cee legislation tracker: croatia

30 October 2020 | newsletters

Status as on 30/10 3pm CET

Table of contents

Note: recently updated content is highlighted in grey 

1 Financial Support Measures

1.1 Possibility of moratorium on bank loans

  • Corporate and other entities and natural persons affected by the COVID-19 crisis may apply for three to six months moratorium on bank loans, depending on the type of their loan.
  • Contractual interest continues to accrue during moratorium (but also suspended).

1.2. HBOR COVID 19 measures

  • In order to mitigate the adverse impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, HBOR implemented new measures aimed at maintaining the level of economic activity, keeping the liquidity of economic operators stable and, most importantly, preserving jobs.
  • Entrepreneurs are able to use a moratorium and reschedule their existing loan obligations towards HBOR and are offered new liquidity loans at favourable terms and conditions in cooperation with commercial banks or directly.
  • To facilitate the approval of liquidity loans at favourable terms and conditions in cooperation with commercial banks and to speed up the recovery of as many entrepreneurs as possible whose operations have been adversely affected by the COVID-19, insurance of exporters’ liquidity loan portfolio has been introduced for loans intended for exporters, indirect exporters and tourism industry.
  • Loans for small, medium and large entrepreneurs in the industry of wood processing and furniture production that generate at least 20% of operating revenues in foreign or international markets and are rated by Croatian Financial Agency (FINA) as clients whose business is at risk and there is a need for additional funding
  • Loans for working capital in rural development
  • Loans for working capital for tourism industry
    (find more about measures here)

1.3. Support in agricultural sector

25/06 Government of the Republic of Croatia adopted two intervention measures to assist the wine sector:

  • Wine distillation in crisis through which it is possible to grant support to the wine producer for wine delivered for distillation to an approved distiller. The quota of wine for distillation for which the aid will be granted is 6,500,000 liters, and the total amount of aid secured is HRK 38.3 million.
  • State aid for crisis storage of wine - stimulates wine producers not to put their wine stocks on the market for a certain period of time, which reduces supply and maintains the price. The quota of wine for storage for which the aid will be granted is 2,770,000 liters, and the total amount of aid secured is HRK 5 million.

 

2 Capital Markets

n/a

3 Employment

3.1 Measures for Retention of Employees

  • 23/10 Financial support for shortening of working hours for employees increased from 50% up to 70%, i.e. support per employee amounts to nett HRK 2,800 (Approx. EUR 380).

  • 23/10 Financial support for preserving jobs have been extended to all employers and micro-employers whose work has been restricted by the decision of the Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters regardless of their business activity. The measure introduces an increase in support in line with the fall in turnover, i.e. the employer will receive support of HRK 2,000 (approx. EUR 270) per worker for a drop in turnover of at least 40%, support of HRK 2,500 (approx. EUR 340) for a drop in turnover of 45 to 50%, and HRK 3,000 (approx. EUR 400) per worker for a drop in turnover of 50 to 55%. The decline in turnover will no longer be measured on a monthly basis, instead the decline in turnover in the second and third quarters will be compared with the turnover in those same quarters of 2019. Also, employers are exempted from paying contributions to these amounts (find more about the measures here - link).

