State Department: Croatia - Consular Information Sheet, August 23, 1995
Croatia - Consular Information Sheet
Warning: The United States Department of State warns U.S. citizens
to avoid travel to Croatia because of the potential for rapid
deterioration of the security situation there. In early August
1995, a number of cities were shelled during a Croatian military
offensive into the Serb-held Krajina region. While fighting in that
region has subsided, Croatian cities near Serb-held areas of Bosnia
and Croatia are still targeted by rebel Serb forces. These include
Dubrovnik, Kutina, and Osijek. In the recently embattled areas,
mines, unexploded ordnance and bands of armed combatants pose risks
August 23, 1995
Despite unsettled conditions in parts of Croatia, the main cities
of Zagreb, Rijeka and Split, as well as the Istrian Peninsula and
islands north of Makarska, are beyond the range of Serb shells and
are largely unaffected by fighting.
Country Description: Croatia is an independent nation, formerly a
constituent republic of Yugoslavia. Facilities for tourism are
fully developed although not always accessible in the unstable areas
of the country.
Entry Requirements: A passport and visa are required. While the
visa can usually be issued at the port of entry, obtaining it in
advance from a Croatian embassy or consulate may prevent potential
complications at the border. 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
technically a misdemeanor offense, and some Americans have been
subjected to arrest, short-term imprisonment, and fines. Additional
information on entry requirements can be obtained from the Embassy
of Croatia at 2343 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008,
telephone: (202) 588-5899 or the Croatian Consulate General, 369
Lexington Ave., New York, New York, 10017.
Areas of Instability: In May and August, 1995, Croatian government
forces recaptured territory formerly controlled by rebel Serb
forces. This area includes western Slavonia and the Krajina region
bordering Bosnia. While it is increasingly possible to travel
there, the risk of mines, unexploded ordnance, and armed combatants
The area of eastern Slavonia is still under rebel-Serb control and
has been a recent launching site for artillery attacks on Osijek and
other nearby villages.
Areas bordering Serb-held territory in Bosnia, e.g. Dubrovnik and
Orasje, are also subject to shelling.
The city of Rijeka and the Istrian Peninsula in western Croatia
remain largely unaffected by the fighting, and are accessible by
road from Slovenia and by ferry from Italy.
Visitors who stay abreast of developments and familiarize
themselves with local protective shelters, police stations, and
hospitals reduce the risk to their safety. Crossing Serb lines or
checkpoints may be dangerous.
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. Travelers have found
that supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage
has proven to be useful. Further information on health matters can
be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control's international
travelers hotline at (404) 332-4559.
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 abroad
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
security 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.
Currency Information: Credit cards and traveler's checks are more
widely used than previously but still are not accepted everywhere in
Terrorist Activities: There have been isolated terrorist bombing
incidents in Zagreb in recent years, but these seldom resulted in
personal injuries. Though no major incidents were reported in the
last year, some crude, small-scale bombs have been used against
property in incidents that police suspect are linked to crime or
Other Information: If stopped at a check point, travelers are
expected to be courteous and follow instructions. Many parts of the
UN protected areas are under the control of undisciplined militia
groups with which the U.S. Embassy has little contact or influence.
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.
Registration and Embassy Location: U.S. citizens may register at
the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb and receive updated information on travel
and security within Croatia. The U.S. Embassy in Zagreb is located
at Andrije Hebranga 2, tel. (385-1) 456-000.
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated June 28, 1995 to
update the warning and areas of instability.