Croatia bans tourists from bringing own food


ZAGREB – Croatia has banned foreign tourists from bringing their own meat and dairy products into the country in order to meet EU rules on food safety.

Gordan Jerbic, head of the veterinary section at Croatia’s agriculture ministry, told Reuters on Monday the ban took effect on June 1 and was passed in line with European Union directives.

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The country is a candidate for EU accession and hopes to join the bloc by 2011.

“The new rule was adjusted with EU legislation. This was a demand from the European Commission, something we had to do. The idea is to prevent a possible spread of animal diseases from contaminated food,” Jerbic said.

“It is the same in all EU states.”

Croatia relies heavily on tourism, which generates one-fifth of its gross domestic product.

“If customs officers are consistent in checking people on borders, it could have some negative impact,” said Jan Papez, spokesman for the Association of Czech Travel Agents.