Covid-19 impact on civil and insolvency matters

Croatia
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European Judicial Network
European Judicial Network (in civil and commercial matters)

1 Covid-19 impact on civil proceedings

1.1 Time limits in civil proceedings

On 18 April 2020, amendments to the Act on Enforcement over Monetary Assets entered into force: enforcement on accounts of natural persons was suspended for 3 months (with a possible extension of additional 3 months). The calculation of statutory interests were also suspended in this period.

From 19 October 2020 enforcement has continued to be conducted regularly. However, Ministry of justice and administration sent recommendations to public notaries asking that they start dealing with enforcement cases submitted in the past six months in three phases- starting October 19, November 20 and January 20. In the first phase, enforcement decisions made on the basis of applications received by June 30 will be issued, those received by August 31 will be issued in the second phase, and in the third phase decisions made on the basis of applications received by October 18 will be issued.

1.2 Judicial organization and Judiciary

All judicial authorities continue to work. However only those proceedings that have been identified as urgent are carried out by appropriate security measures. Hearings and other non-urgent cases have been postponed until further notice.

In cases where judges can make decision as single judges or in which the hearing is not required, it is first of all necessary to make decisions from home and then arrange for their dispatch. Heads of the judicial authorities have the mandate to allow employees to work from home where possible.

Communication with parties and all participants in proceedings is done electronically in all cases where that is possible. In cases requiring meeting or hearing, all precautionary measures imposed by the health authorities should be taken. In each situation, the technical means of distance communication available to judges and courts, including within the court (email, videolink, etc.) should be used.

It is also recommended that enforcement proceedings, especially enforcement related to vacating and handing over of real estate are postponed.

Due to the outbreak of epidemic of COVID-19 in Croatia all electronic public auction openings in enforcement and insolvency cases have been postponed, except those in which the bidding has begun by March 24, 2020 at the latest, which are to be finished according to published Calls for participation in Electronic Public Auction.

All requests for sale received after the 13th of March, 2020, which have not been processed, will be processed upon termination of special circumstances of epidemic of COVID-19. All published Calls for down Payment for Costs and Calls for Participation in the Electronic Public Auction will be put out of force and will be reissued under the same conditions of sale by the end of the special circumstances of outbreak of epidemic of COVID-19.

1.3 EU Judicial Cooperation

Parties must send their inquiries, requests and applications to the Ministry of Justice during regular office hours by email, telephone and postal service providers.

International legal assistance is still provided but might be delayed.

2 Insolvency related measures adopted or planned for adoption in member states as communicated until 16 April 2020

2.1 Substantive insolvency measures and related contracts affecting measure

2.1.1 Insolvency suspension

2.1.1.1 Suspension of duty to file for insolvency (debtors)

Reasons to initiate bankruptcy, that occur during the special circumstances, are not valid for the motion to initiate the bankruptcy proceedings. The triggers for the initiation of bankruptcy are insolvency and over-indebtedness, but none of these triggers are applicable if they occur during the special circumstances. Exception is that petition for opening the bankruptcy proceeding may be submitted by the debtor, the Financial Agency and the creditor only for the reasons of safeguarding the interests and safety of the Republic of Croatia, nature, the human environment and human health.

2.1.1.2 Protection of debtors about insolvency filing from creditors

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2.1.2 Claim enforcement suspension and contract termination suspension

2.1.2.1 General / specific moratoria on claims enforcement / certain types of claims enforcement

On 1 May 2020 Act on Intervention Measures in Enforcement and Insolvency Proceedings entered into force.

According to the Act enforcement proceedings are suspended for 3 months (with possibility to extend for additional 3 months). During the special circumstances, employers and state pension fund will not withhold the salary/pension for the benefit of creditors (with exception to this rule are the enforcement of child support, employee claims and interim measures under criminal procedure law).

The calculation of statutory interests is suspended for the same time period.

2.1.2.2 Suspension of contract termination (general / specific contracts)

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2.2 Civil, including insolvency courts suspension and procedural suspensions

Due to the outbreak of epidemic of COVID-19 in Croatia all electronic public auction openings in enforcement and insolvency cases have been postponed, except those in which the bidding has begun by March 24, 2020 at the latest, which are to be finished according to published Calls for Participation in Electronic Public Auction.

All requests for sale received after the 13th of March, 2020, which have not been processed, will be processed upon termination of special circumstances of epidemic of COVID-19. All published Calls for down Payment for Costs and Calls for Participation in the Electronic Public Auction will be put out of force and will be reissued under the same conditions of sale by the end of the special circumstances of the outbreak of epidemic of COVID -19.

2.3 Other insolvency measures (those relating to avoidance actions, reorganization plans, informal agreements, and others if appropriate)

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2.4 Related non-insolvency measures (payment deferrals, bank loans, social security, health insurance, business subsidies)

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Last update: 18/03/2021

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