Cruising in Croatia in 2023, what changes with Schengen


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Mooring at the buoy in Croatia (photo by CNTB – Aleksandar Gospic)

As of January 1, Croatia, formerly a member country of the European Union, officially joined the Schengen area and adopted the euro. According to information obtained from the Croatian National Tourist Board, here’s what’s changing for Italian boaters who want to visit the country with their own boat.

Cruising in Croatia, what changes for Italian boaters?

Croatia’s accession to the Schengen area means that as of January 1, 2023, there is no more checking in and out of the passenger list and documents at the Croatian Harbour Master’s Office and Border Police. In addition, it is no longer necessary to make an exit declaration to a non-Schengen state to the Maritime Border Police in Italy. One can then enter and leave Croatian territorial waters, coming from Italy or Slovenia, without any customs formalities. This applies to both EU citizens and non-EU citizens holding a regular Schengen visa.

Spalmadori Islands in Croatia (photo by CNTB – Boris Kacan)

Taxes are paid online

Although customs controls have been eliminated, the same cannot be said about paying Croatian navigation safety taxes, environmental taxes against marine pollution, and tourist tax (if you sleep on a boat). Italian boaters wishing to visit the country will have to continue paying these fees, but payment can be made conveniently online, without the need to stop at the Capitaneria. Through the eNautics portal, which can be accessed with a SPID or Electronic Identity Card, navigation and pollution fees can be paid, while only
on the website of the Croatian National Tourist Board.
tourist tax must be paid in case you sleep on a boat (it is not due if you sleep on land).

croatia cruising
Carnasce islets and the Blue Lagoon east of Zirona Grande, an island in Dalmatia (photo by CNTB – Mario Jelavic)

Croatia adopts the euro

Further news, of no small significance, is Croatia’s adoption of the euro. The euro (EUR), which replaced the former kuna (HRK), has become the only official means of payment valid in Croatia. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to have currency exchanged. If there are leftover kunas, they can be converted at a fixed exchange rate of 7.53450 kunas for 1 euro at any Croatian bank and post office by December 31, 2023 (no deadline for banknotes at the Croatian National Bank).

croatia euro
The new 2-euro coin with the profile of Croatia


Currently nothing changes for Italian vessels wishing to sail to Croatia. The Croatian National Tourist Board assured us that in order to sail in Croatia with an unregistered boat, it is sufficient to have the engine registration, insurance and declaration of conformity with you. It is possible, however, that this will change with the arrival of summer. Croatian regulations are much more restrictive than those in Italy and require all boats over 2.5 meters to be registered. Therefore, we will keep you updated if there is any news.

Photo by: Croatian National Tourist Board, Hrvoje Serdar, Boris Kacan, Mario Jelavic, Aleksandar Gospic and European Union

Article excerpted from The Journal of Sailing; Giacomo Barbaro.


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