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Schengen membership Croatia: Permit / vignette obligation for Croatia still exists

Permit / vignette obligation for Croatia also exists 2023

Despite Schengen membership of Croatia and abolition of border controls from 1.1.2023 – the permit / vignette obligation for Croatia still exists. Now very easy to renew via SeaHelp; the tourist tax can be easily transferred online..

On December 8, 2022, the Council of the European Union (EU) adopted a decision on the full application of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in the Republic of Croatia (see our article Croatia: joining the Schengen area on January 1, 2023). As a result, the Republic of Croatia will become a member state of the Schengen area on January 1, 2023.

According to the Croatian Ministry of Interior, the decision in question provides in Article 1(1) “that as of January 1, 2023, checks on persons at the internal land and sea borders with Croatia will be abolished” and “the provisions of the Schengen acquis from the Annex will apply to Croatia in its relations with other member countries.”

Even if border controls at sea are abolished for sport skippers – the vignette obligation still exists

Thus, just as for motorists at the land borders with the new Schengen member Croatia, border controls will also be waived for sports skippers under certain conditions if they want to enter or leave the country by water (see our article Croatia as a new Schengen member: Will border controls at sea now also be waived?).

What has not changed, however, is that recreational skippers will still need to purchase an annual permit (also called a vignette or permit) to navigate Croatian waters with recreational boats in the new year of 2023, or, as it is called, a “notice of arrival for yachts or boats in the territorial waters of the Republic of Croatia.”

SeaHelp helps with renewal, reapplication or change of vignette

SeaHelp helps with acquiring the annual permit: Boat owners can save time in often crowded harbormaster offices by letting SeaHelp provide this service for a small fee. Both renewal and reapplication or modification of the vignette are possible.

SeaHelp cooperation partner Mandinus d.o.o. will gladly take care of the formalities of the application, and after the fees including the application fee have been paid, the confirmation of payment in the form of the e-vignette will be sent by the authority via SeaHelp (apply for permit / vignette in Croatia online).

Tip: the easiest way to acquire the permit works with a SeaHelp membership

The easiest way a new application or a renewal of the permit works is by choosing a membership with SeaHelp, Europe’s largest breakdown service at sea: the applicants can then in a first step online calculate your membership fee incl. application fee for the permit by entering your boat length yourself.

By the way: also non-members can apply for the permit via sea Help; however, for SeaHelp members the application fee is cheaper (see table in online application). Non-members have the possibility to apply for a SeaHelp membership at the same time as applying for the vignette – and save money; members with a Standard Pass can upgrade to “Smart” or “Premium” at the same time as applying for the permit and save ten euros when renewing the permit or 20 euros when applying for a new permit or making a change.

In a second step our partner Mandinus d.o.o. applies for the permit/vignette, sends the applicant the invoice (permit/vignette fee + application fee) for the payment including all necessary data (bank data, purpose of use). Then the applicant transfers the cost invoice with purpose of use (exactly as received from Mandinus d.o.o.) to Mandinus d.o.o., which then makes the payment to the Ministry (Ministarstvo mora, prometa i infrastrukture) in Zagreb.

Important to know: the vignette is valid for one calendar year, so only until December 31

Finally – after receipt of payment – in a last step Mandinus d.o.o. receives the e-vignette and forwards it immediately to the applicant by e-mail. Attention: the processing can take 3 to 5 working days, the application should be made in time. Important here: the vignette is not valid for 12 months, but only for the calendar year; all vignettes purchased in 2022 will expire.

The accruing tour tax can now be easily paid online by boat and yacht owners; SeaHelp no longer offers this option.

By the way, with our fee calculator you can easily calculate the fees due in advance. For the tourist tax, sports skippers have the choice of whether the tourist tax is calculated according to boat length and length of stay or according to the number of people and the length of stay, also here there may be the possibility to save a few euros.


Here is the online application for the vignette / permit:

SeaHelp Service: apply online for permit, vignette and tourist tax Croatia for boats and yachts..: Click here to apply online.

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