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flag Croatia Croatia: Selling and Buying

In this page: Market Access Procedures | Reaching the Consumers | Distributing a Product | Organizing Goods Transport | Identifying a Supplier


Market Access Procedures

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls For Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
Main International Economic Cooperation
Slovenia is a member of the EU since July 1st, 2013 and as such is a member of the EU Customs Union. The Republic of Croatia has signed agreements on free trade with the countries of former Yugoslavia: Albania, Turkey, Moldova, and Macedonia.
Non Tariff Barriers
In order to integrate the WTO (entry: November, 2000), Croatia greatly liberalized its economy. For most goods, customs duties are nowadays the only protective measures. There are some exceptions, for instance, qualitative restriction measures as well as quotas authorised by the WTO rules (in case of a deficit in the balance of payments or in case of a strong threat to the local industry). These quotas (for farm products, above all) are assigned by open tendering. The import of certain goods needs a license, which is delivered by the Ministry of Economy. Finally, the import of second-hand motorcars being more than 7 years old is forbidden in Croatia.

In accordance with its European Union membership since July, 1st of 2013, Croatia applies the European Union trade policy such as antidumping or anti-subsidy measures.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Croatia is a member of the EU and fully accepts its foreign trade policy. Operations carried out within the EEA are free of duty. The Common Customs Tariff of the European Union applies to goods originating outside Europe. Generally the duty is relatively low, especially for industrial products (4.2% on average). Tariffs for EU origin can be found on TARIC Consultation Website.

Customs Classification
Croatia applies the Harmonized Customs System in line with the EU regulations.
Import Procedures
Since its accession to the EU on July, 1st of 2013, Croatia has adopted the EU Common External Tariff. Consequently, trade with Croatia is totally free from customs duties, provided that the country of origin of the goods is one of the other EU Member States.

As part of the "SAFE" standards advocated by the World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Union has set up a new system of import controls, the "Import Control System" (ICS), which aims to secure the flow of goods at the time of their entry into the customs territory of the EU. This control system, part of the Community Program eCustomer, has been in effect since January 1, 2011. Since then, operators are required to pass an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) to the customs of the country of entry, prior to the introduction of goods into the customs territory of the European Union.

A Croatian importer is responsible for providing the required import documentation, which consists of common trade, transport, and customs documents, as well as certificates required for quality control and licenses where appropriate. The single Administrative Document (SAD) that is used by EU and most other countries is the key customs document in Croatia as well.

Croatia is member of the CEFTA(Central European Free trade Association) and of WTO. It signed agreements of free trade with the countries of CEFTA and Turkey.

For Further Information
Croatian Customs Administration

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Reaching the Consumers

Marketing Opportunities

Consumer Behavior
In general, due to relative high households debts Croatian consumers are forced to be more and more price sensitive customers. Nevertheless, they like buying known and fashionable brands they know and trust even if they should not be in a position to buy them, especially in cosmetics, cloths and similar outlook accessories. Since they are very proud of their country, they respect also successful domestic brands as well as worldwide known brands that they perceive as bringing good quality for value ratio to them.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
The average Croatian consumer is burdened with relatively significant debts. That is why the buying indexes of goods went immediately down in terms of volumes in the past few years. In addition, the increase in food prices and energy and inflation hit Croatian market. The social segmentation of the population is ongoing considerably according to the research data revealing that almost 90% of households claim their financial situation is not any better or is even worse today than it was in 2009. By categories, the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased 2.7% year-on-year, while clothing and footwear prices grew by an average of 2.1%.
Consumers Associations
Potrosac , List of non-governmental organizations and associations for consumer protection
List of consumer protection counseling centers
Croatian Association for Consumer Protection , in Croatian only
Union for Consumer Protection , in Croatian only
Consumer Protection Department , Ministry of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship
National Consumer Protection Council
Main Advertising Agencies
Premisa Communications Management is Croatia's largest company specializing in public relations.
Full service marketing agency
Independent marketing agency
Brand management and creative marketing agency (in Croatian)
Media buying and strategy planning marketing agency
Internet advertising solutions

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Distributing a Product

Market Shares
Retailers still prevail in the Croatian distribution landscape, there are more than 40,000 of them (mainly owned by independent individuals). However, an internationalization and concentration tendency more and more occurs in the sector these last years with the development of shopping centers, department stores and the establishment of international chains of hypermarkets. The distribution sector contributes to 10.9% of Croatia's GDP.
Organizations in the Retail Sector
Wholesale trade association at the Croatian Employer Association (in Croatian only)

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Organizing Goods Transport

Main Useful Means of Transport
Approx. half of all transported goods in Croatia is done by roads. Since Croatia is a maritime country the second largest fraction of goods is transported by sea (almost 30% of all transported goods). The rest of approx. 20% of transported goods is more or less equally divided by railway and pipelines.

The transport share of GDP is 8.3% and in total employment around 7.3%.

Port of Rijeka
Port of Ploce
Zagreb airport
Split airport
Pula airport
Rijeka airport
Dubrovnik airport
Sea Transport Organizations
Directorate for Maritime Traffic, Maritime Domain and Ports
Air Transport Organizations
Croatian civil aviation Agency
Directorate for Air Traffic at the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure
Road Transport Organizations
 Directorate for Road Traffic at the Ministry of the Sea, Traffic and Infrastructure
Rail Transport Organizations
Directorate for Railway Traffic at the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure

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Identifying a Supplier

Type of Production
The industrial sector contributes approximately 20% of GDP. Manufacturing employs nearly 25% of the workforce. In terms of the value added, leaders are manufacturing of food and beverages, electricity, gas and water supply; manufacturing of chemicals and chemical products; refined petroleum products and fabricated metal products. Traditionally, Croatia is also strong in shipbuilding, construction industry and tobacco products.

Business Directories

Multi-sector Directories
Wer liefert was? - Leading supplier search engine in B2B: manufacturers, service providers and distributors in Croatia.
Biznet - Croatia's official directory of companies.
BizNet - Directory of companies in Croatia.
CroatiaBiz - Croatia's business directory.
Manufacturers Associations of the Main Industries
2 professional associations listed for Croatia.
Trade Agencies and Their Representations Abroad
Croatian Chamber of Economy
Enterprises Federation
Croatian association of Employers (in Croatian only)

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Last Updates: February 2015