Answer ... Yes. The rules on enforcement differ with respect to domestic awards and foreign awards. Domestic awards are directly enforceable (ie, no special leave for enforcement (exequatur) is needed). Leave to enforce foreign awards only can be sought through a separate action for recognition of the award. Alternatively, the court can grant leave for enforcement in the process of enforcement, where recognition of the foreign award will be handled as a preliminary issue in the proceedings. The application for enforcement must be submitted to the competent court. In the case of commercial arbitration, this is the Zagreb Commercial Court; in non-commercial cases, it is the Zagreb County Court. Jurisdiction to undertake particular enforcement actions is determined according to the Law on Enforcement.
Upon receiving an application for enforcement, the court shall order enforcement, unless it finds that:
- the subject matter of the dispute is incapable of being submitted to arbitration;
- enforcement would violate public policy;
- the opposing party has successfully proved the existence of one of the reasons to set aside an award as set out in Article 40(1) of the Arbitration Act; or
- the award has not yet become binding.
With regard to foreign arbitral awards, the Croatian Arbitration Act has incorporated all provisions of Article V of the New York Convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, adding one additional ground for refusal of recognition and enforcement: the award does not contain the reasons for the decision or lacks the signatures of all arbitrators.