Drone regulations in Croatia

Flying drones in Croatia

The legal situation in Croatia is rather difficult for drone pilots. In this post, we’ll explain to you which requirements you need to consider.

Since December 2018 new rules apply in Croatia. Essential for the assessment of a drone flight is now the weight of the aircraft, the speed, and the planned location. The following categories have been introduced:

  • Category A: This includes all drones with less than 250 grams take-off mass and a maximum speed of less than 19 m / s.
  • Category B1: This group includes drones with a mass from 250 to 900 grams and a maximum speed of less than 19 m / s. The category B1 includes e.g. the DJI Spark and the DJI Mavic Pro.
  • Category B2: This category includes unmanned aerial vehicles weighing less than five kilograms. Airspeed no longer matters from category B2. Representatives of the B2 class are the DJI Mavic Air, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro / Zoom and the DJI Phantom 4.
  • Category C1 and C2: These categories include drones with a take-off weight of five kilograms or more. Since these are hardly common, I do not go further here on these categories.

Good to know: When talking about the speed the actual flown speed is not relevant, but the maximum possible speed according to the manufacturer.

Do I need a drone permit in Croatia?

In uncontrolled airspace you do not need a permit for each flight in categories A and B1. Nonetheless, you always need permission to record videos or photos with your drone. More about the Croatian photo permission can be found at the end of the article.

Depending on the category, the different maneuvers are allowed, as shown in the table below. For deviating flight maneuvers you need the permission of the Croatian Aviation Authority (CCAA).

Category Time Minimum Age Locations
A Day and night Settled and uninhabited areas
B1 Only during day 14 Years Only uninhabited areas
B2 Day and night 16 Years Settled and uninhabited areas
C1 Only during day 18 Years Only uninhabited areas
C2 Day and night 18 Years Settled and uninhabited areas

In category B1, younger people can control the drone as long as an adult person supervises them.

For categories B2 and C1 you have to register your drone. To do this you fill out the form FOD-FRM-005, and send it in the original to the following address:

Hrvatska agencija za civilno zrakoplovstvo, Odjel letačkih operacija
Ulica grada Vukovara 284
10000 Zagreb
Hrvatska

There is a small processing fee of 20 Croatian Kuna per registration (3 US-Dollar).

For flight projects in the categories B2, C1 and C2, a traffic clearance from the air traffic control Croatia Control is always required.

Regardless of the category, drone flights are only allowed within the direct line of sight. For recreational drone activities, FPV flights may be operated.

Altitudes and safety distances in Croatia

In uncontrolled airspace, drones can fly up to 120 meters above ground. In controlled airspace (i.e. around airports) your drone may rise to 50 meters as long as you consider a minimum distance of five kilometers to the airport and you have the permission from the Air Traffic Control. The 79-joule rule used in the past no longer matters.

In addition to the maximum altitude, minimum distances to uninvolved persons are defined.

For crowds, it is essential to maintain a distance of 50 meters. A group is classified as a crowd when people are in a confined space and can not dodge an approaching drone. In the legal text concerts and demonstrations are given as examples.

In addition to the crowds, there are appropriate minimum distances for individuals as well. The 1:1 rule applies. This rule means that your current altitude corresponds to the minimum distance to be maintained. If your drone is supposed to fly 60 meters above ground, you will have to keep a horizontal distance of 60 meters to uninvolved persons.

At an airspeed up to 3 m / s, this safety distance must never be less than 5 meters (at higher speeds 30 meters).

Other requirements for drone pilots in Croatia

In addition to the already explained rules, there are more rules that you have to comply with as a multicopter pilot.

First and foremost, you must buy drone insurance that is valid in Croatia, which will cover any third party damage. You should always have proof of this insurance with you.

Besides, Croatian law requires that you tag your drone with a badge identifying the name, address and contact details (telephone, e-mail address). This information can be attached in most cases with a sticker. A fireproof marking is only required from a take-off mass of 5 kilograms (categories C1 and C2).

Are aerial photographs allowed in Croatia?

