On 7 April, significantly stricter border controls at entry points into the Schengen area will be introduced. All documents and all vehicle licence plate numbers will have to go through a special scanner, which has not been the case previously. The police warn that waiting times at the border crossings will be considerably longer. How much? We will know in about two weeks, when Easter holiday season starts, which will also be a dress rehearsal for the tourist season, reports tportal.hr on April 1, 2017.
The new rules will be introduced due to an alleged increase in general threat of terrorist attacks in Europe. Given the fact that Croatia is not yet a member of the Schengen area, stricter rules will definitely be felt by Croatian citizens and other travellers crossing the Slovenian, Hungarian or Italian border.
Until now, the documents and license plate numbers were scanned only for suspicious persons, but now everybody will be scanned. The same rules will apply to Croatian citizens, citizens of non-EU countries, but also for citizens of the Schengen zone when entering it.
The office of the Police Director General confirmed that they expect stricter border controls to extend the waiting times at border crossings. “The competent authorities shall take all necessary measures, in accordance with the legal framework, to shorten the waiting times down to a minimum,” said the office.
Slovenian police is also preparing for the new border control regime, and on Wednesday they held a press conference. “All passengers will be checked in three databases: the Schengen Information System, the Interpol database, and national databases of individual countries,” said the Slovenian police, adding that the checks would take just a few seconds. The same regime will be in force in times of great summer traffic jams at the border crossings between Slovenia and Croatia.
The media from Bosnia and Herzegovina reported in recent days about strict rules for their citizens travelling to EU countries, including Croatia. Passengers reportedly must have between 35 and 70 euros for each day of stay in EU countries. It is recommended that travellers should have passports valid for at least three months from the date of the planned travel. It is prohibited to carry any meat over the border, including in sandwiches, as well as dairy products. Fruits, vegetables, sweets, and food for babies and pets are allowed, but in limited quantities.