Special Regulations concerning the Coronavirus Epidemic

20.3.2020.

The Croatian Government proposed special regulations to support the economy during the COVID-19 (SARS CoV-2) virus epidemic in Croatia. The main objective of these measures is to provide incentives for preserving jobs, but also to mitigate liquidity risks for those businesses whose activities were reduced due to the epidemic.

I. Taxes and contributions     

  • It has been proposed that payment of corporate profit tax, personal income tax and social security contributions be postponed for “3+3” months with possibility of payment in instalments. Following expiration of noted deadline payments for tax liabilities will continue to be possible in instalments for another 24 months. Penalty interest will not be calculated and statute of limitations period will not be enforced on these approved postponements. These measures will be further defined by amendments to General Tax Law Regulations.
  • Incentives for self-employed persons include exemption from corporate profit and personal income taxation
  • Personal income tax (and city tax) refund will be issued to individuals earlier than usual.

II.  Loans and guarantee Incentives, and refinancing options

HBOR incentives:
  •  A moratorium period for existing loan liabilities is being introduced.
  • Refinancing existing loans and grace period for repayment of the principle is being offered.
  • Loans will be granted to entrepreneurs to maintain their liquidity, i.e. for the payment of salaries, and regular operating costs.
  • Guarantees and insurance policies will be provided to commercial banks of exporting companies and HBOR which are within the scope of the Export Insurance Guarantee Fund.
  • The Export Insurance Guarantee Fund will be extended to the tourism sector, indirect exporters and suppliers of direct exporters.

Commercial banks – incentive measures

  • All payment enforcement procedures against debtors (both legal entities or physical persons) are suspended for three months.
  • Liquidity and working capital loans (for payment of salaries and working capital except liabilities towards financial institutions) will be granted with maturity period up to three years.
  • Loans and refinancing measures will be taken by credit institutions for designated customers without bad debt status.

Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovation and Investments (“HAMAG-BICRO”) and EU projects - incentive measures

  • Assistance in the way of moratorium for payment of monthly loan instalments is placed until 31 December 2020 for micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. Prolongation of monthly loan payments for which guarantees were given is possible. “COVID-19 loans” are introduced, offering lower interest rates and higher maximum guarantee rates.
  • Extension for project duration and funds repayment has been introduced for 90 days for all projects financed under the operational program “Competitiveness and Cohesion” which are currently in the progress and expected to be finished in March, April and May 2020.

III. Jobs preserving measures

  • Government incentives for employers to preserve jobs are planned through financing measures which would be offered to employers in the manner of 3.250 HRK per permanently employed employee for a period of 3 months with possible prolongation. This incentive would be available only to employers who do not terminate employment contracts, and who are not recipients of other incentives provided by Croatian Employment Institute or other available government employment related incentives.
  • Seasonal worker measures are prolonged.

  • Payment of minimum wages for persons with disabilities for retention in employment will be ensured by the government.
  • Postponement of Employer fee payments for quotas for disability personnel.
  • Users of EU incentives will be able to suspend or postpone project implementation and repayment of funds. Project realization due to occurrence of new extraordinary circumstances will be taken into account.
  • 3-month extension for all projects co-financed by the Operational Program “Effective Human Resources”, which are in progress and expected to be finished in March, April and May 2020.
  • A grace period is introduced for fulfilling obligation to preserve jobs without losing the right of support measures in connection to implementation of investment projects.

IV.  Tourism and hospitality

  • Payment of tourist contributions for legal entities and private accommodation providers will be postponed.
  • Payment of tourist tax for private accommodation providers (paying flat rate tax) will be postponed.
  • Incentives for working capital and improvement of liquidity of vulnerable business in tourism will be available.
  • Payments of concession fees for touristic land in camps will be postponed.

V. Support measures for culture

  • Grants to independent artists, self-employed persons, individuals and legal entities in cultural and creative industries will be provided.
  • Various incentives for certain cultural projects (such as tax deductibility of costs of organization of project that were cancelled, providing funds for an extended period of preparatory activities, etc.)

VI.  Support measures for the transport

  • Collection of fees for special transport on public roads is suspended until 1 June 2020
  • The seasonal 10% toll increase for vehicle groups IA, I and II is temporary suspended from 15 June to 15 September.
  • Seasonal “winter” ENC discount (expires on 31 March) is extended until 1 June 2020. Additional 7% discount is available for vehicle groups EURO VI, III and IV which use ENC based on post-paid credit/ oil card, for one year.
  • Validity of certificates and other documents in International and national water transportation is temporary extended.

The Croatian Parliament is currently assessing the above proposed measures which will be defined in more detail when they are issued into regulation.

Crowe services are ongoing, and we will continue to inform regarding further developments.