The rules described so far relate solely to flying a drone in Croatia. But if you want to take aerial photos and videos with your drone, then you also need a permit from the State Geodetic Administration (SGA, contact [email protected]). The applications are treated very differently, and so far it has not been possible to determine the criteria for the approval of the authority. However, it seems to be beneficial if you explain that your recordings are for family use only and should not be published. In the case of private flights, theoretically no permission is required from the SGA, but the authority decides in each case whether the permit is necessary. Also, there was already the information from the SGA that private individuals may not create aerial photographs.

The applications at the SGA are sometimes coordinated with the Ministry of Defense. The processing time can therefore be significantly more than four weeks. So I recommend that you get all the permits already a quarter of a year in advance.

Sources: CCAAAirspace Map

We have researched the listed drone regulations for Croatia to the best of our knowledge. We can not guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, please contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in Croatia!

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About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use a Yuneec Typhoon H. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a copter. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!

Discussions

  • Erika | 03.08.2017

    Hi Francis,
    Your blog is been very useful to me, as I am a brazilian travel blogger and now I have also a drone (Mavic Pro). Reading your blog I see is very disappointing traveling the world with the drone around the world with so confusing laws and regulations. Here in Brazil we need 2 documents and they are easy to obtain.
    I flew the drone in Thailand (private resort), and Maldives (until the hotel manager said it is forbidden, he told me the most of hotels there are issuing drone-free policies regarding the privacy of guests…. so disappointing again).
    Although, in Europe I think it is more easy, but I coudn’t find anywhere I could make this insurance for the drone? Could you give me a help to get this insurance? Do you know any reliable company?
    Thank you in advance!

    • Francis Markert | 19.02.2018

      Hi Erika,
      Thanks for your comment! At the moment, it is complicated to get drone insurance for most nationalities. Maybe this article is helpful for you: https://drone-traveller.com/drone-insurance/
      Sorry for the late answer!
      Best regards, Francis

      • Mosallam | 28.08.2018

        I want to ask if the costume alowed to carry drone in ????

    • Norman Bright | 24.05.2018

      Hi. I’m a licensed drone pilot from the uk. I was thinking taking my DJI mavic air to Croatia this coming September. But after reading all the details I’m not sure if it worth doing. Thank you for your information tho. Norm Bright Uk

  • Fahad | 29.01.2018

    I want to travel to croatia , and i want to know if i can carry my drone with or I’ll be in trouble in the airport ?
    Because in Azerbaijan they took my drone and they said not allowed to enter the drone, and when i travel back they give it to me

  • Maria | 07.03.2018

    From the CCAA website:
    “Insurance is mandatory only if the operating mass of the unmanned aircraft is equal or greater than 20kg.”

    • Francis Markert | 28.03.2018

      Oh, Maria, you are right! I updated the article!

  • Audun | 18.03.2018

    The Mavic Air at 430 grams and a top speed of 68.4 km/h will have a kinetic energy of 77.6 joules.
    Does that mean anyone older than 16 can fly it freely within Class I and II areas without applying for permission?

  • Alex | 17.04.2018

    I hope in the future is only the issue of safety of flying a drone and the possibility of crashing and not privacy unless it’s a professional drone with a zoom.. people do not understand that most drones don’t zoom in and you can easily hear them 300 meters away sometimes… It’s still very legal to buy a telephoto lens and capture image and video at extreme distance with no restriction and it’s easier to walk up with your phone and record with no sound… This is far more of a privacy issue than a loud drone that is perfect for capturing scenery but impossible to sneak up to someone. I hope the public one day can figure this out. It’s so frustrating when someone with a mega zoom camera tells me how my little spark is a privacy issue and they would “shoot it down” if they see it

  • John Galt | 02.06.2018

    Is the 79 Joules number correct? By my calculation a Mavic Pro at 0.72 kg would hit almost 106 Joules in a fall from 15 meters. That seems almost an impossible number to stay under.

    • Lukas | 27.08.2018

      I didn’t check the Croatian law, but being Austrian (Francis mentioned that the rule is the same as in Austria) I can confirm that the 79 Joules number is correct for Austria.
      And yes, you are right, with a Mavic Pro I think it is pretty much impossible to operate it below this figure – on top of the example you described you would also have to add some kinetic energy if you are flying vertically in some direction at 15 meters.

