Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Republic of Croatia
Drone Regulator in Croatia: Croatian Civil Aviation Agency (CCAA)
EU Nations Drone Regulator and Regulations: European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
For a full explanation of EASA regulations simplified, please read our explainer: The rules for drone flyers in the European Union (Europe Drone Laws Simplified)
UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Croatia
The Croatian agency responsible for drone safety, CCAA, has provided several internet-accessible details on flying for fun or work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details go to the link above.
Flying and operating drones in Croatia are subject to European Union Regulation 2019/947. The Croatian Civil Aviation Agency (CCAA) supervises and implements the Regulation in Croatia. This reform aims to create a truly harmonized drone market in Europe with the highest level of safety. In practice, it means that once a drone Οperator has received authorization from its state of registry, they will be allowed to circulate in the European Union freely. According to the level of risk involved, this new legal framework will introduce three categories of drone operations: Open, Specific, and Certified.
Drone operations are to be conducted according to the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 (as amended).
Are drones allowed in Croatia?
According to CCAA, drone use is allowed in Croatia, subject to CCAA and EASA regulations. Read on for more details.
Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Croatia:
Drone operators must register all drones in Croatia. Following registration, you must adhere to the following rules.
- Drones may fly up to 50 meters (170 feet) above ground or sea level in the Open category and up to 120 meters (400 feet) in the Specific category. (The CCAA may grant exemptions to operators of specific category drones.)
- Direct visual contact with the drone is required, and the operating distance should not exceed 500 meters.
- Avoid flying too close to residential areas or populated areas.
- Maintain a safety buffer zone of one kilometer around residential areas.
- Unless the owner/person consents, a safety distance of 500 meters from isolated buildings, people, vehicles, animals, and structures is required.
- Avoid flying near airports and heliports. Stay a minimum of eight (8) kilometers away from airports and three (3) kilometers from heliports for safety.
- At no time is it permissible to fly a drone at night.
- There shall be no flying over, within, or near military installations, public utility installations, archaeological sites, or public or private facilities.
Given the low level of risk, neither prior authorization by the competent authority nor a declaration by the drone operator is required. The drone’s total takeoff mass must be less than 25kg and be operated within a visual line of sight at a maximum altitude of 120m.
Considering the moderate level of risk involved, flights in this category require authorization before the operation. The permission is given considering the mitigation measures identified in an operational risk assessment, except in specific standard scenarios where an operator declaration is sufficient.
Given the inherent dangers, certification of the drone and a licensed remote pilot are required. If your drone can carry people, you fall under the Certified category!
EASA Summary of Drone Flight Operation Requirements
Note for foreign operators
The CCAA has provided a page in English titled I wish to fly a drone in Croatia, and I am not a Croatian citizen. I am here temporarily – what do I need to do?
Please note that if you want to gather aerial photography or videos of public places, you might be required to obtain permission from State geodetic authorities: https://dgu.gov.hr/kontakti/80. You will see from the comments below that they have been unwilling to provide such approval to foreign hobbyists or tourists. Go to the page linked above for more detailed information.
You must register as a UAS operator in your permanent residence country, and your registration is valid in Croatia!
You must train and pass the remote pilot exam in any of the EU member states, and your remote pilot proof or certificate is valid in Croatia!
Download and install the AMC Portal Mobile application and see where you are allowed and not allowed to fly. Contact Air traffic control to see if you might be required to get authorization for my flights: https://amc-en.crocontrol.hr/Contact.
If you intend to take aerial photos and videos, you might be required to obtain permission from State geodetic authorities: https://dgu.gov.hr/kontakti/80.
Pay attention to weather conditions and fly according to the drone manufacturer’s instructions
Operator Registration (Non-EU Residents)
- If you are coming from a non-EU country and this is the first time you will fly your drone in an EU country, you MUST register as an Operator.
- Upon registration, you will receive a unique Operator Registration number which you MUST attach to your drone. If you have several drones, the same number must be attached to them.
- You are not allowed to fly in NO FLY ZONES, and you must keep a minimum of 8km distance from airports/heliports.
- You must not register again if you have already conducted operations in another EU country before going to Croatia. You always register to the first non-EU country you have conducted flights.
Remote Pilot Certificate (Non-EU Residents)
- If you want to fly your drone in Croatia and live in a non-EU country, you must hold a Remote Pilot Certificate from an EU country.
- You can get the A1/A3 Certificate by registering with the online Remote Pilot School.
- The online training and exam are required for those who want to fly a drone in the ‘Open’ category in subcategories A1/A3.
- The pass mark is 75%, and you have three attempts to pass.
