Travel Agency Legal Framework - SHORT OVERVIEW


 
 

Legal regulations in the operations of travel agencies in Croatia

In the Republic of Croatia, travel agencies, hotel caterers, transport companies, tourist guides and others involved in tourist activities operate in accordance with laws relating to the Croatian economy in general, as well as with regulations relating to tourism and catering. They also operate in accordance with the Code of Practice on hotel/travel agency relations drawn up by the Croatian Chamber of Economy in 1995. defining common practice in the hotel and travel industry. In their foreign operations, travel agencies act in accordance with the Code of Practice on hotel/travel agency relations drawn up by the International Hotel Association - IHA and the Universal Federation of Travel Agent's Associations - UFTAA, unless otherwise explicitly agreed between the parties. The Law on Travel Related Activities, regulating the foundation and operation of travel agencies contains the EU Council's main directives on package travel, package holidays and package tours.

Section 8 of The Law on Travel Related Activities reads: "Travel agency is a company, a sole trader or a craftsman who can provide services of a travel agency in order to make profit subject to fulfilment of duly prescribed requirements by this Law". The Law on Travel Related Activities in its first part defines the tourist activities, services of travel agencies, their types and conditions for providing those services, as well as procedure for establishing and the reasons for closing an agency. 
 

LIST OF PREVAILING REGULATIONS IN THE AREA OF THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (CATERING AND HOTELS) AND TOURISM

1. THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY ACTIVITIES ACT 

((Narodne novine [Official Gazette of the Republic of Croatia], No. 49/03 [edited text] and 117/03 ) 

Detailed Regulations:
 

Regulations on the Classification, Categorization, Special Standards and Special Quality of Accommodation Objects, Group: Hotels (Narodne novine, No. 48/02, 108/02 [correction] and 132/03) 
Regulations on the Classification, Minimal Requirements and Categorization of Hospitality Objects (Narodne novine, No. 57/95, 110/96, 24/97, 61/98, 137/98, 19/99, 39/99, 52/99, 43/00, 52/00, 57/00,  63/00, 18/01 and 33/01 [correction]) 
Regulations on the Form, Content and Manner of Keeping a Register on the Minimal Requirements and Requirements for a Category of Hospitality Objects, and on the Forms of Requirements for Hotel Operators and Caterers and on the Form, Content and Manner of Keeping a Register on the Minimal Requirements and Requirements for a Category of Object for Providing Hospitality Services to Citizens in Household Management, and the Application Forms for Citizens (Narodne novine, No. 3/96) 
Regulations on the Register of the Minimal Requirements of Hospitality Objects that are Not Categorized and Application Forms for Providers of Hospitality Services (Narodne novine, No. 14/96, 30/96 and 75/97) 
Regulations on the Application Forms and Register on Providing Hospitality Services in Objects of a Closed Type (Narodne novine, No. 14/96, 39/96 and 75/97)  
Regulations on the Form, Content and Manner of Keeping a Guest Book and Guest List (Narodne novine, No. 14/96) 
Regulations on Providing Hospitality Services in Moving Objects (Narodne novine, No. 22/96, 137/98 and 153/02) 
Regulations on Providing Hospitality Services in Village Households (Narodne novine, No. 22/96, 47/97, 38/96 [correction], 25/99 , 29/00 and 196/03)  
Regulations on the Form, Content and Manner of Keeping a Complaint Book (Narodne novine, No. 52/96, 47/97 and 54/97 [correction])

2. TOURISM ACTIVITIES ACT

 ("Narodne novine" broj 8/96, 19/96 [correction] and 76/98), 
 

- The stipulations of Article 66, Paragraph 2 (Article 80 of the Government Inspection Agency Act, Narodne novine, No. 76/99)  - are not in effect. 
 

Detailed Regulations:

Regulations on the Vocational Examination for Tourist Guides and the Examination Program for Tourist Escorts (Narodne novine, No. 54/96) 
Regulations on the Form, Content and Manner of Keeping a Complaint Book (Narodne novine, No. 52/96, 47/97 and 54/97 [correction]) 
Regulations on the Minimal Technical Requirements and Manner of Providing Services by Tourism Agencies (Narodne novine, No. 62/96, 23/97 and 134/98) 
Regulations on the Register of Tourism Agencies (Narodne novine, No. 62/96, 78/96 [correction] and 75/97) 
Regulations on the Register of Permits to Provide Tourism Services by Citizens (Narodne novine, No. 62/96 and 75/97) 
Regulations on the Register of Tourist Guides (Narodne novine, No. 62/96, 78/96 [correction] and 75/97) 
Regulations on the Register of Contracts on Representation by Tourist Agents (Narodne novine, No. 62/96 and 153/02) 
Regulations on the Identification Documents of Tourist Guides (Narodne novine, No. 62/96 and 153/02) 
Regulations on the Examination Program for the Head of an Office, Composition of the Examination Commission and Manner of Taking the Vocational Examination (Narodne novine, No. 62/96) 
Regulations on the Identification Code of Travel Agencies (Narodne novine, No. 78/96, 47/97 and 80/98) 
Regulations on the Vocational Examination for Tourism Animators (Narodne novine, No. 95/96,  39/00 and 81/00) 
Regulations on Tourism Services and Nautical Tourism that Can be Provided by a Citizen (Narodne novine, No. 109/96) 
Regulations on the Classification and Categorization of Harbors of Nautical Tourism (Narodne novine, No. 142/99, 47/00, 121/00, 45/01 and 108/01) 
Regulations on the Types and Categories of the Nautical Vessels of Nautical Tourism (Narodne novine, No. 11/97, 105/98, 38/99, 56/00 and 106/00)
3. TOURISM ASSOCIATIONS AND THE PROMOTION OF CROATIAN TOURISM ACT