  • Jamieson | 06.06.2018

    Hi Francis, can you fly the mavic air with no paperwork in class I and II areas? Thanks in advance!

    • Arturs Nikitenko | 20.06.2018

      I would like to know that too…

      • Niko | 20.07.2018

        Me too 🙂

    • Carlos | 18.08.2018

      You need to send this form: http://www.ccaa.hr/download/documents/read/fod-frm-005_2282 to [email protected]
      As explained above, once you get the confirmation by email, you will need to submit a hard copy by post mail to this address: Ulica grada Vukovara 284, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia.
      After they’ll send you an email confirming, and then you’ll be able to use your drone on zones A and B

  • kandomere | 03.07.2018

    what do they mean by “main base” on the application form after the identification number? Thanks

  • Josip | 10.08.2018

    I have no drone myself, but I can shed some light on the actual ‘practice’ of the law as vs. ‘reading’ of the law in a bureaucratic hell like Croatia: Do whatever you want (with common sense) until you are told not to. The authorities are confused like you are. and may not even know the law exists.

    • Nils | 07.09.2018

      In Australia you will be held accountable if you don’t obey the laws, even if pleading ignorant. This was made very clear while doing the commercial licence. If possible, always try to stay within the regulation, I recommend for the whole industry to stay alive.

      • John | 21.10.2018

        Eastern Europe/Balkans are not Australia…. if you use common sense (not flying over people, cities, etc…) and safetiness, you won’t have troubles at all. In fact I live in one of these countries, and in the past years I even engaged in taking some video shots for the own use of a city hall of a big city (even know the law would ask proper permissions…), even cops are more curious than wanting to punish you. But you must use it in a safe and reasonable way, if you fly it in remote areas, you’re fine.

        • Eduardo | 27.12.2018

          Hi John
          how about for Hungary are those countries more or less the same process to obtain the permits?
          thank you in advance

  • Carlos | 18.08.2018

    Quite comprehensive and accurate info. Thanks
    I have to say that it’s a hazel to get it through, although the CAAC is quite responsive as they reply on the following working day (M-F).
    Something helpful is the map with the CTR’s: https://amc-en.crocontrol.hr/Current-situation-anonymous-users
    Go to filters and activate “CTR”. Bear on mind that you won’t be able to fly on those areas (i.e. Dubrovnikis a CTR)

  • Eduardo | 27.12.2018

    Hi everyone
    does anybody know if it works more or less the same way for countries like Montenegro, Bosnia, Albania and Greece or is it too complicated.
    thank you in advance for sharing your info to all

  • Francis Markert | 11.01.2019

    Hello Drone Enthusiasts,
    The legal situation in Croatia has changed. Now, it is much simpler to fly a drone in Croatia. I just updated the article for you.
    Best regards,
    Francis

  • Carlos | 11.01.2019

    So do we need insurance then?

    • Lukas K. | 30.01.2019

      Wondering about that too. Somebody above said that insurance is only needed if drone take-off or drop mass larger than 20kg. Francis confirmed that he will update the article, but I did not see that info there.

  • D. M. | 28.01.2019

    Hi Francis, thank you for updating this post, the new rules are a big change for Croatia!

    –So it is no longer required to communicate with the government at all?

    –If we are planning to travel the coast, it seems that most areas will be OK for flying if we are over the age of 18 and staying away from people, correct?

  • silverAG | 30.01.2019

    Currently, it is much complex to fly drones in Croatia for sport or recreational flying…

    What you wrote in this article are, actually, rules for so called “flying operations” (flying for science, surveillance etc.) – and then you need insurance, stickers with your name and address etc. on the drone, flying logs, manuals etc.

