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Imports and Exports in Croatia

Updated on Sunday 18th October 2020

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Imports and exports in CroatiaDue to its geographic position and its recent membership to the European Union, Croatia has become an attractive country for investors. Since the country imports twice as much in value as it exports, starting a company in the trade sector can be a profitable decision. Imports and exports in Croatia are regulated by specific provisions within the commercial legislation. Our experts in company formation in Croatia can give you extensive information about the trading requirements that a company must abide by.


Top imports and exports in Croatia


According to the Economic Complexity Index, Croatia is the 76th largest export economy in the world and the 37th most complex economy. In terms of imports, Croatia is a major importer of arms and ammunition. Croatian companies largely import aircraft and spacecraft technology, raw hides, pharmaceuticals, coated textile fabric, clothing, vehicles and toys. The most relevant import partners of Croatia are its neighboring countries: Austria, Slovenia and Hungary. Other import destinations include: China, the Netherlands and France.
 
When it comes to exports, Croatia relies heavily on its mineral fuels and machinery. Almost 10% of Croatia`s exports is represented by oil products and machines, including computers. The statistics of the International Monetary Fund for 2016 credit the pharmaceutical companies in Croatia for 6.7% of the total exports. The Croatian goods and products are usually exported to Slovenia, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Italy. The overall exports in Croatia include the following sectors:
 
  • - electrical machinery (8.9%),
  • - wood (5.7%),
  • - vehicles (3.7%),
  • - iron or steel articles (3.1%),
  • - plastics and plastic articles (2.8%).
 
Our specialists in company registration in Croatia can assist you in establishing a company in the trading sector of the country.


Trade standards for Croatian companies


The local government has harmonized the technical trade standards with the European legislation. According to the Croatian Standard Institute (HZN), the Croatian companies acting as importers are held directly responsible for product safety and their conformity with the technical trading regulations. Nevertheless, the ultimate responsibility for product compliance lies with the manufacturer. The basic trade standards in Croatia are comprised of: testing, inspection and certification of goods and merchandise imported and exported.
 
The Croatian Accreditation Agency is the local institution that confirms to companies and individuals and to Croatian private sector laboratories that they meet certain standards required to participate in the conformity assessment process.
 

How do I open a trading company in Croatia?

 
Import and export companies are great business choices for international investors in Croatia. A trading company can run under the rules of a limited liability company or DOO in Croatia, with EUR 2,500 as minimum share capital deposited in a local bank account. Such companies will only activate with special licenses and permits issued by the Ministry of Commerce and related institutions. In the case of big companies from abroad, the import and export activities can be developed with the support of branches and subsidiaries and the approvals issued by the Croatian Customs Authority. If you would like to open a trading company in Croatia, feel free to address your inquiries to one of our company formation specialists in Croatia who can guide you throughout the whole incorporation process. They can handle all the formalities involved and they can also act as business representatives for your firm in Croatia.
 

What is the EORI number?

 
The EORI number is the Economic Operator Registration and Identification code that needs to be assigned to trading companies in Croatia with import and export activities within the EU territory. The EORI number is unique for any trading company with activities in Croatia, it is formed of the country’s prefix, the VAT number, and other digits. This kind of code is used by the customs authorities for better control of the import and export activities of Croatian companies, mentioning that the EORI number is completely different than the VAT code assigned for trading companies in Croatia. The VAT certificate of the trading company, a document issued by the Croatian Trade Register that shows the company is registered for business, plus the power of attorney are among the necessary documents for EORI applications in Croatia. The formalities are not complicated, however, we recommend you talk to our company formation specialists in Croatia if you want to obtain the EORI number.
 

The import and export activities in the agriculture sector

 
The agriculture sector of Croatia is one of the most prosperous in the country, with more than 1.3 million ha of agricultural land and around 2.2 million ha of forests. The export of agricultural products like corn, wheat, poultry, wine, and eggs is made in favorable conditions with international partners of any kind. It is good to know that 4% of the total GDP of Croatia is sustained by the prolific agriculture sector. Below you can find some interesting facts and numbers regarding the import and export activities in the agricultural sector of Croatia
 
  1. Commercial farms in Croatia enjoy an average of 8.5 hectares for their agricultural operations.
  2. Around USD 370 million was the total export of fruits and vegetables in Croatia in 2018.
  3. Approximately USD 3,200,000 represented the total agricultural exports from Croatia to USA in 2019.
  4. Croatia is a large pork importer, mostly from countries like Spain and Germany.
 
Croatia has great import and export collaborations with the American trading companies, in terms of fish and seafood processing products. Even if the excellent geographic location of Croatia, with exits to the Adriatic Sea, provides numerous business operations in the fishery industry, the country still needs to comply with the market demands in this sector. This is why Croatia imports large quantities of fish from Italy and Spain, the main trading partners in this sector.
 

