State Department: Croatia - Consular Information Sheet, December 24, 1997
Croatia - Consular Information Sheet
December 24, 1997
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 in
Croatia. 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
subjected to expulsion from the country and fines. 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, Chicago or Los Angeles.
Overseas, inquiries may be made to the nearest Croatian embassy or
Areas of Instability: The 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
will be 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.
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. Travelers
have found that supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas
coverage, including provision for medical evacuation, has proven to be
useful. Further information on health matters can be obtained from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international traveler's
hotline at (404) 332-4559 or Internet: http://www.cdc.gov.
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.
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 still not accepted
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, 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) 455-4433.
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 July 25, 1997, to
update areas of instability.