    For hobby/sports/recreational flying, no need for any insurance, papers, sticker and anything – but then you can fly only in uninhabited areas and only at the daylight – for details, please check posts #24 and #28 here: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?2729954-Welcome-to-Croatia-land-of-absurdity

    So, flying tiny whoop in my own backyard is illegal now… Unless I call it flying operations” in class A – and than I need to get insurance for my tiny whoop, put a sticker to it etc. and then I can fly my 2 minutes in my backyard…

    Also, taking videos/photos from air is still illegal if you don’t have special permissions from State Geodetic Administration…

    • silverAG | 25.02.2019

      I just got some details via e-mail from Croatian CCAA inspectors :
      – For flying operations, you always need insurance – no matter how much mass your drone have or how fast you fly. I specifically asked them about 20kg limit, and they said that there is no limit – ANYTHING used for flying operations need to be insured – even if it is below 20kg.
      – FPV is only allowed for recreational flying in uninhabited areas. And they confirmed that you can’t use FPV for flying operations.

      So, FPV whooping is forbidden even in my own backyard and I can’t even call it “class A flying operations” to avoid problems because flying operations can’t be performed using FPV…

  • Celina | 23.04.2019

    Hi! Thanks so much for the article and everyone who has contributed in the comments. I am going to Croatia in a week, totally last minute trip and I don’t have time to obtain all the necessary paperwork and I think I will be hoping for the best and shooting only in the remote areas. Just one question: are you sure that DJI Mavic Air belongs to category B2 and DJI Mavic Pro is the “lesser” category B1? I thought that would be the opposite…

    • Lukas | 30.04.2019

      Hi Celina,
      I’m assuming the updated information on the categories to be correct (didn’t check them).
      If so the categorization of the Mavic Pro (B1) and Mavic Air (B2) is correct – even though it does not really make sense. Reason for this is that with 734g and 430g respectively both would be categorized as B1 BUT the Mavic Air (according to DJI specifications) reaches a max speed of 68.4km/h = 19m/s which means it violates the requirement for B1 here which is formulated as “Max. speed of less than 19m/s”.
      The Mavic Pro on the other hand has a max speed of 64.8km/h which therefore meets the criteria for being B1.

      Speaking more practically, the regulations which should be met of course to be on the safe side, but I doubt that a lot of officials that might come across your way when flying a drone know the rules or are even aware that these “small” drones are regulated that strictly.
      I am pretty sure that most of them will treat these drones as toys and I pretty much doubt that (apart from maybe big cities and historic or official sites) the laws are enforced at all.

  • Steven | 26.05.2019

    Hey, when filling the form FOD_FRM_005, there is a question for ‘Type of UAS and their serial numbers’, wonder what should I fill for my Mavic Air?

  • Luke | 10.06.2019

    Hi all.

    Heading to Croatia at the end of the month for a Festival called “Hideout” in Novalja. Looking to make a nice montage movie for myself on Instagram/ YouTube. Water sports, Running, Exploring etc!

    Ideally looking at picking up the Mavic Air for this. Intend to use it in Italy later on the year and future trips.

    Anything I should know before? I’ve read the article and from what I can tell is that it’s currently a B2 Category Drone meaning I will need to submit a form to register the drone. Also I will need insurance? I can fly it around the town and festival during day light.

    Anything else I am missing and is any of this wrong?

    • silverAG | 28.06.2019

      Aerial photographing could be problematic – check article… 🙁

  • Donatas | 16.07.2019

    Hi everybody, 🙂
    Maybe you have any information how to pay drone registration fee in Croatia
    (processing fee of 20 Croatian Kuna per registration (3 US-Dollar).)
    Thank you in advance
    Donatas

  • D Townsend | 27.07.2019

    July 2019
    Please be advised that flying a drone for recreational purposes is allowed, but filming is not authorized anywhere in Croatia. Below is a quote from the State Geodetic Administration, dated 25/07/19/”…in accordance with current legislation performing of aerial photography for private purposes of public areas on Croatian territory is not authorized”

    For commercial purposes, you have to obtain authorisation from the above entity and Submit all film to them before leaving the country or sending the film by internet!

    Good luck with that!!

  • Ori | 05.08.2019

    Hey, It seems like regulations have been changed in March this year.
    Can you review this doc and say if there is any problem shooting pictures for non-commercial use?
    https://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/full/2019_03_28_572.html

  • Armenak | 10.09.2019

    I think this link from Croatian Civil Aviation Agency worth mentioning in the article. https://drone.ccaa.hr/
    It seems that for b1 class you don’t need any registration for unpopulated areas even for taking pictures and video. Refer to that link to know more for your situation.

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