- Once you pass your exam, you will receive your remote pilot certificate. Its validity will be five years.
- You must have your Remote Pilot Certificate when you plan drone operations in Croatia and present it when the authorities ask.
How to register as a drone pilot or operator in Croatia?
According to European Regulation (EU) 2019/947, registration is mandatory for UAS operators (not for UAS themselves).
The UAS Pilot, also known as the Remote Pilot (RP), is the person physically behind the UAS flight controls. They are fully responsible for the safety of the flight throughout operations.
The UAS Operator is the person or company who oversees operations and gives flight instructions. This person or legal entity bears all responsibility for the operations of the drone (s) on their behalf. Very often, in the OPEN category and as individuals, the Pilot and the Operator are the same person.
Who should register?
As part of the OPEN category, registration is compulsory for operators:
- UAS that has a mass of 250 g or more;
- UAS that has a mass of less than 250 g but:
- can operate at speeds greater than 90km / h
- are equipped with a camera or a microphone, if these UAS are NOT toys *
* A UAS is a toy when a manufacturer intends it for children under 14 and meets the minimum safety criteria required to be so named. Compliance with these standards naturally limits the capabilities of the UAS (size, weight, non-dangerous spare parts, no powerful motor, etc.): see Directive 2009/48 / EC of 18 June 2009 on the safety of toys
Under the SPECIFIC category, registration is compulsory for all operators.
Natural persons can only register in the country where they reside.
Legal persons must register in the country where their principal place of business is located.
Registration can only be done in one Member State at a time.
How do you register in Croatia for drone operations?
The operator registration procedure begins at the CCAA website drone registration page.
This UAS operator registration number is valid for one year and must be renewed periodically following the same procedure. The operator always uses the same number unless the latter is permanently deregistered from the register.
Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Croatia
Not for commercial use.
Not operated above industrial areas or densely populated areas.
You must: Comply with the national and EASA regulations.
You cannot operate in clouds or above crowds, industrial sites, urban areas, or other restricted areas.
Private insurance covering recreational drone activities is recommended.
Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in Croatia
You must be at least 18 years old to qualify.
Each pilot must obtain a license and register their drone(s) with the appropriate authorities. You will be questioned about your drone and your personal and business information.
Once obtained, you can fly above urban areas (up to 120 meters), but you must notify the police at least 24 hours before your flight. You must adhere to all other recreational drone use rules.
Depending on the weight of your drone, you will require a different type of license (the heavier the drone, the more detailed the test):
- A license is required for drones weighing less than 1.5 kg. 1A
- A license is required for drones weighing less than 7 kilograms. 1B
- A license 2 is required for drones weighing less than 25 kg.
Each license has two parts:
- Theoretical instruction in an approved educational facility
- A practical training session in the same facility requiring at least 15 flights outside of urban areas with a total flight time of at least 5 hours.
See general EASA rules above.
What you must know about Croatia No Fly Zones or No Drone Zones
You need to know if you can operate your drone, under what limitations, whether authorizations are required, and how to get those authorizations.
We encourage you to read our explainer for more details on this topic here: Explainer – What You Must Know About No Fly Zones or No Drone Zones
Useful published information on flying drones in Croatia
- Where you are allowed to fly a drone in Croatia
- Register in Croatia as drone operator
- Online drone pilot training and tests in Croatia
- Apply for an authorisation to fly in Croatia
Here is a sample of what you might expect if you follow the drone laws and fly in Croatia…
NOTE: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS), Small UAS, Remote Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and drone are interchangeable terms unless specified. Model Aircraft, toy, remote-controlled, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.
Find out why we think you must use a Drone Preflight Checklist and a Drone Post-flight checklist
Free Drone Flight Checklist PDF
This Drone Flight Checklists is better than others.
It includes both the preflight checklist and post-flight checklist
It’s an easy to use printable pdf that covers all your bases.
Traveling with a Drone?
Click here to read our Comprehensive Guide For Traveling With A Drone.
NOW ITS YOUR TURN
13 thoughts on “Drone Laws in Croatia”
Hi, really great article, thanks for preparing it. I have dji mini 3 pro and I reside in Poland. I have already registered it in PL, as I know there is no need to register it within EU again. However, in Poland before we fly, we need to check in on DroneRadar app. Is there something similar in Croatia ? Moreover, thanks to this app I can see in which areas I am allowed to fly, do you also have something similar?
thanks in advance 🙂
Ramin, in the EU residents section above, you will find a link to the portal, which provides you with that information.
