Shopping online in Croatia: What are the taxes and customs fees
A common question circling in the expat community in Croatia often is, “How much will I be charged in taxes if I buy something online from abroad”?
We dug into this topic and found ourselves lost in the heart of a bureaucratic hornet’s nest. Many variables affect how much you are charged or not charged in duties and taxes when buying goods from abroad.
The answer is simple if you’re purchasing from within the EU/EEA. Any other scenario has a more complex answer.
In this post, we cover:
- Goods exempt from import duties
- Goods not exempt from import duties
- Goods exempt from duties due to type and cost
- Calculation of import duties
- Process of declaring goods
The facts are these…
Croatian taxes and customs fees when shopping online
Customs procedure in Croatian postal traffic is carried out for goods that don’t have the status of roba Unije (community goods). This implies EU/EEA community goods.
Goods with this status are:
- Goods wholly obtained within the EU/EEA
- Goods imported from outside of the EU/EEA released for free circulation within the EU/EEA
- Goods obtained or produced within the EU/EEA from the previously mentioned goods (under 1 and 2)
If you have any products online that belong to one of the mentioned groups, you will be exempt from paying uvozna davanja (import duties), which includes carina (customs) fee and porezi (taxes).
What is carina?
Carina is the customs administration that operates under the Ministry of Finance in Croatia, which regulates customs, excise, tax, and other duties. Read more here.
If you purchased goods not qualified as community goods as outlined in the previous section, you must pay import duties called uvozna davanja.
The basis for calculating customs and PDV costs is the value of the goods increased by the associated costs, i.e., transport costs from non-EU/EEA member states or insurance costs.
If you buy goods outside the EU/EEA, you must pay customs and PDV on the shipment. Costs depend on the value of the shipment.
#1 Carina (customs)
Carina (customs) is calculated according to the rate prescribed by the customs tariffs of the EU/EEA and the tariff number in which goods are classified. The tariff number (information on TARIC measure) is available here.
#2 PDV (Value added tax)
Porez na dodanu vrijednost or PDV (Value added tax) is calculated on the total value of goods (AFTER customs and special taxes are calculated) according to rates prescribed for a particular type of goods.
PDV is calculated according to the PDV categories and their payment rates.
[Read: PDV (Value added tax) in Croatia]
#1 Poseban porez or trošarina
Poseban porez or trošarina (special tax or excise duty) is a fee paid for consumer goods as an additional tax.
Trošarina is calculated only for some goods according to Zakon o trošarinama (Law on excise duties), which is available here, or other laws on special taxes for a particular type of goods, including:
Ležarina is a fee paid for keeping goods in a warehouse.
Ležarina is charged on goods heavier than 0,5 kilograms held at carina for more than 3 days. The cost is 0,40 euros for every additional day needed to process goods.
Some shipments are exempt both from customs and PDV, and some are exempt only from paying customs.
Shipments exempt from paying customs and PDV
- Non-commercial shipments (personal shipments sent from person to person) of value up to 45 euros. The exemption is limited by quantity for:
- Alcoholic products
- 1 liter of distilled and alcoholic beverages with more than 22% alcohol and undenatured ethyl alcohol with 80% alcohol or higher
- 1 liter or a proportional combination of distilled and alcoholic beverages, and aperitifs based on wine or alcohol, tafia, sake, or similar beverages with up to 22% alcohol, sparkling and dessert wines
- 2 liters of still wines
- 50 milliliters
- Eau de toilette
- 250 milliliters
- Tobacco and tobacco products
- 50 cigarettes
- 25 cigarillos
- 10 cigars
- 50 grams of tobacco
- Proportional combination of these products
- Alcoholic products
Shipments exempt from paying customs
- All shipments (both commercial and personal) of value up to 150 euros, except for:
- Alcoholic products
- Perfumes and eau de toilette
- Tobacco and tobacco products
An optional procedure called IOSS (Import One Stop Shop) is applied to shipments arriving from third countries of value up to 150 euros. If you buy goods from a non-EU/EEA country with a value of up to 150 euros from an IOSS supplier, the supplier charges VAT as part of a sales price. VAT won’t be charged again at import.
