IMPORTS OF CARS AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS
- Importing/Shipping Household Goods - custom and VAT regulations
- Cars – Importing and registration:
Official importation of the vehicle
IMPORTING/SHIPPING HOUSEHOLD GOODS – CUSTOMS AND VAT REGULATIONS
Croatia adheres to the Istanbul Convention on temporary importation. Private individuals may import personal items such as clothes, radio sets, typewriters, personal computers, cameras, sports equipment, etc. All of these goods may be imported temporarily, free of customs duties and PDV. Any other items to be imported must have duty and 25% PDV paid on them at the time of import. Rates are approximately 20% of the value of the goods.
If you are privately employed, in order to import goods you will need first to have appropriate residence permit. Different conditions apply to those entering the country and working under bilateral agreements. Check with your employer. It is a good idea, and may save time at Customs, to have your packing list translated into Croatian.
CARS – IMPORTING AND REGISTRATION
Note: As laws frequently change and there are no leaflets or guidelines issued at all on the procedure for importing and registrering your car, the regulations are open to interpretation by the individual officials you may encounter. The best advice is always to check with at least two different people as to what is required before you embark on any procedure!
This complicated process varies depending on your status in the country, type of car and its country of origin. If you have in the diplomatic status, your Embassy will advise on registering your car and obtaining diplomatic plates.
Once you have been living in Croatia for 6 months you are legally obliged to register your car and have Croatian Third Party insurance. If the car is registered in a different place to where it is kept there may be problems in the event of an insurance claim.
The general vehicle registration process involves the following steps:
- Official importation of the vehicle. (This may be 'Temporary Importation' if you are not going to stay permanently in Croatia, or 'Permanent Importation' if you are going to live in Croatia permanently)
- Technical inspection and purchase of local Third Party Insurance
- Registration of vehicle with the police.
N.B. You can only register your vehicle once you have obtained your own Extended Stay Visa.
Official importation of the vehicle
Import/Clearing Agents: Many foreigners use an Import Agent (some freight companies offer the service and probably all small car dealers that have saloons on the streets) to ease the process, or you can handle it yourself with the help of a Clearing Agent (Špediter).
Types of Importation: If you are not going to live here permanently, then the car will be regarded as a temporary import and you will receive green registration plates. Green plates mean that the car cannot be sold in Croatia (except between people with similar tax-free status, you will not have to pay duty or PDV. Otherwise, you will have to pay both but, when you export the vehicle at the end of your stay, you can reclaim this, less a proportion to cover the loss of the value of the car while in Croatia. In all cases, remember to get a Certificate of Export when you finally leave.
If you plan to live here permanently, then the car will be regarded as a permanent import, you will have to pay all duty and tax and you will receive regular black registration plates.
Cost of import varies from year, type and CO2 of the car and best projection can be provided by Clearing agent (špediter).
All cars, even brand new ones, being imported into Croatia have to undergo a technical inspection. The inspection is the equivalent to the certificates of roadworthiness issued in other countries. It is a very comprehensive test and includes measurement of emission gases. There is a charge for this test and an enviromental tax. You do not have to modify lights, etc. For right-hand drive cars. If you have purchased a new ca, the first technical inspection is valid for two years, otherwise the car has to be re.inspected every year. Garages able to carry out the technical inspection are called Stanica za tehnički pregled. Information can be obtained from Croatian Centre for Motor Vehicles (Centar za vozila Hrvatske), Capraška 6. Tel: 4817 366. (Open 08:00-16:00 Monday to Friday). AMK Siget, as above, is competent to do this inspection. At this stage you will need to show your local (Croatian) Third Party Insurance certificate (see below). It is possible to purchase this insurance at the Inspection Centre, but, if you want to transfer your no-claims bonus, you can only do this at one of the main insurance offices, which may also be cheaper. The Inspection Centre will carry out the technical inspection of the car, check your insurance documents and issue you with your Green Plate number, unstamped Traffic Permit and Registration Booklet.
Registration with the police
Now take everything to the police station at Heinzelova 98. They will open an official file on the car and stamp your Traffic Permit and Registration Booklet. (They also need to see a copy of your foreign Vehicle Registration Document).
Then it's back to the Stanica za tehnički pregled, who will check the police stamp and give you the Green Plates, Road Tax disc, etc. You will have to pay for your registration plates and your road tax (which varies depending on the power of the engine).
Registration may be valid for up to one year. However, this is linked to the expiry date of either your long-stay residence permit or your third party insurance, whichever is earlier.
Croatian law requires that all motor vehicle owners have locally-purchased Third Party liability insurance. Fully comprehensive insurance is a private matter and up to the individual. It is not a legal requirement in Croatia. For insurance companies please check LINK.