Environmental protection

Legal basis

The Environmental Protection Act (Official Gazette 80/13) and the Regulation on environmental impact assessment (Official Gazette 64/08, 67/09) require assessment of environmental impacts of a project. With the adoption of these pieces of legislation, the procedure is regulated and harmonized with the corresponding EU Directives: Council Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June 1985 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, amended by Council Directive 97/11/EC of 3 March 1997 and Directive 2003/35/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 26 May 2003. In addition, the adopted legislation is also based on the provisions of an international agreement confirmed by Croatia by adopting the Act on the Ratification of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Official Gazette – International Agreements, 6/96).

Implementing environmental impact assessment

General information

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is mandatory for the projects specified in the list of projects under Annex I of the Regulation on environmental impact assessment (Official Gazette 64/08) and for the projects for which EIA is established as mandatory in the process of evaluating the need for EIA.

When the competent authority receives a request for environmental impact assessment, it shall inform the public thereof. The information shall contain the basic information on the project, the location, the developer, the competent authority, other participants in the procedure, the method of implementing the EIA, the method of participation of the public and stakeholders, and the method of providing information on the outcome of the procedure.


Evaluation of the need for environmental impact assessment

General information

The Environmental Protection Act (Official Gazette 80/13) and the Regulation on environmental impact assessment (Official Gazette 64/08) specify that when the developer establishes that his/her project is on the list of projects referred to in Annex II or III of the Regulation, he/she may submit the request for evaluation of the need for environmental impact assessment to the competent authority or may immediately start preparing the study.

When the competent authority receives the request for evaluation of the need for EIA, it shall obtain an opinion from other authorities and/or people designated by special regulations, units of local and regional self-government and shall inform the public about the request. The need for EIA is evaluated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the criteria set in Annex V of the Regulation and taking into account the opinions obtained. Once the procedure is completed, a decision is issued and the public informed.

Having in mind difficult economic situation, the Regulation on Amendments to the Regulation on environmental impact assessment (Official Gazette 67/09) amends Article 7 of the Regulation, facilitating faster and more efficient procedure in order for the legal entities and natural persons to achieve their rights and legal interests. Under Article 7, paragraph 2 of the Regulation, the competent authority may decide on the request for evaluation of the need for EIA in a shortened procedure in accordance with the provisions of the act regulating the general administrative procedure, which complies with the provision of Article 4, paragraph 1 of the Environmental Protection Act. In that regard, by amending the provision of Article 28, paragraph 2, subparagraph 3 of the Regulation, the request for evaluation of the need for EIA can now, instead of the information on the project in terms of Annex VI of the Regulation, contain a preliminary design as the basis for making a decision about the request.

In such case, information about the project shall be made public on the web site. In addition to the general information under Article 28, paragraph 2, it shall also state that the preliminary design was the basis on which the decision was made.

Note for the sub-projects financed by the CEB/EIB:

For each sub-project must be submitted an Environmental Impact Study (EIA), i.e. its Non-Technical Summary or a certificate of the competent authority that EIA is not required.