If you buy goods from a non-EU/EEA country with a value of up to 150 euros from a supplier who doesn’t apply IOSS, you will be charged PDV when imported into Croatia.
Customs and PDV must be paid for shipments of value higher than 150 euros.
When a shipment arrives in Croatia from non-EU/EEA countries, it is not possible to modify, subsequently input, or remove the IOSS number associated with the shipment after its arrival. If the electronic information pertaining to the IOSS number is accurate, the shipment will be delivered to the recipient without incurring additional costs.
However, if the IOSS number is either incorrect or not provided, declaration costs will be applied. For shipments valued up to 150 euros, the cost is 2.46 euros, for shipments valued between 150 euros and 1000 euros, the cost is 4.91 euros. As for items exceeding 1000 euros in value, the price varies based on weight and can be 4.98 euros, 6.64 euros, or 8.30 euros.
We’ve already mentioned that customs duty is calculated according to the rate prescribed by the customs tariffs of the EU/EEA and the tariff number in which goods are classified.
Customs duty is calculated on the determined customs value of the goods called carinska vrijednost robe or carinska osnovica.
The customs value of the goods includes:
- Value of the goods (purchase price)
- Transport costs from the non-EU/EEA member state to the EU/EEA
- Commission and brokerage fees
- Packaging costs
- Transport costs to the port or place of entry to the EU/EEA
- Boarding, disembarking, and handling costs associated with the transport to EU/EEA
- Insurance costs until entering the EU/EEA territory
Once the customs value is determined, customs and special taxes or excise duties are added on top, if applicable. On this amount, PDV is calculated according to the above-prescribed rates.
All arriving shipments must go through the carinska deklaracija (customs declaration).
Carinska deklaracija is both a process and a document used for implementing customs procedures carried out by the carina. The declaration contains all the data needed for the determination of customs duties.
The declaration includes:
- Name and code of the customs office
- Sender, recipient, and declaring person
- Transport data
- Data on foreign trade business
- Value of the goods
- Country of origin, etc.
- Customs procedure code
- Data on the goods according to tariff items
- Quantity in a unit of measurement
- Calculation of customs duties, etc.
The declaration process can vary depending on the shipping company.
Declaration process in Hrvatska pošta
#1 Oral calculation
Shipments delivered by Hrvatska pošta whose value is lower than 1.000 euros must go through the process called usmena deklaracija. The competent customs office calculates customs duties on the Obrazac za obračun uvoznih davanja u putničkom i poštanskom prometu (Form for calculating import duties in passenger and postal traffic), available here.
This is done without contacting the recipient of the shipment. Hrvatska pošta delivers the shipment to the recipient together with the completed form. The postman will request payment upon delivery.
If the recipient disagrees with the calculation of total costs, they can return the shipment and request the regular customs procedure via the delivery company.
#2 Electronic declaration
The second process is called uvozna carinska deklaracija or elektronska deklaracija (electronic declaration).
The electronic declaration is done for:
- Commercial shipments whose value is higher than 1.000 euros
- Commercial shipments that are parts of successive shipments of similar procedures
- Shipments that are subject to certain restrictions, prohibitions, or other special import formalities
Declaration process in other companies
Other delivery companies submit an electronic declaration regardless of the value of the shipment. The delivery company initiates the process, and it includes the costs of their services as well.
They need proof of the value of the goods. This can be an invoice, proof of payment, online order, or a print of the conclusion of the tender. They will ask you to deliver the documentation via email if needed.
View DHL’s customs services and support here.
View Overseas’ official web page here.
View more about the customs procedure in postal traffic here.
View our other import posts
- How to bring your pet to Croatia (and care for them once you arrive)
- How to import your car and belongings to Croatia
- How to register a car or motor vehicle and get an annual inspection in Croatia
- PDV (Value added tax) in Croatia
- Which documents should you bring with you to Croatia (if you plan to live here)
Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.