  • 11/09 Financial support for micro-employers, employing 9 or less employees in the amount of up to HRK 2,000 (Approx. EUR 270) per employee per month, from September to December 2020. Employers eligible for support - who have registered in the CES system by 29 February 2020. -  (find more about support here)
  • 11/09 Financial support for preserving jobs in coronavirus-affected sectors, in the amount of up to HRK 4,000 (Approx. EUR 540) and up to HRK 250 (approx. EUR 30) for coverage of pension contributions per employee per month, from September to December 2020.
  • New: Support extended to employers whose work was restricted by the decision of the Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters and which have suffered decrease in revenue of 60% and more. Employers must submit proof of payment of the salary to the Croatian Employment Institute by the prescribed deadlines. Employers eligible for support - who have registered in the CES system by 29 February 2020. Employers benefiting from support prohibited from paying out dividends until 31 December 2021. (find more about support here)
  • 30/07 Financial support for preserving jobs in sheltered workshops, integrative workshops and work units for the employment of persons with disabilities affected by coronavirus and with decrease in revenues of at least 50% in the month in which the support will be used. Financial support is ensured in the amount of up to HRK 4,000 (Approx. EUR 530) per employees employed by the 30 June 2020 (find more about support here).
  • 30/07 Financial support for micro-employers, employing 9 or less employees in the amount of up to HRK 2,000 (Approx. EUR 270) per employee per month, for the month of August (find more about support here)
  • 30/07 Financial support for preserving jobs in coronavirus-affected sectors, in the amount of up to HRK 4,000 (Approx. EUR 540) per employee per month, for the month of July and August (find more about support here)
  • 29/06 Financial support for preserving jobs in coronavirus-affected sectors in the amount of up to HRK 2,000 (Approx. EUR 270) per employee per month for the month of July 2020 relating to micro-entrepreneurs employing up to 10 employees (find more about support here). Support will not be granted for employees employed after 30/06, irrespective of the reason for their employment.
  • 29/06 Shortening of working hours – financial support in the amount of up to HRK 2,000 (Approx. EUR 270) for the period from June to December 2020 (find more about support here)
  • Conditions for support: Decrease in revenue of 20% or more in the month in which the support will be used. Employers eligible for support - who employ 10 to 50 employees (for at least 20% of employees working hours must be shortened) / who employ more than 50 employees (for at least 10% of employees working hours must be shortened). Employers benefiting from support prohibited from paying out dividends for the period of 29 May 2020 until 31 December 2021
  • 29/06 Croatian Employment Service (CES) repealed the "Resolution on temporary suspension of part of the active employment policy programme - Implementation of measures in scope of the active employment policy programme continues after being suspended in response to the COVID 19 crisis.
  • 25/06 Financial support for preserving jobs in coronavirus-affected sectors, in the amount of up to HRK 4,000 (Approx. EUR 540) per employee per month, for the month of June (find more about support here)
  • New: Extended list of permitted activities, condition for support - decrease in revenue more than 50% in May 2020 (compared to May 2019). Employers eligible for support - who have registered in the CES system by 29 February 2020. Employers benefiting from support prohibited from paying out dividends for the period of 29 May 2020 until 31 December 2021
  • 16/06 The European Commission has adopted a decision extending the transitional period during which EU citizens cannot acquire ownership of agricultural land in Croatia.
  • 02/04 The amount of financial support has been increased up to HRK 4,000 (Approx. EUR 540) for months April and May in 2020. Employers using the support shall be released of the duty to pay contributions to the salaries.
  • Financial support for preserving jobs in coronavirus-affected sectors, in the amount of up to HRK 3,250 (Approx. EUR 440) per employee per month, for max period of three months from the beginning of March.
  • Ensuring payment of minimum wage for persons with disabilities for the purpose of their retention in employment.
  • Delay of payment of financial compensation for all employers subject to a quota for employment of persons with disabilities.
  • Enabling the EU funding beneficiaries to suspend or delay project implementation, delay of repayment of funds, and to acknowledge the reduced realization of planned indicators on projects due to objective new circumstances.

See here for our CEE overview of labour-related measures to combat COVID-19 pandemics.

3.2 Residence permits for third countries citizens

  • 30/04 A third-country citizens to whom a temporary residence permits have been issued, do not have to apply for a new residence permit during the COVID-19 epidemic and at the latest 30 days after the declaration of the cessation of an epidemic.

3.3 Employer's obligations

  • 27/05 Employers are obliged to prohibit the employees having fever, dry cough and difficulties with breathing from coming to work.

4 Real Estate

4.1 Obligations

  • Extension for concession fees payment on tourist land in camps co-owned by the Republic of Croatia until 30 November 2020.

5 Tax & Duties

5.1 General

07/04

  • Newest amendments introduce the possibility of writing off tax obligations for taxpayers whose businesses have been ordered to close by the authorities or whose business activities have been made impossible or significantly hindered due to extraordinary circumstances.
  • Taxpayers who are using aids for the preservation of workplaces are going to be exempt of the obligation to pay public contributions.
  • Greater flexibility in prescribing deadlines, the payment of VAT on imported goods and donations, enforcement measures, interest and other procedural provisions.

25/03

  • If extraordinary circumstances affect the ability to settle tax obligations (both for companies and individuals), (i) the maturity of tax obligations may be deferred; and/or (ii) the payment of tax obligations in instalments may be agreed. No interest will accrue during the time of the deferral.

5.2 Income Tax

  • Process of paying out tax returns to taxpayers is sped up.
  • Payments received to decrease the impact of extraordinary circumstances shall not be considered as income from independent business activities (and are therefore not taxable).

5.3 Corporate Tax

  • The basis for calculating corporate tax shall not include aid received as a measure to decrease the adverse effects of extraordinary circumstances.

5.4 Utility charges

  • Possibility for representative bodies of the local self-government to decide to exempt entities from the obligation to pay public utility charges during the period of extraordinary circumstances. Among others, the city of Zagreb has enacted this measure.

