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Croatia: Package of measures to raise awareness of cleaner transport presented

Recommendation 5.4
The Government should review and adjust the current system of transport-related taxes, in order to encourage transition to less environmentally polluting practices and choices.

In August 2014 the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection presented a package of six measures related to cleaner transport. These included co-financing, changes to excise duties and registration fees, promoting energy efficiency, subsidizes to public transport and procurement of electric vehicles.

Package of measures to raise awareness of cleaner transport presented

In August 2014 the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection presented a package of measures and projects related to cleaner transport, and within the framework of the presentation the public had the opportunity to view and try out hybrid and electric vehicles.

The package includes co-financing in the amount of 15.5 million kuna by the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund for the purchase of ecologically acceptable vehicles through the „I Drive Economically“ project. The great interest shown by the public is an indicator that the public and companies have recognised the benefits of the project and the purchase of ecologically acceptable vehicles, and therefore funds have from the initially envisaged 7 million kuna been increased to 15.5 million, and 440 vehicles have been procured out of which 379 hybrid, 53 electric and 8 hybrid plug-in vehicles. The second measure is the change in the excise duty with the introduction of the ecological criterion when determining the amount of this special tax which now along with the value of the vehicle also depends on the average carbon dioxide emission and the type of fuel used by the vehicle.

The third measure is the adoption of the new Regulation which from 2015 introduces a more just manner of collecting the ecological tax paid annually during vehicle registration – in line with the actual level of pollution. Thus, owners of vehicles that pollute more will pay a higher fee, while those with smaller emissions will pay less that to date. Until now the special fee was calculated according to the vehicle category and type of engine and motor fuel, swept volume or engine power and age of vehicle. Therefore “small” and 'greater' polluters paid almost the same amount since neither CO2 emissions nor the vehicle miles travelled were taken into account. In the future the basis for the calculation will be the vehicle miles travelled and the level of CO2 emissions making the fee more just, and around 52% of vehicle owners will pay less than they do now.

The fourth measure is the Act on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles adopted in 2013. The Act prescribes that the public sector when purchasing new vehicles has to take into account energy impacts and effects of environmental impacts, and covers all those within the public procurement sector as well as operators providing public passenger transport. They are obliged, when purchasing the vehicle by which road transport is carried out, to take into account energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, and emissions of certain other pollutants, as well as to give precedence to ecologically acceptable vehicles.

Additionally, as a fifth measure, the Fund subsidizes with 40-80% the “greening” of public transport in cities and municipalities. Since reduction in emissions of harmful gases can also be achieved through economical and ecological driving, a project of eco-driving for professional drivers was supported, which will from 2015 be open to private individuals as well.

Finally, the latest presented measure is the “Green line” project. Through this project procurement of electric vehicles, vessels and hybrid vehicles by national and nature parks will be co-financed by the Fund. For the project, worth 30 million kuna, the Fund has in 2014 and 2015 ensured 24 million kuna, and the co-financing share will go up to 80%.