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By No owner — last modified Aug 15, 2018 02:18 PM

 Croatia - Formalities


Update August 2017: On August 4th, 2017, the Croatian Government adopted new regulations on sojourn tax in the tourism sector in 2018. Compared with this year, anyone looking to sail in Croatia next summer is facing new tax prices increased by up to a staggering 753%. See further details under Fees below and this news item.

Update January 2016: Due to the current situation with regard to the number of migrants and refugees attempting to enter Europe, a number of Schengen Area countries have re-introduced border controls. Therefore, it is advisable that cruisers now check with the official authorities when entering or leaving a country.

While at sea it is also advisable that any sightings of refugee/migrant boats be immediately reported to the appropriate Coast Guard via VHF. This is especially important if it is necessary to rescue any whose life is in danger.

Croatian Authorities are reported to be very strict and "by the book". Failure to comply with the correct procedures can result in hefty fines (see comments from cruisers at bottom of page and this noonsite report).

On arrival in Croatian waters, the yacht must make its way to the nearest official Port of Entry* and clear in immediately even if this is at night. In some ports the officials might come to come to the yacht for clearance. In marinas, the staff will call the relevant officials.

If necessary the skipper should go ashore and report to the police for passport control, as well as Customs and Harbour Master. The crew must remain on board until formalities are complete.

Note that if the yacht has an operational AIS, its movements will be tracked and the time of your arrival at a port recorded. So do not wait to clear in.

Skippers are required to obtain a cruising permit (vignette) and pay the fee for safe navigation, marine information chart and light fee, and a one-off payment for the sojourn tax. This can all be done at the same time at the port authority or branch office of the port authority. See Fees below for more details.

For further information on the cruising permit and other paperwork expected by Croatian officials, see Documents below.

It is necessary to list (together with passport information etc.) everyone who is either on the yacht are entry or who plan to join it while in Croatian waters.  See for the full details for foreign yacht regulations.

However, it is possible to amend the list of people on board after you have entered the country. Take the passports of your new visitors to the nearest Harbour Master's Office, make a new crew list, and amend the list that accompanies the cruising permit. The procedure is free of charge.

The yacht will not be allowed to carry persons who are not mentioned on the official list, and any yacht found to be in breach of this will be considered to be undertaking illegal chartering.

Boats leaving Croatia must obtain clearance from the Harbour Master at a port of entry. The vessel must leave Croatian territorial waters immediately and by the shortest route.

For information of the latest tariffs, call Croatia's principal port Authority, Pula Tel: +385 52 22 037.

Last updated August 2017.


Croatia is not yet part of the Schengen Area Agreement.

Citizens of the EU or the EEA and their family members, as well as nationals of many other countries do not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days in any 180 day period.

Citizens who hold a Schengen residence permit, a Schengen uniform visas (C- two or multiple entries) or a long-stay visa (D) do not require a visa to visit Croatia.

Details of current visa regulations can be obtained on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, If a visa is required, it is advisable to obtain it in advance, preferable from your home country.

Last updated April 2017.

Immigration Department
Contact to apply for a visa or for queries.


The Customs regulations for Croatia are now the same as other  EU member states as it is part of the EU Customs Union.

Note: This means that non-EU yachts may now only stay in the country for 18 months before import tax/VAT is payable.

Firearms must be declared on arrival and will be sealed and checked again when leaving. All details of the firearms must be entered on the cruising permit.

Arriving boats must report goods purchased outside the EU which are carried on board, and which exceed the quantity or value prescribed for relief from customs duty.  Customs officers have the right to conduct random and periodic checks of the vessel with respect to the status of the vessel or goods on board.

Foreign citizens spending more than 500 kuna are entitled to a VAT refund by handing to the Customs authorities the PDV-P form on departure from Croatia.

