The skipper of a vessel entering the territorial waters of the Republic of Croatia by sea is obliged to take the shortest route to the nearest port open to international traffic, in order to carry out border control formalities, to obtain the relevant official vignette (sticker) and for the verification of crew member and passenger lists at the Harbour Master’s Office, or branch office.
The skipper of a vessel which is brought into Croatia by road, or which is moored in a port or in some other approved location within the Republic of Croatia, is obliged to obtain the official vignette (sticker) and to verify the list of crew members and passengers (to retain the services of a skipper if required), in the Harbour Master’s Office, or a branch office, prior to setting out to sea. The vignette (sticker) must be obtained for a vessel of 3 m or more in length, as well as a vessel less than 3 m in length if its total propulsion power is 5 kW or more.
The official vignette (sticker) is not obligatory for a vessel using only oars/paddles, regardless of its length (such as a kayak, beach canoe, pedal-boat or similar). The official vignette is not needed by a vessel while in storage in a port or in any other such approved place in the Republic of Croatia. Small watercraft, such as jet-skis, are subject to the same regulations with regards to obtaining a vignette. The official vignette (sticker) must be displayed in a visible location on the vessel. Its period of validity is one year from the date of issue. The counterfoil of the vignette must be affixed (adhered) to the vessel’s list of persons.
A vessel sailing in the Republic of Croatia must carry the following original documents:
The official vignette (sticker) Verified list of crew and passengers Verified list of persons who can stay aboard the vessel (for vessels which intend to change crews while sailing in the Republic of Croatia) Proof of seaworthiness of the vessel Proof that the skipper of the vessel is able and qualified to command the vessel Proof of third party insurance Proof of ownership, or the owner’s authorisation to use the vessel.
List of crew members and passengers and list of persons
The list of crew and passengers includes crew members and passengers who are on the vessel, and is approved by signature and seal at the Harbour Master’s Office or branch office. If the skipper of a vessel does not intend to change crew during their stay in Croatia waters and while the official vignette is valid, they do not need to further report to the Harbour Master’s Office or branch office. Vessels with no facilities for extended stay (with no bunks) do not need to have a crew member and passenger list.
In Croatia, the skipper of a vessel can disembark their crew (or some of them) with whom they arrived from abroad, and take on a new crew, in which case they are obliged to register the change of crew with the Harbour Master’s Office, and to leave Croatian waters with this new crew.
List of persons
The skipper of a vessel intending to change their crew while sailing in the Republic of Croatia is obliged to present to the Harbour Master’s Office a list of persons who will be staying on the vessel during the validity of the vignette. The total number of persons included in the List of Persons cannot exceed double capacity [plus 30%] of the unit capacity of the vessel.
The capacity of the vessel is defined according to the vessel’s documentation as issued by the competent authorities of the country under whose flag the vessel sails, and if the vessel’s documentation does not contain information about the capacity, the same shall be calculated in accordance with the Book of Rules on boats and yachts and Rules and Regulations for the statutory certification of boats and yachts.
The List of Persons is certified with the vignette counterfoil. The List of Persons can be completed in its entirety at the time the vignette is obtained, but it can also be completed later on, at the latest when individual persons included in the List first board the vessel.
If the List is filled later on, each addition must be verified in the Harbour Master’s Office or its branch office. The number of changes of persons included in the List of Persons is unlimited. The List of Persons does not include persons staying on a vessel while the vessel is staying in a port or at anchor.
The List of Persons does not include children under 12 years of age, and they are not included in the maximum number of persons. The List of Persons on vessels arriving by sea need not be presented at the same time the official vignette is obtained, as it can also be presented later when crew members are changed in Croatia.
It is not necessary to compile a separate List of Persons for tenders belonging to a yacht or boat – a copy of the List of Persons of the yacht or boat will be deemed sufficient.
Registration of residence
All foreigners entering the Republic of Croatia on a floating vessel intended for sports and recreation, and who intend to use those vessels for accommodation, are obliged to check their registration of residence in the Republic of Croatia only in the port or harbour in which they undergo border control. If a foreigner crosses the State border at one of the road border crossings, and is transporting the vessel they intend to reside in, the marina where the vessel will be launched checks the registration.
If the vessel is launched in a small port, the visitor is obliged to personally sort out their residence at the police station in authority of the territory.
These regulations are applicable exclusively if a foreigner intends to reside on the vessel. Foreigners whose vessels are docked in one of the Croatian marinas are obliged to report their arrival at the marina.
Vessels sailing from the Republic of Croatia
The skipper of a vessel due to sail out of the Republic of Croatia is under the following obligations:
– To pass border control at one of the ports open to international traffic;
– To verify the list of crew members and passengers at the Harbour Master’s Office or its branch.
Having fulfilled his or her obligations, the skipper of a vessel must leave the coastal waters and the territorial waters of the Republic of Croatia by the shortest possible route.
Foreigners navigating Croatian boats and yachts
In accordance with amendments to the Regulation on boats and yachts, in effect since February 11, 2009, the Republic of Croatia unilaterally recognizes licences of foreign countries for the navigation of Croatian boats and yachts. For more information about the foreign licenses recognized in Croatia, got to the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure website: www.mmpi.hr
Branch offices controlling the entry of foreign vessels into Croatian territorial waters are:
During the summer season:
ACI Marina Umag, Novigrad, Sali, Božava, Primošten, Ravni Žakan, Hvar, Stari Grad (Hvar), Vis, Komiža, Cavtat.