordinance on this matter, obtaining new electronic Croatian national ID cards will cost 100 kuna for all those who take one out for the first time or need to replace them due to loss or the card having reached its expiration date.

The only excluded category of Croatian citizens are those older than 70 who don't want an identity card with a certificate, and they will have to pay 70 kuna for their new Croatian national ID cards, which is 20.50 kuna more than it was before, according to a report from Slobodna Dalmacija.

Unlike the ''old'' Ordinance regarding this, which took into consideration the category of children under five years of age, whose parents paid an 60 kuna for Croatian national ID cards, under this new Ordinance, children have been equated with adults.

This means that everyone will now need to pay a single fee of 100 kuna (so far, most citizens have paid 79.50 kuna for their e-ID cards, children under five had to pay 60 kuna, and those older than 65 had to pay 49.50 kuna).

Now, for children up to the age of five, obtaining Croatian national ID cards will increase by 40 kuna, while adults fared a little better because they will now have to pay just 20.50 kuna more for their own ID cards.

All in all, the new rules on these mandatory documents means that the new price of Croatian national ID cards will be mostly felt by the pockets of parents who want to obtain documents for their children.

For more, follow our dedicated lifestyle section.

Friday, 18 June 2021

Croatian Car Registration Plates Can Now be Ordered in Urgent Procedure

June the 18th, 2021 - Croatian car registration plates can now be ordered in an urgent procedure, just like people can do with various other documents issued by MUP such as passports and personal ID cards.

There's nothing quite like booking a flight and then realising there isn't enough time on your passport, or that it has expired entirely. While you should never let that happen in the first place, it sometimes does. MUP has an urgent procedure in which a new Croatian passport can be issued rapidly, and the same can now be done with license plates.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, if you're in a bit of a hurry and the time limit in which you want to get your new Croatian car registration plate is important to you, and you are willing to pay extra for the pleasure of getting your hands on it more quickly, you can do so from now on - within 48 or 96 hours of a proper application being made and submitted.

On the 17th of June 2021, the decision which will allow for the faster application process for license plates will enter into force, which will enable Croatian vehicle owners to order and have their new Croatian car registration plates ordered in an urgent procedure.

This applies to all types of registration plates - those with a predefined numerical and alphanumeric plate, optional registration plates, registration plates for oldtimers, registration plates for vehicles of diplomatic and consular missions and additional plates.

The time of delivery of the new registration plates depends on the place where a person submitted their request for the urgent procedure to take place, since the registration plates, when made, must then of course be delivered to their destination somewhere in Croatia, depending on the place of ordering.

If a person submits their request at the vehicle technical inspection station in the City of Zagreb, the delivery time is a mere 48 hours, or 96 hours from the submission of a proper request at the vehicle technical inspection station outside of the City of Zagreb.

For more, follow our dedicated lifestyle section.

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