Croatia - Consular Information Sheet
November 6, 2000
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Croatia is a moderately developed
nation in transition to a market economy. The capital is Zagreb.
Facilities for tourism are available throughout the country, and
the Adriatic coast has traditionally been a popular tourist destination.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport is required for travel
to Croatia. A visa is not required for U.S. passport holders for
tourist or business trips of less than 90 days. Visas are required
for all other types of stays and must be obtained prior to arrival
in the country. Unless the traveler is staying at a hotel, all
foreign citizens must register with the local police within 48
hours of arrival. Failure to register is a misdemeanor offense:
some Americans have been fined and/or expelled as a result of
their failure to register. Additional information on entry requirements
may be obtained from the Embassy of Croatia at 2343 Massachusetts
Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, tel. (202) 588-5899 or from
the Croatian consulates in New York City, Cleveland, Chicago or
Los Angeles. Overseas, inquiries may be made at the nearest Croatian
embassy or consulate. The
Internet home page of the Croatian Embassy in Washington is
DUAL NATIONALITY: The Government of Croatia does not recognize
U.S. citizenship of persons who are citizens of both Croatia and
the United States. Dual nationals may be subject to national obligations,
such as taxes and military service. Additionally, Croatian citizens
must enter Croatia on their Croatian passports. This may hinder
the ability of the U.S. consular officer to assist persons who
do not enter Croatia on a U.S. passport. Travelers should contact
a Croatian embassy or consulate for further information. For additional
information, please see the
Consular Affairs home page on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov
for our Dual
SAFETY AND SECURITY: Although fighting in all parts of
the country ended in 1995, the conflict over Croatia's independence
led to the laying of land mines on Croatian territory, mostly
along the former confrontation lines. De-mining is not complete;
marking of mined areas is similarly incomplete. Travelers in former
conflict areas should exercise caution and not stray from known
safe roads and areas.
There are occasional attacks targeted at specific persons or
property as a result of organized criminal activity or actions
prompted by residual ethnic tensions from Croatia's war for independence.
CRIME: Croatia has a relatively low crime rate, and violent crime
is rare. Foreigners do not appear to be singled out; however,
as in many cities, displays of wealth increase chances of becoming
the victim of a pickpocket or mugger. Such crimes are most likely
to occur in bus or railroad stations. The loss or theft of a U.S.
passport should be reported immediately to the local police and
the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens may refer
to the Department of State's pamphlet, A
Safe Trip Abroad, for ways to promote a more trouble-free
journey. It is available from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
or via the
Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Health facilities in Croatia, although
generally of Western caliber, are under severe budgetary strains.
Croatian citizens using these services find that some medicines
are in short supply in public hospitals and clinics. The number
of private medical and dental practitioners is substantial, and
private pharmacies stock a variety of medicines not readily available
through public health facilities.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs
do not provide payment for medical services outside the United
States. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas
may face extreme difficulties. Croatian health care facilities,
doctors and hospitals may expect immediate cash payment for health
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether
your policy applies overseas, including provisions for medical
evacuation and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems
requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United
States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor
or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you
incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment or disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State, Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via
the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international
1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747), fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299),
or via CDC's Internet
site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Croatia is provided for general reference only,
and it may not be totally accurate in a particular location or
Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Fair
Since gaining independence in 1991, Croatia has seen an increase
in the number of cars, leading to heavy congestion on major routes
on weekends (towards the coast, for example) and in major cities
during rush hour. Parking can be difficult and expensive in city
centers. Drivers can be aggressive and, in Zagreb, motorists must
also pay special attention to trams (streetcars). Primary roads
are generally adequate, but most have only one lane in each direction,
including roads going to and from the coast. Coastal roads are
narrow and congested, and tend to be very slippery when wet. Right
turns on red lights are strictly forbidden in Croatia, unless
an additional green light (in the shape of an arrow) allows it.
At unmarked intersections, right of way is always to the vehicle
entering from the right. Front seat belts are obligatory and passengers
in vehicles equipped with rear seat belts are required to use
them. The legal limit for blood alcohol content in Croatia is
.05 percent. Police routinely spot-check motorists for drinking
and driving, and will administer breathalyzer tests at even the
slightest accident. Drivers who refuse to submit to a breathalyzer
test are automatically presumed to have admitted to driving while
intoxicated. In cases of accidents resulting in death or serious
injury, Croatian law obligates police to take blood samples to
test blood alcohol levels. Drivers traveling through former conflict
areas should stay on paved roads to reduce the risk of encountering
mines and unexploded ordnance left over from the war.
Within Croatia, emergency road help and information may be reached
by dialing 987, a service of the
Croatian Automobile Association (HAK). The police can be reached
by dialing 92 and the ambulance can be reached by dialing 94.
Additional road condition and safety information may be obtained
from HAK at tel. (385)(1) 455-4433, or via their web page, http://www.hak.hr
For additional information
about road safety, including links to foreign government sites,
please see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For
additional information on road conditions specific to Croatia,
please see the U.S. Embassy home page at http://www.usembassy.hr/consular/traffic.htm.
For specific information concerning Croatian driver's permits,
vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact
the Croatian National Tourist Office, 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite
4003, New York, NY 10118; tel. 1-800-829-4416 or 212-278-8672;
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial
air service by local carriers at present, nor economic authority
to operate such service between the United States and Croatia,
the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed
Croatia's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international
aviation safety standards. For further information, travelers
may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at
1-800-322-7873, or visit the
FAA Internet home page at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign
air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services.
For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers,
travelers may contact the DOD at tel. (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Croatian customs authorities encourage
the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet
for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial
samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet
Headquarters, located at the
U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the
Americas, New York. N.Y. 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA
Carnet in the United States. For additional information, please
call (212) 354-4480, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or
visit http://www.uscib.org for details.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens
are subject to the laws and regulations of the country in which
they travel, which sometimes differ significantly from those in
the United States and may not afford the protections available
to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law
can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses.
Persons violating Croatian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled,
arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking
in illegal drugs in Croatia are strict, and convicted offenders
can expect jail sentences and fines.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: With the proliferation of automated
teller machines and ever-wider acceptance of credit cards in Croatia,
traveler's checks are accepted less and less frequently or are
exchanged at an unfavorable rate.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: In general, foreign citizens may not
adopt Croatian children. For information
on international adoption of children and international parental
child abduction, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000
REGISTRATION AND EMBASSY LOCATION: U.S. citizens are encouraged
to register at the
U.S. Embassy and obtain updated information on travel and security
within Croatia. The
U.S. Embassy in Zagreb is located at Andrije Hebranga 2, tel.
(385)(1) 455-5500, Internet home page: http://www.usembassy.hr.
On weekends, holidays, and after hours, an Embassy duty officer
can be reached at tel. (385)(1) 455-5281 or (385)(91)455-2384.
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated November 4,
1999, to update the sections on Traffic Safety and Road Conditions,
Aviation Safety Oversight, Special Circumstances, and to delete