From January 1st, 2023, Croatia is a part of Schengen as the 27th member. That means that Schengen external boundaries moved, and the internal have been removed. Therefore, the non-EU citizen have one more option where to enter into the Schengen, or travel to Croatia, as EU citizen with no border checks. This year we will see if Schengen will impact Croatian nautical tourism and what will be the cost-benefit of it.
The Schengen external borders expand to Croatia and go all the way to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. Therefore, these changes will simplify travelling and business for EU citizen entering Croatia from other Schengen countries, but also contrariwise.
Croatian border checks by land and sea with other EU members have been lifted, and checks by air borders will be lifted from March 26th. It means, border checks have been removed for EU citizen and passengers travelling between Croatia and other 26 countries in Schengen Area. The sea border Poreč, Rovinj and Korčula are moved to the new external border. The new sea external border of Schengen are Vis and Cavtat. Cavtat has so far operated as a seasonal border but from now on it operates all year long.
Internal border checks being lifted and Schengen Area being expanded brings up a lot of questions. For example, will boats and yachts owners with non-Croatian flag move the boat back to their own country? Can Schengen influence Croatian nautical tourism by crowding the Adriatic Sea? Should Port Authority and Police on sea take more control measures?
In general, Schengen makes positive changes, but this summer will show everything we questioned. Next year, we will see how it affects Croatian nautical tourism and most importantly environment.