A Guide to Who Can Perform Croatian Demining Inspections

Lauren Simmonds

croatian demining inspections
Hrvoje Jelavic/PIXSELL

July the 12th, 2023 – Croatian demining inspections (human) are relatively commonplace, but who has the green light to perform them? The Croatian Mine Action Centre is primarily engaged in this, but others can be, too.

Croatia was at war just thirty years ago. While looking at the Mediterranean tourism star and EU, Eurozone and Schengen member state it has transformed into might lead one to believe this country’s bitter struggle for independence occurred forever ago – you’d be mistaken.

Signs warning hikers and others who might seek adventure of potential danger in the generally less populated parts of this country are dotted all over. Many signs alluding to un-exploded mines can be found in areas such as Lika, Croatia’s so-called green heart, as well as in various other locations.

Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL

A brief history of Croatian demining inspections and activities

Since 1998, not long after the bloody Homeland War ended, the failed state of Yugoslavia collapsed and Croatia finally got its extremely hard earned recognition as an independent nation, a massive 450 million euros has been spent on de-mining the land. Private contractors took over the task of clearing after being given the green light by a body called the Croatian Mine Action Centre back in 2013, with just under 11,500 warning signs put up in areas of concern.

Hrvoje Jelavic/PIXSELL

Many fatalities and horrific injuries to both civilians, deminers and Croatian Army engineers have occurred during demining activities, with around 100 civilian casualties tragically occurring in different parts of the country in the immediate aftermath of the Homeland War.

Current estimates suggest that a total of 500 million euros will be required to totally complete the Croatian demining process. The nation has suffered a stunning 47 million euro per year economic loss as a result of land loss owing to suspected minefields since the end of the war was declared.

How much land do Croatian minefields cover?

It is believed that Croatian minefields recently covered a staggering area spanning 258,000 kilometres (almost 100 miles). In 2020, 45 towns, cities and municipalities were home to suspected minefields across 8 counties. Over 17,000 land mines are believed to be located in the suspected minefields in these areas and demining activities have continued since.

From the war to the present day

Hrvoje Jelavic/PIXSELL

As of the end of 2022, confirmed minefields covered almost 58 miles (almost 150 kilometres) of the country. Narrowed down significantly from the previously suspected 100 miles of so-called mine suspected areas, minefields now span 6 counties and 28 cities, towns and municipalities. Over 6000 signs remain in place warning anyone who visits these areas that land mines are present. Most of these areas are forested regions (such as in Lika).

In July 2022, the Croatian Government submitted its proposal for the National Mine Action Programme to Parliament. This proposal has strategies for demining in different areas and deadlines for each affected region.

EEA citizens can perform Croatian demining inspections

As a result of what is laid out in the Mine Action Act, MUP explains that sole traders and legal persons from other European Union/European Economic Area member states can perform Croatian demining inspections.

There are of course several caveats to this, however, and one of them is that said sole trader/legal person must have their principal office headquartered within the EEA.

What else is required of EEA citizens who are sole traders/legal persons?

They must have permission from competent Croatian ministry to perform such activities

Permission to carry out demining activities in the countries of their citizenship/origin

They must have a registered subsidiary

Hrvoje Jelavic/PIXSELL

What are EEA sole traders/legal persons permitted to do?

Should a sole trader/legal person from elsewhere in the EEA have the above documents, they can perform Croatian demining inspections with the use of trained mine dogs for ground inspections, they can demine following manual mine detection, and they can perform mechanical ground preparation.

What about natural persons from the EEA?

Natural persons from elsewhere in the EEA can also perform Croatian demining inspections, and they must have the following in order to get a thumbs up from the powers that be:

They must meet every single condition laid out in Croatia’s Mine Action Act

They must hold a demining ID card

There must be no security impediments preventing them from performing said activities. This must be proved with the engagement of a competent security intelligence agency and proven by valid security clearance

Natural persons from the EEA can perform the following:

Should an applicant tick all of the above boxes, they may perform the work of an explosives technician, a mine detection dog handler, or be a mine detecting machine operator.


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