As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatia became the 20th member of the Eurozone yesterday, and it also became the newest member of the Schengen zone, the largest area of free movement of goods and people in the entire world. From January the 1st, 2023, the period of dual circulation begins, which will last fourteen days, that is, until January the 14th, 2023 at midnight. During this period, when it comes to cash transactions, in addition to the euro, it will be possible to continue to use kuna banknotes and coins as a legal tender.
The amounts of money that must be paid or calculated are recalculated using a fixed conversion rate that is set at the level of 1 euro = 7.53450 kuna, which means that even if you pay in kuna, the change you’ll get back will always be in euros.
If you’re planning to travel abroad soon, you’re more than likely wondering what you are (not) allowed to carry across the Croatian border and what the fines are if you break the rules, how many packs of cigarettes can be with you in the car, whether you’ll be fined if you’ve got rolls of cheese and more bacon than anyone could ever eat in your boot. What about alcoholic beverages?
There are some illogicalities here, from some countries, you can bring in unlimited amounts of fish, from others you can’t even have a single gram of meat, you won’t have problems with sweets anywhere, but you will with baby food. Precisely because of all these rules, of which there are so many that sometimes it isn’t easy to remember them even for the customs officers themselves, Vecernji list published a list of all the things that you may and may not bring into the newly crowned Schengen Croatia.
First and foremost, it should be noted that this list refers to the import of goods from countries which are outside the EU, with the exception of Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, San Marino, Andorra and Liechtenstein. So, for these last listed countries, the same rules apply as if you were transporting goods within the EU, meaning that there are no restrictions on them. Some other special rules apply to the Faroe Islands and Greenland, but in order not to further complicate this already long list, we will omit those two countries here. In short, if you import goods from third countries (e.g. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, etc.), the limit for importing goods must not exceed 3,200 kuna per person in sea and air transport and 2,200 kuna in all other types of transport, and 1,100 kuna for passengers under the age of 15, regardless of the means of transport they’re travelling with.
Air passengers can bring slightly more tobacco products into Croatia than those who enter the country by other forms of transport. Those travelling by air can bring in 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars and 250 grams of smoking tobacco. People travelling by road or rail can bring in 40 cigarettes, 20 cigarillos, 10 cigars and 50 grams of smoking tobacco. All passengers can bring the same amount of 50 grams of heated tobacco product, 10 milliliters of e-liquid and 50 grams of the so-called of ”new tobacco products” from Article 94 paragraph 2 of the Excise Act. When it comes to alcoholic beverages, the same rules apply to travel by road, air and sea transport – everyone is allowed to bring in 16 litres of beer, 4 litres of wine and 2 litres of other alcoholic beverages which have less than 22% alcohol, so one litre of stronger alcoholic beverages.
Meat, fish, cheese, milk, eggs and other products of animal and plant origin
Customs officials carry out official controls on all products of animal origin that are part of the passenger’s personal luggage, meaning bringing in meat and milk and meat and milk products isn’t permitted whatsoever. Passengers are allowed to bring in 20 kilograms of fresh, dried, cooked, salted or smoked fish, prawns, crabs and mussels per person, however. When it comes to other products of animal origin, such as honey, eggs, egg products, snail meat or frog legs, passengers can enter Croatia carrying up to 2 kg per person of such items. When it comes to plant origin products, you may also bring up to 5 kilograms of fresh fruit and vegetables into the new Schengen Croatia, with the exception of potatoes.
Other products (such as baby food and food for pets, cakes, sweets, nutritional supplements, fuel…)
Passengers from third countries into Schengen Croatia can bring up to 2 kilograms of baby milk powder, baby food and special food used for medical reasons, as well as pet food used for health reasons, provided that it doesn’t require refrigeration before opening. Without limit or in quantity for personal use, all travellers can bring bread, cakes, biscuits, waffles and wafers, double-baked bread, toasted bread and similar toasted products with less than 20% processed dairy products and egg products that are stable when left at room temperature.
Many other products such as chocolates and confectionery (including sweets) with less than 50 percent processed dairy products and egg products, food supplements packaged for the final consumer containing smaller amounts (in total less than 20%) of processed animal products can be imported without restrictions, as can processed animal products, olives stuffed with fish, pasta and noodles, soup concentrates and flavour enhancers.
When it comes to fuel, you can transport up to 10 litres of fuel identical to the one in your vehicle in canisters, so you cannot bring in diesel if you’re driving a car which runs on petrol.
It is possible to bring ready-made medicines for the personal needs of passengers in quantities necessary for their treatment for up to one month (provided that they’re approved by the competent authorities of the country of manufacture) and with the possession of all of the appropriate medical documentation (a transcript of their medical history, a doctor’s certificate). Passengers can bring in drugs for the personal needs of the passengers, in the amount needed for treatment up to a maximum of five days, and also with the possession of the appropriate accompanying medical documentation, from which the necessity of taking the respective drug arises. If you decide to take a gamble, know that you can be hit with a massive 100,000 kuna fine if you’re caught. The more you tried to bring in, the higher the fine will be.
For more on the brand new Schengen Croatia rules, make sure to check out our news section.