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Rome, Italy (PortSEurope) January 2, 2023 – Croatia joins the EU Schengen area and with the removal of border checks, the region’s ports will benefit. Croatia joined the EU in July 2013. Yesterday, Croatia became the European Union’s newest member to join both the EU’s border-free Schengen zone and the euro common currency.

Ports benefit from the Schengen Agreement because it allows for the free movement of people and goods between member countries. This means that ports in Schengen countries do not have to conduct customs checks on ships arriving from other Schengen countries, which can significantly reduce the time it takes for ships to load/unload their cargo. This can make ports more efficient and increase trade between member countries. Additionally, the Agreement helps to reduce the risk of smuggling and other illicit activities by increasing cooperation between law enforcement agencies in different countries.

The Italian ports of Ancona and Pesaro will benefit. The port of Ancona is the first Italian port of call for ferry traffic with Croatia. It is also the only one to have a scheduled service active throughout the year. Control and transit times will be considerably reduced, becoming similar to those relating to traffic with Greece.

In 2022, passenger traffic between the ports of Ancona, Zadar and Split was over 128,000 transits. This does not include cruise ships travelling between Italy and Croatia. Currently, ferries that sail from Italy to Croatia are departing from Ancona, Bari, Cesenatico, Pesaro, Pescara, Trieste and Venice.

“We welcome Croatia to the Schengen area”, said Vincenzo Garofalo, president of Autorita’ di Sistema Portuale del Mare Adriatico Centrale (Central Adriatic Sea Port Authority). The AdSP includes the ports of Ancona, Pesaro, Pescara, San Benedetto, del Tronto and Ortona.

Overall, the Italian and Croation ports of Ancona, Ravenna, Venice, Trieste, Rijeka, Split, Zara and Ragusa will benefit.

Reduced times to process passengers and cargo can only increase trade in the longterm. Croatia joining the EU Schengen area is a clear benefit.

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