Strategic Investment Act
The new Act on Strategic Investment in Croatia has achieved its goal of reducing administrative procedures and ensuring the speedy realisation of strategic projects in Croatia. In order to declare a project "strategic," it must meet several criteria. Foremost, the project must be in accordance with spatial planning regulations. Also, the total amount of capital expense must be HRK 150 million (approx. EUR 19.6 million) or more.
If it is possible to co-finance the project with EU funds, this amount can be equal to or greater than HRK 75 million (approx. EUR 9.8 million). If the project is being carried out on an island or in local or regional municipalities that have a lower than average level of development than the rest of Croatia, or the project is related to agriculture and fishery, the total amount of capital expense can be equal to or greater than HRK 20 million (approx. EUR 2.6 million).
In addition to the financial criteria, the criteria regarding the scope of activities pertaining to the strategic project must also be fulfilled. These activities include production and processing, infrastructure and energy projects, hospitality services, industrial engineering projects, logistics and distribution centres, as well as agriculture and fishery. It is necessary to take into consideration the overall influence of a project on the economy and segments such as competition and innovation, products of added value, research and the advancement of technology, and contributions to sustainable development and environmental protection.
When nominating a project, it is crucial for investors to submit a concept design with an overview of the projects basic information, for example: the type of the project, financing methods (private financing, public funding or private-public partnership), project value, location and activities. When submitting the project, it is necessary to include an estimate of the number of new jobs and indirect employments which are connected to the project.
The completed application must be submitted to the Government formed Committee and to the Government itself. The deadlines for being approved are very short and violations of the given terms are subject to substantial financial penalties.
Proposed New Act on Maritime Goods and Sea Harbours
A public debate is currently in progress regarding the new proposed Act on Maritime Goods and Sea Harbours in Croatia. The new law will outline the value of a maritime good as a common good. One of the most important changes is the provision which prohibits a concession provider from excluding a beach from common use by reservation, and instils the obligation to ensure and protect the public's right to use the beach, especially when the position and function of the beach is to meet the needs of a wider range of users. The new Act does provide for one exception to this provision, allowing exclusive usage of beaches belonging to the highest category of hospitality facilities i.e. exclusive 5 star resorts.