Longer Waiting Times Expected on Croatia’s Borders

Total Croatia News

Starting on Friday, new border control rules will be implemented.

Staring from Friday, 7 April, more thorough border controls of all vehicles and passengers, regardless of their nationality, will be implemented at entry and exit points in Croatia, reports Večernji List on April 5, 2017.

After the implementation of new EU regulations on strengthening of external border controls starts, no one will be privileged at border crossings with regard to their nationality, announced the Police Directorate. Due to the application of new rules, at all border crossings longer waiting lines are expected. The thorough border controls include control of travel documents with an optical reader, which will be used to check them against the Schengen Information System (SIS), the Interpol database of stolen and lost documents, and relevant police data. Moreover, all vehicles approaching border crossings will be subjected to distance scanning of license plates.

While at some border crossings Croatian and Slovenian border police officers work side by side, each of them will have their own device and its database to inspect travel documents. This kind of detailed controls will be applied at all road and rail crossings, as well as at airports and seaports.

The Police Directorate had been preparing for some time for this extra work and will send to border crossings a larger number of staff to try to increase the traffic flow. Croatian police is working closely with their colleagues from Slovenia and Hungary in this matter, but longer waiting times will be hard to avoid. These measures of stricter controls of external borders have been introduced by the European Union in response to the terrorist threat in Europe, but also because of the expected return of jihadist fighters who are fighting on the side of ISIS to Europe.

Slovenian police announced that they have sufficient human and technical capabilities for border checks to be performed under the new standards, but admit that occasional longer lines should be expected, especially on weekends and holidays, when traffic is at the densest. However, the Slovenian police union claims that this is not true and that there is not a sufficient number of staff for an increased workload. Therefore, the union expects the border crossings with Croatia to see much longer lines. The first major traffic bottlenecks at the borders are expected during the forthcoming Easter holidays.

Passengers are advised that, before going to border crossings, they should check the status of their travel documents. Furthermore, they should inform themselves about the situation on the borders before the departure, select border crossings with less frequency of traffic or embark on their journey on days when there is usually less traffic and avoid travelling over weekends.

Similar problems can be expected at entry points into Croatia from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


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