THANOS magazine

Romania | May 4, 2024

Looking for the best standards
Challenges in Croatia’s Funeral Industry

By Martin Legović, Funeral services Silentium, Istria, Croatia

The funeral industry in Croatia is not fully regulated, as the Funeral Services Act only loosely regulates it. In the mentioned law, which came into effect in 2015, the occupation of "undertaker" was finally introduced, which had not been the case in Croatia until then.

Becoming a funeral director involves passing an exam administered by the Croatian Chamber of Crafts, without the requirement for prior work experience. However, we would like to see the introduction of training and experience requirements for the same, rather than just relying on an exam as a prerequisite for engaging in this profession. We believe this approach is unfair to experienced undertakers with extensive experience in funeral services.

Further, the funeral industry in Croatia faces challenges due to unclear regulations, particularly concerning competition from municipal companies, which arises from ambiguities in both the Funeral Services Act and the Companies Act. There is significant unfairness in the market, as private entities invest in funeral vehicles, equipment, refrigeration facilities, and more, influencing pricing dynamics. Meanwhile, municipal companies receive funding from various budgets and operate without pursuing profit, thereby directly impacting prices by undercutting private companies. However, in order to provide better services, collaboration with international organizations and colleagues from abroad enables us to educate ourselves and implement standards in our work. These collaborations help us to improve the quality of services and ensures that our community receives the best possible support during times of loss and grief.

Regarding ISO standards in funeral services, they are generally prescribed for all trades, not just funeral services, which we also believe should be clarified. This became apparent during the coronavirus epidemic, where we, in agreement with our colleagues, maintained professionalism to the highest standard, prioritizing the utmost health and safety of ourselves and our clients. As for environmental standards in funeral services in Croatia, they are not prescribed, but we have found ways to align ourselves with international counterparts and modernization efforts. Cremation caskets are sourced from natural, eco-friendly materials, as are cremation urns, which are biodegradable.

In conclusion, we strongly advocate for comprehensive regulation of the funeral industry in Croatia to ensure alignment with global standards. It is imperative that we keep pace with advancements and practices prevalent in funeral services worldwide. Establishing clear guidelines for training, experience, pricing mechanisms, and environmental sustainability will not only enhance professionalism within the industry but also ensure that we meet the evolving needs and expectations of our clients. By embracing modernization and adhering to international best practices, we can elevate the standards of funeral services in Croatia and provide a more dignified and sustainable experience for Families.

Read whole article in the spring issue of THANOS magazine
you can read online at page 16

Read online THANOS magazine

Global members

FIAT-IFTA is the only internationally governed funeral Federation with National, Active And Associate Members in more than 80 countries.

Find a member nearby Become a member