International
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Dominique Sigros
Head of International Desk Central and Eastern Europe

Support by the
Crédit Agricole group

Last update: August 2021

The International Central and Eastern Europe Desk of the Crédit Agricole Group, based in Vienna, provides support to the Group’s business clients in Croatia to help them implement their operations on location, particularly financial advice, opening accounts, financing residents and providing information on local businesses. It makes use of a local frontline partner bank with a significant network of offices in the country.

For non-banking matters, the International Desk offers the support of local law, notary and accounting offices and its partners as well as expertise in business internationalisation.

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Means of payment

With Croatia

Company cheque

Bank cheque

SWIFT transfer

Bill of exchange

Promissory note

Documentary remittance

Documentary credit

Usage

Weak / None

Weak / None

Common

Weak / None

Weak / None

Weak / None

Common

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Advice from the
international desk

General Information

There are numerous investment opportunities in Croatia (EU member since 01/07/2013), particularly in the service and tourism sectors, even if prices are now higher than in the past. Tax regulations for businesses remain rather high in relation to other countries in the EU (the rate fell to 18% in 2017). For individuals, income tax varies between 24% and 36%.

 

There are still foreign exchange controls in place: dividends can be repatriated without restriction, although they are subject to a withholding tax of 12%.

Before setting up a business in Croatia it is highly recommended to seek solid legal and tax advice from well-established sources in the country. Caution is particularly recommended when it comes to authenticating the origin of land or property ownership, a point which is crucial for all countries in Central Europe. Some economic activities are still regulated and subject to prior authorisation. It is therefore of the greatest importance to seek information from the Croatian Agency for Competitiveness and Investment and from the Croatian Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts.

Payment Methods & Banking Details

Cash payment by SWIFT transfer before shipment is highly recommended. Bank cheques or cheques issued by businesses should not be accepted. They are not used in Croatia apart from by foreign banks that issue cheques in currencies payable outside of Croatia.

The “Zaduznica”, a Schuldschein-type loan, is a system unique to Croatia: it entails the acknowledgement of immediately convertible debt by the FINA (former Yugoslavian Payment Agency) on the available funds across all of the issuer’s accounts and until the exhaustion of the debt. This thus enables the quick recovery of the funds without a legal process, but it remains limited to the sums available in the accounts.
A legal solution remains the last resort, as it presents the notable disadvantages of a lengthy procedure, the result of which cannot be certain, and with an average recovery of only 30% .
Recourse can also be taken using a European Payment Order (EC Regulation No. 1896-2006 of 12 December 2006). After having been declared enforceable, a European Payment Order is enforceable immediately in every member state of the European Union.

The provision of a COFACE credit (to the extent of the government packages available) or, potentially, an irrevocable and confirmed letter of credit should also be considered.

The confirmation of documentary credits in Croatia is possible based on the counterparty, the length of the commitment, and the willingness to deal with the country’s risk rating. The majority of transactions in Croatia are carried out following payment in advance, as advised above.

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