July 1, 2023 – A new Trade Act came into force today and according to it, shopping in Croatia will start to look a little different. Shops will generally be closed on Sundays, though they do get to choose 16 Sundays a year during which they can stay open.
By law, writes Index, the working hours of shops are determined by the retailer in the period from Monday to Saturday for a total duration of up to 90 hours per week, distributed independently.
exceptions for Uninterrupted Shopping in Croatia: Stations, airports, ports…
Shops will remain closed on Sundays, and the retailer can independently designate 16 Sundays of the year as working days. This will add 15 hours to the working hours of the shop in that week, distributed from Monday to Sunday. Exceptions are shops at railway and bus stations, airports and ports, on ferries and petrol stations, as well as in hospitals, hotels, cultural and religious institutions and museums.
Shops within visitor centers or interpretation centers, nautical marinas, campsites, family farms and declared protected nature areas can operate in accordance with special regulations.
The provisions on working on Sundays do not apply to the purchase of primary agricultural products, the sale of own agricultural products at retail stands and benches at markets. This further includes selling goods as own agricultural products at stands and benches at wholesale markets, occasionally at fairs and public events, through vending machines and remotely.
Press distribution through kiosks as a special form of sales outside the store can be open on Sundays and holidays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
no uniform attitude of traders
The Croatian trade association reported during the process of passing the new law that it does not have a unified position on the regulation of work on Sundays. The association’s proposal was to make as few exceptions as possible so that all traders would be as equal as possible. The Croatian Association of Employers warned that the closure of shops will stop the growth of wages and consumption and encourage a decline of GDP.
Employers believe that limiting the work and working hours is contrary to the fundamental postulates that the Croatian Employers Association and its members advocate. They also point out that bans do not encourage market development or have a positive effect on the labor market.
“We are of the opinion that the best option is to leave the choice to the employers, with respect for all legal obligations and adequate payment of workers. We are in principle opposed to interventions in the working hours of,” the association pointed out after the government announced its proposal of amendment of the Trade Act.