("Narodne novine", No. 30/94) 

Detailed Regulations:

Regulations on the Declaration and Classification of Tourism Localities into Classes (Narodne novine, No. 75/94, 69/97, 60/98 and 78/99). 
Regulations on the Forms and Manner of Keeping the Register of Tourism Associations (Narodne novine, No. 45/94) 
Regulations on the Special Conditions that Must be Met by Employees of Tourism Offices of the Tourism Associations of Municipalities, Cities, Counties and the Main Office of the Croatian Tourism Association (Narodne novine, 134/98, 23/99, 138/99, 98/00 and 9/03) 
4. TOURIST TAX ACT 

Narodne novine, No. 35/95 edited text, 42/95 [correction], 52/95 [correction] and 64/00)

Regulations on the Procedure for the Check-in and Check-out of Tourists and the Manner of Keeping a Tourist List (Narodne novine, No. 45/94, 32/96 and  71/97)  
Decree on the Establishment of the Amount of the Tourist Tax for the Year 2004 (Narodne novine, No. 100/03) 
Decree on the Establishment of the Amount of the Tourist Tax for the Year 2005 (Narodne novine, No.91/04) 
Ordinance on the Periods of the Main Season, Pre-Season, Post-Season and Out-of-Season in Tourism Localities (Narodne novine, No. 83/95 and 95/95) 
Decree on the Amount of the Annual Lump Sum Tourist Tax for the Users of Permanent Moorings in Harbors of Nautical Tourism for the Year 2004 (Narodne novine, No.100/03) 
Decree on the Amount of the Annual Lump Sum Tourist Tax for the Users of Permanent Moorings in Harbors of Nautical Tourism for the Year 2005 (Narodne novine, No. 91/04)
5. MEMBERSHIP FEES IN TOURISM ASSOCIATIONS ACT
(Narodne novine, No. 35/95 edited text, 52/95 [correction]) 

Detailed Regulations:

- Directives in Connection with the Payment of Membership Fees in Tourism Associations (Narodne novine, No. 69/96) 



Travel Agency License Number

By the type of service they provide, travel agencies are either tour operators or retailers identified by the A or B code. Most Croatian travel agencies are registered as AB, i.e. tour operator and retailer. The agencies select the category in which they will be registered. 

The Law and special regulations also define minimum technical conditions of business premises for the agencies, their equipment and the way of providing services of the agencies and the complaints book. The Ministry of Tourism has passed 11 different regulations, which, among others, define technical and other conditions for agency registrations, the conditions for tourist guide registration and registration of the agreement for tourist representative in Croatia, the program, and method of examinations for branch office managers, for tourist guides and tourist escorts and animators. Three regulations have been passed relating to nautical tourism - Regulation on tourist services provided in nautical tourism, Regulation on the classification and categories of harbours for nautical tourism, and Regulation on types and categories of vessels for nautical tourism. The Law defines services in nautical, rural and other forms of tourism, as well as other tourist services, inspection and penalty provisions. The inspection is done by the state inspectors specialised for tourist and catering services.


Regulations on Tourist Guides, Tour Leaders and Tourist Representatives

The Law on Travel Related Activities and special regulations imply that every travel agency, both Croatian and foreign, has to engage a local tourist guide, authorized to provide such services on such locality, for group visits with scheduled sightseeing. The guide can be engaged via the Croatian travel agencies or the local association of tourist guides. Tourist inspection controls whether the local or foreign tour operators use the services of these guides. 

While travelling or during their stay in Croatia, an organized group of 15 to 75 tourists must have at least one tour leader - whether coming with the group from the foreign country or engaged while in Croatia. In both cases the tour leader has to fulfil the requirements to be a tour leader prescribed in his own country. 

The Law also defines the authority and business of a tourist representative who is defined as "a person representing a local or a foreign tour operator or (their) intermediary in a destination". The tour operator or his intermediary shall communicate in writing to the local provider of services the name of the tourist representative, his/her authorities and each and every change prior to his/her start of their work. Also, the tour operator, his intermediary, the tourist representative or the local travel agency (ground operator) shall send the Agreement of representation to the Ministry of the Sea, Tourism, Transport and Development to be entered into the register of such agreements. 

Pursuant to the ruling issued by the Ministry of the Sea, Tourism, Transport and Development a foreign citizen - representative can start work after obtaining the permit for extended stay which is entered in his passport prior to entering Croatia, and work permit. The extended stay permit is required even for those representatives coming from countries whose citizens do not require a visa to enter Croatia as tourists.

 

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