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Croatia: The Bosnian Salient of Neum PDF Printable Version E-mail


The Bosnian Enclave in Croatia

Barry and Margaret Williamson
Updated October 2012

The latest update (October 2012) has news of progress of the bridge which will one day(?) bypass the enclave and comments on sources of insurance for Bosnia. Below this update is the information which we have gathered on the subject over the last 6 years.

Travellers in the south of Croatia will be aware of the short stretch of Bosnian territory ,between Split and the southern city of Dubrovnik. In effect, this enclave cuts Dubrovnik and the southern part of Croatia off from the rest of the country. About 3 miles (5 km) of Bosnian territory has to be crossed on the coastal road (the Magistrale) and some motorhomers have been concerned about the possible need for extra insurance.

The correspondence copied below followed the publication of Graham Peacock's letter on this subject, in the UK motorhoming magazine 'MMM'. Graham and his wife are overseas site inspectors for the Caravan Club and their area of responsibility includes former states of the Jugoslav Federation.

This exchange of emails summarises the position, as we know it, at the time of writing this article.

More on the Neum Enclave (Bosnia inside Croatia)
October 2012

Caravanners John and Lesley Jefferis wrote as follows following a passage south through the enclave in the summer of 2012:

"I do not know if you remember us, you must meet so many people in your travels. We met at Sakar Hills four years ago when you had just rescued a little kitten with a damaged eye, 'Nelson'. Since then we have made frequent visits to your website and have referred many others to it.

On your Bosnia guidelines page you have a long quote from Graham (Peacock), the Caravan Club site inspector, regarding the crossing of the short stretch of Bosnia at Neum. He advises that Saga is one of the only companies that will provide a Green Card for Bosnia. Sadly, as we found to our cost last week, this is no longer the case. In spite of promising me a Green Card when I took out the policy, they refused to issue one, saying that their policy on Bosnia changed on January 1 2012.

There is no place to buy temporary insurance at the border and we ended up driving that 20-minute stretch without insurance, which was a bit nerve-racking!"

We passed this email to Graham Peacock, who replied:

"Hello Margaret and Barry (copying this to John Jefferis)

Yes, I know of this change nearly got caught out myself, but luckily asked the question when I came to renew my policy this year. At that time Saga advised me that they had withdrawn their cover for B&H. I then spoke to the Caravan Club Insurers (EQUITY RED STAR) who have now decided to include Bosnia & Herzegovina as standard in their cover. So we sailed through the enclave without worry.

Mind you, we did notice that the existing crossing points are now being demolished and new border crossing points built, presumably for the Croatian entry into the EU on 1st July 2013. There also seems to be some more road construction, which could be a diversion around Neum to avoid the busy road through it. Perhaps Mr Jefferis could cast some more recent light on that?

Croatian friends have told us that they will no longer be able to rely on their insurance, as they have done up to now (to cross the enclave). I have not had time to check that; as you know, rumours abound in ex-Jugoslavia about their neighbours. There is even one that says the Croats are to re-commence building the bridge across to Peljesac."

In response to this, John and Lesley Jefferis replied from Lake Bled in Slovenia:

"Many thanks for your so prompt responses. I too had seen that big bare patch on Google Earth and expected to see evidence of work, but there were no signs of anything close to the A8. My map, Croatia 1:500,000 published by Forum-Zadar 2012, shows the bridge as a dotted road, ie under construction.

The existing border control was lax, to say the least. Merely a cursory glance at passports leaving Croatia and a glance at the passport covers entering B&H. At the other side, not even that much. As Graham says, there is evidence of a lot of road widening close to the border points, presumably for new border posts, but given the apparent lack of control I wonder why they are bothering! Maybe late September is a quiet time and it is much busier high season.

Graham, I put details on the Caravan Talk Forum to update the 'Ploce to Dubrovnik' thread. You might also enjoy my thread on reversing onto the ferry at Dubrovnik!"