6 Corporate

6.1 08/04: Deadlines

  • The annual financial statements may be delivered to the Croatian Financial Agency at the latest 8 months after the closure of the company's financial year, whereas consolidated financial statements may be delivered at the latest 10 months after the closure of the company's financial year. The aforementioned deadlines apply to foreign branches as well, unless otherwise prescribed by the laws applicable to the branch parent companies.
  • The deadline for inactive companies to declare to the Croatian Financial Agency that they have not carried out activity for the reported period 2019 is extended to 30/06.
  • Parent companies are required to report the consolidation obligation to the Register of Annual Financial Statements by 30/06 at the latest.

6.2 25/03 General meetings

  • Virtual shareholder and board meetings and other forms of decision-making (e.g. written votes) have been recommended.
  • All unnecessary physical meetings should be rescheduled whereas meetings of more than 40 people at one place are forbidden.

7 Competition

7.1 Deadlines

  • No impact on review deadlines of the Competition Authority.

7.2 Hearings & Meetings

  • 11/05 Competition Authority continues with regular work and is open for public.
  • Competition Authority only accepts e-mail and post filings. All meetings cancelled until 30 April 2020.
  • Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union postponed until 15 April 2020.

8 Courts

8.1 Administrative

Procedural law / deadlines

  • Pending deadlines are only interrupted on a case by case basis, based on a decision of a respective judge.  

Court hearings

  • Apart from by audiovisual means, oral hearings etc. may only be conducted if absolutely necessary until further notice.

Service of Documents

  • 11/05 Personal delivery of documents directly to the court desks is no longer suspended.
  • Delivery is possible by post, by e-mail or official e-communication. Until further notice, personal delivery of all documents directly to the court desks is suspended.

8.2 Criminal

Procedural law / deadlines

  • Pending deadlines are only interrupted on a case by case basis, based on a decision of a respective judge.

Court hearings

  • Apart from by audiovisual means, oral hearings etc. may only be conducted if absolutely necessary until further notice.

Service of Documents

  • 11/05 Personal delivery of documents directly to the court desks is no longer suspended.
  • Delivery is possible by post, by e-mail or official e-communication. Until further notice, personal delivery of all documents directly to the court desks is suspended.

8.3 Civil

Procedural law / deadlines

  • 15/04 suspension of the enforcement over bank accounts and suspension of the accrual of statutory interest on those claims for the period of three months as of entering of the act in force. During the period of suspension, the creditors may file a request for direct enforcement over bank accounts. The request will be registered, but the money will not be seized by the banks.
  • Pending deadlines are only interrupted on a case by case basis, based on a decision of a respective judge.  

Court hearings

  • Apart from by audiovisual means, oral hearings etc. may only be conducted if absolutely necessary until further notice.

Service of Documents

  • 11/05 Personal delivery of documents directly to the court desks is no longer suspended.
  • Delivery is possible by post, by e-mail or official e-communication. Until further notice, personal delivery of all documents directly to the court desks is suspended.

9 Healthcare

9.1 Possibility of limitations on trade in the foodstuffs, farming and forestry sectors

  • Legislative basis for imposing limitations on trade with foodstuffs (e.g. import / export restrictions, maximum price setting) if there is shortage of supply due to epidemic.
  • Similar measures for certain other products (e.g. pharmaceutical, medicinal, healthcare products).
  • 30/04 Retail price of the face protection masks limited to max. HRK 12 (Approx. EUR 1,6)

9.2 Reorganization of Work in Healthcare System and Medical Service and Transport

  • Medical doctors, specialists for epidemiology employed within the health care network of the Republic of Croatia need to be kept in permanent readiness, regardless of place of work and employer.
  • Measure of special organization of emergency medical service and medical transport is introduced during the declared COVID-19 pandemic.

10 Insolvency

10.1 Support measures

18/10

The moratorium on enforcement and bankruptcy procedures has ended; Croatian Financial Agency (FINA) shall continue the enforcement procedures which were standstill as well as initiate new procedures based on requests received during the special circumstances. The enforcement procedures shall be conducted in three phases: Phase 1 on 19 October 2020, Phase 2 on 20 November 2020 and Phase 3 on 20 January 2021.

19/10

Croatian Pension Insurance Fund has announced activation of all enforcement procedures over pensions that were standstill (find more here - link)

06/04

  • Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovations and Investments (HAMAG-BICRO) financing micro, small and medium-sized small business entities which provided evidence that coronavirus had a negative impact on their business. Loan amounts up to HRK 750,000, maximum repayment term up to 5 years (including the grace period), interest rate 0,25%, no processing fee.
  • Temporary suspension of certain obligations under Fiscal Responsibility Act.