Boats Berthed in Coratia Prior to 2013

Boats which were berthed in Croatia before it joined the EU may now be forced to pay a significant fee (possibly in cash and without a receipt) before they can be re-launched and leave the country. See Yachting Monthly article

Unusual for EU countries, Croatian Customs require EU boat owners to produce evidence of a boat's VAT paid status. Despite the fact that a VAT invoice is also evidence of the boat’s status for Customs purposes, some Croatian Customs officers are insisting that boat owners have a T2L in addition to any VAT paperwork. A T2L document is not normally issued to boats sold new within the EU, just to those imported. Marinas and shipping agents inspecting paperwork have been demanding a T2L for pleasure craft that will never have been issued with a T2L because they are of EU origin. A notice issued by Croatian Customs acknowledges that documents other than a T2L are acceptable to prove community status (e.g. a VAT invoice), although not all Croatian Customs officers understand this.

Last updated April 2017.

Republic of Croatia Customs Offices
Alexander von Humboldt 4a, 10 000 Zagreb
Tel:+385 (0)1 6102 333 / 01 6211 300 / 0800 1222 Fax:+385 (0)1 6211-011 / (0)1 6211-012


Diving Emergencies: There are some 200 doctors in Croatia trained in diving medicine and skilled to deal with diving emergencies. Most of them live and work along the coast and on the islands of the Croatian Adriatic. They can be reached dialing "94", the unique phone number for medical emergencies in Croatia. Dialing this number you will reach the nearest urgent medicine facility in the area, and get an advice or help.


See the above Customs section for the difficulties that might be encountered regarding a boat's VAT paid status. U.K. boats can obtain a T2L form by applying the the RYA at [email protected]

Cruising Permit

A cruising permit is issued on arrival at the port of entry in the form of a licence disc or sticker and must be displayed prominently on the yacht. A counterfoil of the licence will be affixed to the crew list after it has been approved by the Harbourmaster.

The permit lasts for the calendar year and covers any number of exits and entries, but must be stamped at each major port by the Harbour Master and Customs. The permit allows a yacht to cruise along the entire coast including the islands, except for certain prohibited areas.

When obtaining your cruising permit on entry into Croatia, you must complete a crew list, crew changes are possible, but all the  different individuals that may be on board the boat during the validity of the one year permit should be listed. It is possible for this list to be amended, but such amendments must be endorsed at a Harbour Master's office. Children under 12 are not included.

It is not possible for a boat to have more than one cruising permit in a 12 month period.

Be sure to organise renewal of the cruising permit in advance of the expiry date as fines for not having a valid permit are high.

Certificate of Competence

Even though it may not be required by the cruiser's flag state, Croatian officials still expect to see a certificate of sailing competency.
Read this American's Experience for further details.
Also this Noonsite report and the Noonsite/European page with information on the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) if you need to obtain one.

See this Croatian Government website for a useful list of recognised certificates issued by other countries.

Other Documents

3rd party insurance, proof of ownership or permission to use the craft, and, if an EU registered boat, evidence of its VAT status, are required (see details above).

The full regulations can be found at As there have been a number of updates, you need to look at several documents before you have all the information.

Last updated April 2017.


Overtime may be charged after 15:00, at weekends and on public holidays (although not always).

Cruising Permit (vignette)
There is a set of fees for the cruising permit (vignette) which must be paid in local currency on arrival. It consits of:
- a navigation security fee based on LOA: see for the current rates. The fee varies from 525 to 1750 KN; for each subsequent arrival, it will be reduced by 10% up to a maximum of 50%.
- light dues: 4.90 USD/m of length
- maritime information chart fee (amount unknown); and
- an administrative tax of 40 kn.

For a 13.11m boat in 2015, a 12 month cruising permit cost 867 Kuna (approx. £90.00).

The Sojourn Tax
This is a tax payable to the tourist boards covering all persons sleeping on the vessel and was introduced in March 2010. This is a one-off payment based on the length of the vessel and the length of the stay of persons onboard. The Sojourn Tax is due to increase significantly in 2018. For more information see this news report by Total Croatia News.

All fees can be made to the Port Authority.

