Croatia’s controversial kuna currency system is about to be replaced by the European Union’s euro in 2023.
While the kuna itself has been controversial, the change to the euro will be costly and logistically challenging. More than one billion kuna and lips coins estimated to be capable of filling 260 trucks need to be withdrawn from circulation. While the Ministry of Defense wouldn’t say why, the coins will be moved to a secret location where they will be stored for three years.
The Hrvatska narodna banka or Croatian National Bank is reported to have about 760,000 Croatian dinars on hand despite this currency having been demonetized after 1994. The central bank will need to destroy an estimated 500 million bank notes being redeemed by citizens. There will be a three-year time limit in which coins can be redeemed for euros. Bank notes in kuna denominations will be able to be redeemed at no cost with no time limit on their redemption.
Consumers will be able to pay in kunas between Jan. 1 and Jan. 15, 2023, but during that transition period will receive change in euros. One kuna was valued at an exchange rate of 15 cents U.S. at the time this article was being written.
CNB Vice Governor Tihomir Mavriček said, “The changeover to the euro will cost a total of about 915 million Kuna in this three-year period. At most, the purchase of bank notes from the European Central Bank will cost around 880 million kuna, while the coins will be produced in Croatia in the mint.”
Mavriček added, “Approval from the EU is expected in the summer, and from August, prices will be expressed in both kunas and euros.”
The Croatian Monetary Institute was established in 1993. The facility issues circulating coins for Croatia in addition to gold and silver medals, commemorative medals, badges, and license plates.