Followed the instructions on this website (http://www.ccaa.hr/en/i-wish-to-fly-drone-in-croatia-i-am-not-croatian-citizen-i-am-here-temporarily–what-do-i-need-to-do-67803) and contacted DGU providing the forms they requested (in Englis and Croatian)
I got the following reply from DGU:
“In accordance with current legislation performing of aerial photography of public areas on Croatian territory is not allowed without permission, performing of aerial photography for private purposes of public areas on Croatian territory is not allowed, you can not get permission as private person for performing of aerial photography.”
I guess it is a checkmate. 🙁
Laszlo, thank you for your update. You can fly your drone; however, Croatia has limited drone use by foreigners for aerial photography and videography. Getting the approval has been very difficult for hobbyists.
I live in London and have British Operator ID and Flyer ID for flying a 500 g drone. Do I need to register for EU pilot and operator IDs to fly a drone in Croatia?
Yes, the UK is no longer in the EU
I am planning a trip to Croatia next month. Read all the regs and was still not clear. Below is a list of questions addressed to the CCAA and their responses below each question received 9Aug2022.
Dear CCAA –
Thank you for directing me to information about regulations for flying a UAS in Croatia.
However, I still am a little confused about the requirements I must meet to fly my sub 250g DJI Mini 3 Pro and take vacation photographs on a planned trip to Slovenia and Croatia in October. I am coming as a tourist from the United States with a US passport.
Could you answer a few questions?
1. I obtained an EASA UAS Operator Registration for Slovenia, the first EU country where I plan to fly (see attachment). Do I also have to obtain a registration for Croatia?
2. I understand I will need to take a training course and pass the pilot exams with a score over 75 because I will be taking photos and videos, even though my drone is under 250g. Is that correct?
Not in Croatia.
3. The English language site your web site sent me to indicates “Training in the European format is generally recommended, but training in the national format acquired abroad can also be used to demonstrate equivalence.” I have had training in the United States and have passed the test to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a UAS pilot (see attachment.) Will the CCAA accept this as equivalent or should I take the EASA training and test?
No training is required in Croatia for remote pilots flying drones with mass under 250 g.
4. The English language site your website sent me to offers training and examination based in Luxembourg. Will the testing results be acceptable to the CCAA?
5. With my under 250g drone do I need to carry an insurance policy with a minimal liability coverage of 750.000,00 SDR?
Charles, thanks for sharing.
This article is incomplete. While it’s technically possible to fly a drone without a camera, if you have a camera you need 2 additional permits by the “DGU” aka “Drzavna Geodetska Uprava” aka the State Geodetic Authority (dgu.gov.hr). If you record or not DOES NOT MATTER.
You need 1 permit to record, and another to publish your footage (whether it be photos or videos). You must request this permit at least 7 days in advance, and once you finish your flight you must send your footage to the DGU (within 8 days of recording) before you can get approval to publish your footage.
This is required for every single flight. Every!
The penalty for not following this is a €650-€3300 fine (per incident). Police have the authority to confiscate your drone. Police will not fine you directly, they will take your information and pass it to the CCAA and DGU and they will do the fines.
It is of course utter madness and I guess most people ignore the law, but if you get unlucky and a police patrol happens to walk by while you’re flying then it’s entirely possible for things to go sour real quick.
And if you live in Croatia and have a Instagram/YouTube/TikTok account where you publish drone footage keep in mind if someone wants to they can send your info to the authorities and they can retroactively fine you for your past flights (multiply the above fine by X amounts of time you flew without authorization and/or you took footage without the DGU’s permission).
Hi thanks for the info , so what if for example someone had managed to get successful flights and footage without being stopped and have already left Croatia ? Would they receive fines even if they lived outside the country ?
I’m flying to Croatia from the States this Friday. I was planning on bringing 2 drones. One is approx 750g (All Up Weight) with Lipo and Gopro. The other is approx 400g (AUW) with Lipo and Gopro. Both of which can exceed speeds of 19m/s.
I’m a little confused as to what (specifically) I’ll need to have before entering the country. As I am not an EU resident, and entering the country for the first time. Will I need the Operator Registration and the Remote Pilot Certificate?
Is the exam (not sure which one I need to take) something that needs to be scheduled an taken in person like the US part 107? Or can I take it online, and print the certificate to take with me.
Wondering if anyone from the States has recently gone through this process and can advise me on the best next steps?
I first read this article but was then told it was wrong as any drone operator (I a min the UK and not even commercial but only a tourist) have to do a pass a test in an EU country (they recommended Eire or Luxembourg) before flying in Croatia. I am flying a DJI Spark so a relatively small drone
Thanks Ian, we have updated the regulations to reflect the EASA adoption.