Anchorage Fees
If asked to pay an anchorage fee, check that the person requesting it presents a special card which contains the name of the concession provider and the concession holder or the port authority, the card number, and the name of the authorised person. If in doubt, contact the Harbour office. On request, a verified price list of dues charged for mooring should be shown. This fee also includes the collection of dry waste from the vessel.

If the anchorage is not on the list where a fee is payable, then officially, anchoring should be free. See offical list at

National Park Fees

There is a daily charge in all National Park areas (see Restrictions below). These significantly increased in 2018 (for example; 100 Euros for a 45 ft boat in Mljet, Lastovo).

Last updated:  June 2018


Charter: All foreign charter yachts are obliged to register with Croatian Shipping Register. For more details,

Areas prohibited to yachts are listed on the cruising permit or will be specified on arrival at the port of entry. It is strictly forbidden to photograph any restricted areas or military installations i.e. parts of the naval ports of Pula, Sibenik, Split (Lora) and Ploce (Bazine).

The following are prohibited or protected areas: Navigation is prohibited around Brijuni Island, delimited by the following lines:

Zone I

  1. Rt Barbaren - RT Kadulja
  2. Rt Kadulja - Isle of Supiniæ

Isle of Supiniæ - Position A (longitude: 44 52,6'N latitude: 13 42.2'E)

  1. Position A - Position B: (longitude: 44 52.6'N, latitude: 13 45.1'E)
  2. Position B - Position C: (longitude: 44 53.2'N, latitude: 13 46.0'E)
  3. Position C - Rt Kamnik

Zone II

The SE part of the Brijuni Island within the line connecting Rt Kavran and Rt Kozlac.

Other Restrictions
Navigation is prohibited in Limski Canal on the western coast of Istria because of a shellfish farm.

Navigation is prohibited in several bays because of fish farms located in them. They are listed in pilot books and are marked by buoys or signs onshore.

The following activities are prohibited in the interest of safety to swimmers or navigation generally: swimming, windsurfing or waterskiing in ports.

Boats must keep at a distance of at least 150 ft (50 m) from marked bathing areas, or sail at least 300 ft (100 m) offshore.

National Parks
The protected area in the Kornati National Park extends from Prolaz Proversa Vela (south of the island Dugi Otok) to the southern point of Kornat Island.

All activities that may pollute the sea are strictly prohibited and all garbage must be deposited in the bins provided. No fauna or flora must be distrubed or damaged.

A permit must be obtained for fishing or scuba diving. Spear fishing is not permitted.

A list of permitted overnight anchorages can be obtained when purchasing the entrance ticket.

There is a daily charge for entering the park.

Scuba Diving

You may only scuba dive in Croatia if you have a permit issued by the Croatian Scuba Diving Federation. This is valid for one year and is issued to divers with valid certification. The permit costs 100 kunas for organised group diving through a centre. Unsupervised diving permits can be purchased via the harbour masters office at a cost of 2400 kunas a year. Areas requiring a special permit are Kornati, Mlijet and Telascica, issued by the park authorities. There are also a number of areas where you can only dive under the supervision of a licensed diving centre. Consult the Croatian Diving Union website for latest info.


Dogs and cats need a veterinary certificate showing that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies between 15 days and six months previously. All animals need a general health certificate and to be free of parasites and to have had all necessary vaccinations. More information from or download forms from

Pets (dogs, cats and animals from the marten family) accompanied by the owner travelling through Croatia or staying temporarily shall, pior to entering the country, be marked by a microchip or a clearly visible tattoo number that shall be entered in the international certificate issued according to the applicable laws of the Republic of Croatia. The first rabies vaccination given within 3 months shall be given not less than 6 months and not more than one year before. Subsequent (booster) vaccinations shall be given not later than one year before travelling. Import and temporary residence on the territory of Croatia is forbidden for the dangerous terrier breed such as bull type not entered in the FCI register of the International Kennel Federation for pit bull terriers and their hybrids.

Last updated April 2017.

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