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Do I need a Captain’s license in Croatia?

Do I need a Captain’s license in Croatia?

Do I need a Captain’s license in Croatia?

The Croatian government plans that leased boats up to 5 meters in length and a maximum motorization of 5 kW (approx. 6.8 hp), for people over 18, can be used at a distance of up to 500 meters from the coast without a boat license.

One of the aims of the measure is to bring motorized water sports as close and cheap as possible to people. Therefore, the new regulation on navigation permits also increases the attractiveness of Croatian tourist centers. Of course, it can also be hoped that this will lead to further tourist income from the maritime sector.

Survey of ship licenses

This regulation is initially considered to be a legislative proposal which has already been the subject of a public hearing following hearings of associations which are common in Germany, for example. However, only Croatian citizens who are registered in the Croatian e-Gradanin system, ie so-called Croatian citizens, could participate. “Electronic passport”. Later, this new regulation is to be implemented into Croatian national law, albeit with possible changes regarding the increase in the horsepower limit for small motor boats.

Neighboring countries are more liberal!

Although these measures are a step in the right direction, many water sports enthusiasts and those who want to become one do not think that this new regulation goes far enough, as other countries are much more liberal in their approach to the issue of “ship’s driving licenses”. For possible input motorization.

In Italy up to 40 hp without a shipping license

Especially Italy, one of the most important countries bordering the Adriatic Sea, with which Croatia courts water sports enthusiasts. In principle, boats with an engine power of 40 hp can be used in Italy without a permit. The same rule applies to foreigners if the ship is flying the Italian flag. In other words, a foreigner can rent a boat with an engine up to 40hp or 30kW in Italy without a permit and sail with it up to 6 nautical miles from shore.

In Germany up to 15 hp without a boat license

Much more liberal regulations also apply in Germany: motor boats up to 15 hp do not require a license inland and at sea, and you can sail on waterways there without a license for sports boats up to three nautical miles from the coast.

Only chartered boats without a boat license

The main point of criticism from potential future paddlers: With a power of 6.8 hp, you are considerably undersized, especially with the corresponding waves, and you wouldn’t really enjoy water sports. It is also misunderstood that only chartered boats can be used without a license under the new regulation. Last but not least, it is proposed to exempt motor sports boats up to 15 hp from the requirement to have a driving license.

Translated legal text

This regulation stipulates that a person who has reached the age of 18 without a license (ship’s driving license) at a maximum distance of 500 meters from the nearest shore can drive a boat up to 5 m in length. Engine power up to 5 kW, rented unmanned and water turbine (Jet Ski) equipped with an electronic system to limit the speed to, from and within the polygon defined concession or concession permit.

This Regulation amends Article 34 by prescribing minimum approval content for a minimum number of crew members, that the certificate form is published on the Ministry’s website and that 1 the certificate form is revoked accordingly.

Up to 500 meters from the shore

And in the event that a closer reading would misunderstand what was put into the discussion: Jet skis should be allowed to ride in confined spaces (polygon), motorized sports boats said freely in the area within 500 meters from the nearest shore.


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