Cultural property may be publicly or privately owned and may be exported only in exceptional cases. The most important obligations are care and maintenance of the property and public accessibility, with the right, under certain conditions, to receive compensation from the budget for some maintenance costs. The owners of cultural property enjoy tax and duty benefits.
The Law on the Protection of Cultural Assets, 1999 introduced the obligation of paying a “monument annuity” in case a cultural asset is used in a printed work, for promotion, or when an income or profit is made from an economic activity performed in an immovable cultural asset. This Law was amended in 2003 aiming to improve the system of collecting and distributing funds collected from monument taxes. The 2009 amendments brought changes in regulation of concessions and jurisdictions, while the subsequent changes reflect EU regulations regarding the trafficking and return of cultural goods. The amendments made in 2011 relate to the establishment of the Committee for Complaints and its jurisdiction, and 2012 amendments were related to classification categories of those eligible for monument annuity tax. Additional amendments in 2012 relate to the regulations and jurisdictions on movement of cultural assets within the European Union.
There is special legislation (the Law on Archive Material and Archives, 1997 amended in 2000, and 2009) on the protection of archival material and its handling, librarianship, and the preservation of films and film material of historic, artistic and other cultural significance. The amendments in 2009 enable foreign legal and private entities to establish archives. New requirements for the position of director of the archive and new categories of archival professions have been introduced. The new special law regarding museums and collections was adopted in 2015 and brought about a number of changes, including those related to the EU Directive on Services, which brought about criticism that it brings over-commercialisation of the museum sector.
The government adopted the Strategy for Protection, Conservation and Sustainable Economic Utilisation of Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Croatia (2011-2015) in July 2011 (see chapter 3.1). However, no action plans have been adopted since then.