General (scope, time limits)
The LITP foresees a border procedure. Two Transit Centres for Foreigners were built and opened in 2017, one in Tovarnik at the border with Serbia and another in Trilj near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
At the moment, the border procedure provided under the LITP does not take place in those two centres. According to information provided by the Ministry of Interior at the beginning of 2019, it was still not clear when the implementation of the border procedure would start. However, no information is publicly available on whether this has changed from 2019 to the end of 2022. Thus, there is currently no border procedure in Croatia according to the knowledge of the Croatian Law Centre.
According to the LITP, the border procedure would be applicable for the foreigner who expresses intention of lodging an application or make subsequent application at a border crossing point or in a transit zone of an airport, sea port or internal water port, provided that the following conditions are met:
- The applicant is provided with material reception conditions; and
- The application or subsequent application may be rejected as manifestly unfounded if the applicant does not meet the conditions for asylum or subsidiary protection and conditions are met for the accelerated procedure to be conducted, or the application or subsequent application may be dismissed as inadmissible.
However, if a decision concerning the application is not issued within the period of 28 days from the day of the lodging of the application for international protection, the applicant would be permitted entry to the Republic of Croatia with a view to conducting the regular procedure.
As it is unclear whether border procedures are conducted at the moment, no information can be provided on personal interviews.
The border procedure is foreseen by the LITP, but is unknown whether it is applied in practice. By law lawsuits against decisions in the border procedure have suspensive effect, and are subject to shorter time limits: a lawsuit to the Administrative Court against a decision of the Ministry of Interior made in the border procedure must be lodged within 5 days from the day of the delivery of the decision. The Ministry shall deliver the case file no later than 8 days from the day of receipt of the decision by which the Administrative Court requests the case file. The Administrative Court shall render a judgment within 8 days from the day of receipt of the case file.
According to the LITP, applicants in all types of procedures shall have access to free state funded legal aid in the preparation of a lawsuit to the Administrative Court, including representation before the Administrative Court where requested by the applicants. However, this could be restricted, as the LITP allows the possibility to temporarily restrict access to those locations (and therefore to applicants accommodated there) for the applicant’s legal representative or a representative of an organisation engaged in the protection of refugee rights, other than UNHCR, when it is necessary for the protection of the national security and legal order of the Republic of Croatia.
 Information provided by the Ministry of Interior, 2 March 2017; 13 February 2018; 28 January 2019.
 Article 42(1) LITP.
 Article 42(4)-(5) LITP.
 Article 51(1) LITP:
 Article 42(6) LITP.
 Article 42(3) LITP.