25/03

  • Interest rate for ESIF micro and small loans lowered from 0.5% - 1.5% to 0.1% - 0.5%
  • Maximum availability period of ESIF guarantees prolonged until 31 December 2023.
  • Temporary suspension of membership payment obligation to Croatian Chamber of Commerce for all establishments affected by the suspension of their work measure.
  • Suspension of tourist fee payments for persons providing catering services in their households or in their family agriculture.

10.2 Insolvency

30/04

  • Bankruptcy reasons arising during special circumstances shall not be deemed a prerequisite for filing a motion for opening of an insolvency proceedings, save for the protection of the interests and safety of the Republic of Croatia, nature, the human environment and human health, in which instances a motion may be filed by a debtor or the Croatian Financial Agency.

11 Insurance

11.1 Ban from paying dividends

Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency (HANFA) prohibited insurance companies and the Raiffeisen Pension Insurance Company, from paying dividends from profits made, until 30 April 2021

12 Intellectual Property

n/a

13 Telecom & Data Protection

13.1 Telecoms

  • N/A

13.2 Data Protection

  • N/A

14 Other

14.1 Traveling to Croatia

  • 09/07 Cruise ships with more than 200 passengers are prohibited from entering ports in Croatia.
  • 01/07 Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters enacted the Resolution on Temporary Prohibition of Crossing the Border of the Republic of Croatia (effective until 15th of July 2020) - temporary prohibition on entering into Croatia except for EU Member States nationals of and members of their families, as well as third-country nationals who are long-term residents of the EU. However, it is still recommended for EU citizens to announce their entry into the Republic of Croatia in advance using the "entercroatia.mup.hr" application. Exemptions from the general ban are also made for passengers in transit, cross-border employees, carriers of goods and other transport staff to the extent necessary, persons traveling for tourism or other business reasons.
  • 28/05 Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters issued a new decision regarding easing of travel and border restrictions, based on which citizens from 10 EU Member States (Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) can now enter Croatia without restrictions. It is no longer required to provide a "proof" for travel to Croatia (e.g. invitation for business meeting, confirmation of booking for tourists, etc). 
  • Citizens from the above-mentioned 10 EU countries still need to comply with the epidemiological measures and provide certain personal data (destination location, mobile phone and e-mail) at the border. In order to speed-up the collection of these data, it is possible to submit data in advance, before travel to Croatia, via the following link: https://entercroatia.mup.hr/

14.2. Public transport

  • 13/07 Face masks made mandatory for: healthcare employees, drivers or passengers in public transport, store employees and customers while inside stores, staff in the catering industry which has contact with customers or prepares food and beverages.
  • 13/07 Reporting of social gatherings with more than 100 people is made mandatory. The organizer of such events must report the date, time, place and the expected number of people to the Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters no later than 48 hours before the gathering shall take place. Written records of participants must be kept for 2 weeks after the gathering.
  • 15/06 Face masks mandatory for drivers, transport staff and passengers in all public transport vehicles.
  • 09/06 Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters lifted the ban on public events and social gatherings with more than 40 people and is now allowing sports competitions to be held in the presence of spectators under the condition that they comply with all of the general anti-epidemic measures and recommendations of the Croatian Institute of Public Health.

14.3 Gradual Release of COVID-19 Measures

  • 15/06 Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters amended the "Resolution on working hours and manner of work in the trade activity during the declared epidemic of COVID-19 disease"
  • Working hours of shops, warehouses, wholesale markets, retail market and other forms of sales of goods outside the store are returning to its regular business hours.

News: On the government session held on 23/04 the Croatian government has announced the following, indicative step plan to release the COVID-19-restrictions:

  • Phase 1 (from 27/04):
    • Re-opening of stores (save from the ones located in shopping malls).
    • Re-opening of service providers (save from the ones coming into a close contact with clients), subject to recommended precautionary measures.
    • Re-opening of libraries, museums, bookstores.
    • Conducting state professional exam for priority group of attendants.
    • Allowing trainings for certain categories of sportsman(s) and sport teams (of I category and those attending the competitions of highest level).
    • Access to city and suburban public transport and opening of high-speed boat lines for islands not connected by ferry.
  • Phase 2 (from 04/05)
  • Re-opening of other service providers which come into a close contact with clients, such as hairdressers, subject to the recommended precautionary measures
  • Re-opening of full health care system (save for certain exceptional cases in line with Ministry of Health measures).
  • Re-opening of private health care system, subject to the recommended precautionary measures
  • Phase 3 (from 11/05)
  • Re-opening of shopping malls, subject to the recommended precautionary measures
  • Re-opening of catering establishments and accommodation establishments only for users of accommodation subject to the recommended precautionary measures.
  • Access to inter-county transport lines and opening of a domestic air transport subject to the recommended precautionary measures.
  • Re-opening of kindergartens and elementary schools from 1 – 4th grade and special class divisions for children in need.
  • Holding laboratory, artistic and clinical exercises and practical exercises in small groups in high educational institutions.
  • Allowing gathering of maximum of 40 people, respecting the measures of physical distancing (1,5 m in indoor spaces and 1 m in outdoor spaces).
  • Re-opening of national parks and nature parks.

