Court Rejects Government’s Proposal to Ban Uber in Croatia

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The long-term solution for Uber in Croatia is expected in a new law which should soon be presented.

The Misdemeanor Court in Zagreb has rejected a motion filed by the government, which wanted the court to ban Uber in Croatia. The Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure have submitted a proposal for the ban on the Uber app in July. Its Road Transportation Inspection has filed the proposal against Uber Croatia and Uber International Holding, but the motion has been rejected by the Misdemeanor Court in Zagreb, reports Telegram on September 20, 2017.

“The submission was filed because of the suspicion that the aforementioned companies had committed a misdemeanour of assisting Uber’s drivers in carrying out the passenger road transportation services without a proper license and encouraging people to use such unlawful transport,” announced the Ministry in late August. This was the proposal which the court now rejected.

The Ministry of Transport has also announced that it would soon present a new Law on Road Transportation, which is expected to be passed this autumn. Transport Minister Oleg Butković said that the law would liberalise the taxi market and that his intention is for “everybody to be able to work, but under the same conditions.” However, he did not explicitly say what would happen to Uber, which has faced numerous obstacles in Croatia, including repeated protests by taxi drivers.

It is not known what provisions will the new law contain. Minister Butković occasionally talks about liberalisation, but it is not clear whether this also includes the legalisation of Uber, for which the Minister and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković have repeatedly said it is operating illegally in Croatia. The Ministry announced that market liberalisation implies the adoption of measures to align the transport offer with transport demand, which will be achieved by the new law. “The aforementioned liberalization also presupposes defining clear and precise conditions for performing related activities, the abolition of numerous administrative barriers, the increase in the number of vehicles, and an easier access to the market, which the Ministry believes will result in a reduction in the price of transport and the increase of the quality of transport services.”

In February, the Ministry formed a working group for taxi transportation services, which includes an Uber representative. According to unofficial information, Uber’s proposal was to introduce two categories into the law; one of them would be taxi services, and the other the so-called pre-arranged transport services. Uber and new service providers which would operate according to the Uber model would belong to the second category. That is what Uber wants to explain from its entry into the Croatia market – it is not a taxi service.

Uber’s general manager in Croatia Davor Tremac has repeatedly said that, according to their view, Uber is a technology company which deals with private rentals of drivers and vehicles. They say that, when calling for a car through their app, you are actually hiring a car and a driver.

Translated from Telegram.

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