SPECIAL REGIMES OF MANAGEMENT AND ACQUISITION OF FORESTRY LAND
Forests and forestry land are specific natural resources and are therefore, specifically regulated. It is important to differentiate forests owned by the Republic of Croatia (75% of all forests in Croatia) and private forests.
Private forest can normally be sold as any other private property; however there are some limitations for their acquisition. According to the provisions of the Forests Act, foreign natural and legal persons cannot own forests and forestry land unless it is otherwise determined by an international agreement. Since the Treaty concerning the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the EU applies to forests as well, this limitation doesn’t apply to EU Citizens.
Forests and forest land owned by the Republic of Croatia are managed by Hrvatske šume d.o.o. (Croatian forests). Sale of these is quite restrictive. First of all, one should conduct the procedure of extraction of forest and/or forest land from the forest management area for which area a fee is paid to the Croatian Forests. There are strict conditions for the transfer of ownership to a third party.
Certain forests and/or forest land owned by the Republic of Croatia may be extracted from the forest management area and the ownership may be transferred to a third party only if there is an interest of the Republic of Croatia for this extraction/transfer. This interest is determined in the expropriation procedure which precedes the procedure for extraction. However, the interest of the Republic of Croatia is assumed if the extraction is requested:
a) for the construction of enterprise zones,
b) for the defense of the Republic of Croatia,
c) in order to mark the locations of mass graves of victims of war or
d) in order to organize a particular enterprise zone for local governments on
the basis of the urban plan.
This procedure is initiated on the request of a legal or natural person in whose favor the extraction is conducted and the rights are transferred over certain forest or forest land. The procedure is governed by the Ministry of Agriculture.
It is possible to obtain the right to build on the forest land owned by the Republic of Croatia. In order to enter into contract with the Republic of Croatia and to obtain this right, forest land must first be extracted from the forest management area.