List of other relevant adopted legislation, decisions and ordinances rendered in relation to COVID-19:

  • 18/05 Decision on Temporary Prohibition of Crossing the Border of the Republic of Croatia effective until 15 June 2020
  • 11/05 Suspension of the decision on Prohibition of Leaving Place of Residence and Permanent Residence
  • 04/05 Suspension of the Decision on Temporary Suspension of Public Transport
  • 20/04 Suspension of the decision on Prohibition of Leaving Place of Residence and Permanent Residence for certain counties.
  • Decision on Measures to Limit Social Gatherings, Work in Commerce, Services and Sporting and Cultural Events
  • Decision on Strict Limitation of Gatherings on Streets and Other Public Places
  • Decision on the Procedure and Implementation of Quarantine and Home Isolation for International Transport Freight Drivers during the COVID-19 Pandemic

14.4 List of other relevant adopted legislation, decisions and ordinances rendered in relation to COVID-19:

26/10

Consolidated Revised Recommendations on Priorities for SARS-CoV-2 Testing, Contact handling, Isolation Completion and Self-Isolation:

  • the measure of self-isolation of a person in close contact with a COVID-19 infected person is shortened from 14 to 10 days (except for people working in institutions for accommodation of the elderly and seriously ill)
  • the criteria for termination of isolation is divided into four categories depending on severity of the patients' condition
  • termination of isolation is allowed after minimum three consecutive days without having a fever
  • all measures relating to health care workers apply equally to pupils and students performing internships in such institutions as well as parents residing in hospitals with children (find more about the Recommendations here - link).

13/10

Decision on Temporary Work Regulation and Limitation of Working Hours of Catering Facilities and Other Providers of Hospitality Services – catering facilities may be open only until midnight (not applicable to hotels, camps and other accommodation facilities)

12/10

Decision on Social Gathering Restrictions – social gatherings in open or closed spaces are allowed up to 50 people; mandatory request for the approval of any gathering must be submitted to the County Civil Protection Headquarters no later than five days before the planned gathering  

12/10

Decision on the Necessary Measure of Mandatory Use of Face Masks or Medical Masks – expanded list for mandatory use of face mask in the hospitality sector, religious ceremonies, spectators on sports events in closed spaces, visitors of all public and social gatherings in closed spaces, employees working in offices where the distance of 2m cannot be ensured, other persons obliged to do so by their employer

  • 03/09 Decision on the necessary measure of enhanced control of the implementation of the Guidelines for the Prevention and Suppression of the COVID-19 Epidemic for Social Service Providers in the Social Welfare System
  • 13/08 Decision on limitation of working hours for certain catering establishments: Bars, night clubs, clubs, cafe bars
  • 13/07 Decision on Mandatory Using of Face Masks or Medical Masks During COVID-19 Epidemic
  • 01/07 Decision on Temporary Prohibition of Crossing the Border of the Republic of Croatia effective until 30 September 2020
  • 09/06 Suspension of the Decision on Measures to Limit Social Gatherings, Work in Commerce, Services and Sporting and Cultural Events

12/10 Decision on the Necessary Measure of Mandatory Use of Face Masks or Medical Masks – expanded list for mandatory use of face mask in the hospitality sector, religious ceremonies, spectators on sports events in closed spaces, visitors of all public and social gatherings in closed spaces, employees working in offices where the distance of 2m cannot be ensured, other persons obliged to do so by their employer

13/08 Decision on limitation of working hours for certain catering establishments: Bars, night clubs, clubs, cafe bars effective until 22 October 2020

01/07 Decision on Temporary Prohibition of Crossing the Border of the Republic of Croatia effective until 02 November 2020

 

Kindly note that the summaries on this page are for information purposes only and do not take into account the specifics of a certain situation. The information is not designed to substitute and cannot substitute legal advice tailored to your needs. It is made available strictly on a non-reliance basis. Also, some of the addressed topics might be subject to short-term changes. 
 

This article is part of our coronavirus-focused legal updates – visit our coronavirus infocorner to get more info!