News 25 Apr 13

Croatia Shakes up Customs Before EU Entry

As Croatia readies to become the 28th EU member state in July, the customs service faces major changes.

Zlatko Grabar, head of the Croatian Customs Administration, said Croatia's customs service requires reorganisation as it becomes part of a unified EU customs service. "The agency will be faced with new tasks, notably in supervision," Grabar said on Tuesday.

According to him, apart from combating smuggling, customs officers will be more engaged in the field supervising unregistered activities.

Customs will be tasked with preventing all forms of illegal trade, with monitoring imports and exports, cross-border trade and other movements, waste managements, trade in fish and other sea food, and supervising general safety of products, he added.

The new organisation and tasks of the Customs Administration are based on a draft bill.

On Croatia's EU entry in July, customs border procedures towards the EU will no longer be in effect, which means that 74 border crossings with Slovenia and Hungary will be shut.

Under the new organisation, the number of customs posts will be downsized from 211 to 33.

A total of 521 customs officers work at those 74 border crossings. For the past year the government has been working on employing them in other government agencies, in the ministries of interior, judiciary and maritime affairs, the tax administration and in the state inspectorate.

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