Main import and export partners of Croatia

 
In terms of exports, Croatia has a series of important business partners coming from countries like Germany, Italy, Austria, Serbia, Romania, Hungary, France, Spain, and US. As for the main suppliers, in 2018, Croatia imported a series of goods from countries like Slovenia, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary, France, Czech Republic, China, the Netherlands, and Poland. 
 

The trade balance in Croatia

 
According to statistics for 2018, most exports of Croatia were directed to Slovenia, Germany, and Italy, summing up to around 68.6% of the total exports. In terms of imports, most of the products, around 78% come from the EU countries while 3.4% of the imports in Croatia come from China. Serbia is another significant import partner, around 2.6% of the products being imported in Croatia.  Those interested in starting a business in the import and export sector in Croatia will have to respect a few conditions imposed in this field. Support and assistance are recommended to foreign entrepreneurs who are for the first time with business in Croatia. They can get in touch with one of our company formation agents in Croatia who can provide complete guidance and help for company registration in this country.
 

Is it hard to open a trading company in Croatia?

 
No, import and export companies are quite easy to register in Croatia. There are specific formalities to pay attention to, among these, the type of products that can be imported or exported, the licenses and permits, business structure, etc. All you need to know about how you can open a trading company in Croatia can be solicited from one of our company formation specialists in Croatia who can handle the bureaucracies implicated. You can also discuss the tax registration formalities with our team of agents. The same is available for EORI registration.
 

Making investments in Croatia

 
The legislation related to foreign investments in Croatia is extremely permissive and lets international investors develop their activities in all sectors of interests, taking advantage of the same business regulations as domestic entrepreneurs. Adding the support of the government in terms of tax incentives is another important business motivation for foreigners in Croatia. There are more than 15,000 foreign companies with operations in Croatia, in prolific sectors like tourism, agriculture, ICT, pharmaceuticals, food, automotive, manufacturing and textile industries. It is important to know that Croatia signed a series of double taxation treaties with countries worldwide to avoid the fiscal evasion and the double taxation of profits. Among the business benefits directed to international investors in Croatia, we also mention the experienced and multilingual workforce, the low labor costs, the appealing tax structure and also the possibility of reinvesting the profits in the companies without being taxed. The import and export sector remains solid in Croatia, being on top of the list of overseas investors looking for a business in this country.
 

FAQ about import and export in Croatia

 
1. What are the main exports of Croatia?
Mineral fuels, electric machinery, wood, iron or steel articles, vehicles, and plastics are the main exports of Croatia.
 
2. What are the main imports of Croatia?
Croatia imports arms and ammunition in a large percent, followed by pharmaceutical products, spacecraft technology, raw hides, clothing, coated textile fabrics, and many more.
 
3. Who are the main export partners of Croatia?
Most of the exported products from Croatia take the road to Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Bosnia, and Herzegovina.
 
4. Who are the main import partners of Croatia?
Slovenia, Hungary, the Netherlands, France, and Austria are the main import partners of Croatia.
 
5. Can I open a trading company in Croatia?
Yes, a trading company can be easily established in Croatia. This can run under the rules of a limited liability company that can be registered with a minimum share capital of EUR 2,500. It is important to note that the Ministry of Commerce issues the necessary licenses and permits for import and export companies in Croatia. Foreigners who want to open a trading company in Croatia can talk to our specialists in company formation and registration.
 
6. Do I need an EORI number for my trading company in Croatia?
The EORI number or the Economic Operator Registration and Identification code is assigned to import and export companies in Croatia. If these companies have trading activities within the EU countries, then an EORI number is required.
 
7. What are the trade standards in Croatia?
The trade standards refer to a series of verifications of import and export companies activating on the market, such as inspection, testing, and certification of goods. One of our agents can tell you more about these important verifications.
 
8. Do Croatian standards align with the EU regulations?
Yes, the Croatian Standard Institute harmonizes the technical trade standards with the EU legislation applicable to trading companies. Importers and exporters in Croatia are directly responsible for the products served on the market.
 
9. Can I relocate my trading company in Croatia?
Yes, the company relocation is available in Croatia, therefore, business owners from abroad can simply move the company from the country of origin in Croatia without complicated requirements. A series of conditions must be respected for company relocation in Croatia, such as, presenting a declaration that states the intention of moving the activities in this country.
 
10. Is Croatia an attractive country for investors activating in the import and export sector?
Yes, Croatia is home to numerous trading companies from abroad. You can talk to our specialists in company formation for more details about how to register a business in the import and export field.
 
 
Don`t hesitate to contact our Croatian company formation agents if you need more details about the trade standards your company must comply with.
 

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