State Department: Croatia - Consular Information Sheet, August 26, 1998
Croatia - Consular Information Sheet
August 26, 1998
Country Description: Croatia is an independent nation,
formerly a constituent republic of Yugoslavia.
Entry Requirements: A passport is required. For
tourist or business trips of less than 90 days, a visa is not required for
U.S. passport holders. Visas are required for all other types of stays.
Croatian authorities require foreigners to register with local police when
they first arrive in a new area of the country. This is usually handled in
routine fashion during hotel registration. However, failure to register is
a misdemeanor offense, and some Americans have been fined and/or expelled.
Additional information on entry requirements may be obtained from the
Embassy of Croatia at 2343 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20008,
tel: (202) 588-5899 or Croatian consulates in New York City, Cleveland, or
Los Angeles. Overseas, inquiries may be made to the nearest Croatian
embassy or consulate.
Areas of Instability: The 1995 Dayton and Erdut Peace
Agreements ended fighting and reduced tension in the region. Governing
authority over the remaining formerly Serb-held area of Eastern Slavonia
was transferred from the United Nations to the Government of Croatia on
January 15, 1998. While travel there is possible, there continue to be
isolated incidents of violence and civil unrest, and there is risk of
bodily harm due to mines and unexploded ordnance. De-mining in former
conflict areas throughout Croatia is not complete; marking of mined areas
is similarly incomplete. Travelers in former conflict areas should
exercise caution and not stray from known safe roads and places.
Medical Facilities: Health facilities in Croatia,
although generally of Western caliber, are under severe strain. Some
medicines are in short supply. Doctors and hospitals may expect immediate
cash payment for health services. U.S. medical coverage is not always
valid outside the United States. The Medicare/Medicaid program does not
provide payment for medical services outside the United States. Check with
your own insurance company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas,
including provision for medical evacuation. Ascertain whether payment will
be made to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be
reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also
include coverage for psychiatric treatment or disposition of remains in the
event of death. Useful information on medical emergencies abroad,
including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of
State, Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure "Medical Information for
Americans Traveling Abroad," available via its home page and autofax
The international travelers hotline of the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention may be reached from the United States at 1-888-232-3228, via
their autofax service at 1-888-232-3229, or their Internet site at
Crime Information: Croatia has a relatively low crime
rate, and violent crime is rare. Foreigners do not appear to be singled
out; however, as in many cities, displays of wealth increase chances of
becoming the victim of a pickpocket or mugger. Such crimes are more likely
to occur in bus or railroad stations. The loss or theft of a U.S. passport
should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest
U.S. embassy or consulate. Useful information on safeguarding valuables
and protecting personal safety while traveling abroad is provided in the
Department of State's pamphlet "A Safe Trip Abroad." It is available from
the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
Terrorist Activities: There are no known indigenous
terrorist groups in Croatia. However, foreign terrorists have been known
to transit and operate in the area.
Currency Information: Credit cards and traveler's
checks are more widely used than previously, but they are still not
Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws
of the country in which they are traveling. Penalties for possession, use,
or trafficking in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can
expect jail sentences and fines.
Road Safety/Traffic Conditions: Since gaining
independence in 1991, Croatia has seen an increase in the number of cars,
leading to heavy congestion on major routes on weekends (towards the coast,
for example) and in major cities during rush hour. Parking can be
difficult and expensive in city centers. Drivers can be aggressive and, in
Zagreb, motorists must also pay special attention to trams (streetcars).
Primary roads are generally adequate, but most have only one lane in each
direction, including roads to and from the coast. Drivers traveling
through former conflict areas should stay on paved roads to reduce the risk
of encountering mines and unexploded ordnance left over from the war.
Emergency road help and information may be reached by dialing 987.
Additional road condition and safety information may be obtained from the
Croatian Automobile Association (HAK) at telephone number (385)(1)
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct
commercial air service by local carriers at present, or economic authority
to operate such service between the United States and Croatia, the U.S.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Croatia's civil
aviation authority for compliance with international aviation safety
standards for oversight of Croatia's air carrier operations. For further
information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within
the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet home page at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa.htm.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air
carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For
information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may
contact the Pentagon at (703) 697-7288.
Registration and Embassy Location: U.S. citizens are encouraged to
register at the U.S. Embassy and obtain updated information on
travel and security within Croatia. The U.S. Embassy in Zagreb is
located at Andrije Hebranga 2, tel: (385) (1) 455-5500.
This replaces the Consular Information
Sheet dated December 24, 1997, to update areas of Instability, Medical
Facilities, Crime Information, and Aviation Safety Oversight.