Later, John and Lesley added:
"You might be interested to know that Saga were most apologetic for their error and have refunded the cost of all my calls and provided some compensation for the stress caused. They are also to take up with the insurance industry generally the question of the Neum corridor, which is quite a different proposition insurance wise to travelling in Bosnia generally. As I see it there is no way to get into the Bosnian interior from Neum other than on very minor roads."

Graham Peacock replied with a map of the area of the proposed bridge (see below):

"I think you are right. There has been no sign of work since your last visit to that area, unless something has happened in the last 8 weeks or so. The road works I was referring to are to the north of the border area nearer Klek and just south of the southern border control. I am curious about it. I suppose it could be something to do with an exit from the Motorway/Autoput?

Anyway, I look forward to something concrete (?) happening to clear up the present unsatisfactory situation."

The proposed Croatian Bridge 


Showing Croatia and Bosnia


 Current state of work on the south side


Later, Graham Peacock wrote:

"This is a quote from one of my 'fans' in July this year. Just for your information in connection with the Neum saga:

I said I'd let you know if I was successful.

Much to my amazement, the AA have found me a policy with Royal Sun Alliance which will provide a Green Card for Bosnia, and to even further amaze me they'll cover Montenegro for two months as well. No charge for the Green Card.

One possible problem may be that in addition to the Green Card having to be cleared with RSA each time, you have to notify them if you are going to be in the EU for more than 90 days in 12 months, and this will probably cost more. As this will cover me for the next 12 months, I'll worry about that when it comes to renewal time.

The final icing on the cake is that the policy is 10 cheaper than last year's Saga one."

The following summary of the situation at Neum at the beginning of 2010 was written for the Caravan Club by one of its inspectors, Graham Peacock. It reproduced here with his kind permission.

Motor and Caravan Insuranc (Green Card) for travel to Dubrovnik:

Before the recent (1990's) Balkan war, the old Socialist Republics of the former Federation of Jugoslavia were made up of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia &, Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia & Montenegro plus the two autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina.

Currently there are seven independent countries within the Balkans consisting of

Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH)


This fact file is a personal project and concerned with travelling in the former Jugoslavia and the problems regarding obtaining 'Green Card' to pass from Croatia through Neum, BiH.

Please read anything here in conjunction with the Foreign Office travel web site, which can be accessed at http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/europe/bosnia-herzegovina

My wife and I have been travelling, on and off, to the former Jugoslavia and now Croatia, for the last 50 years or so. Most of this travel has been by car, car and caravan and more recently by Motorhome.

We are currently employed* by the Caravan Club to inspect Caravan Sites in Europe which are on contract to the Club and provide advance booking services to its members.

We have been inspecting the area on the Dalmatian coastline down as far a Dubrovnik for the past seven years and have hosted Club tours to that region.

One of the niggles for travellers to Dubrovnik is that some 60km before arriving in Dubrovnik it is necessary to pass through the Bosnian enclave of Neum a part of BiH that divides the Croatian territory with 5.5 miles (9km) of BiH coastline opposite the Peljesac peninsula.

The real niggle is that there is only one acceptable insurance provider in the UK that will issue a Green Card for BiH and that is Saga.  (The NFU also provides this service but they seem to be a specialist provider for farmers).

UK Caravanners/Motorists therefore have a limited choice of how to safely traverse this territory. 

My way has been to change my Insurance to Saga!  Most people, though, will be reluctant to do this for a one-off trip. So, what are the alternatives?

At the moment, the Croats are building a bridge from just north of the enclave across the sea to the Peljesac peninsula. This will enable drivers to bypass Neum. However this bridge is not likely to be finished until about 2012.

Secondly, a new Motorway is being built from the northern borders of Croatia right down to the border with Montenegro and with a connection to Sarajevo. At the time of writing this, the motorway finishes for public access just south of Makarska/Ploce but the construction is nearing Dubrovnik. When it is finished, it will provide international access over BiH territory obviating the need for an additional Green Card.

See http://www.hac.hr/index.php?task=aut for the latest progress on the construction.

Thirdly, to traverse Neum on the Adriatic Highway will require a Green Card, although it is rarely, if ever, checked. If you ask the border guards/police they will tell you that if you have Insurance for Croatia, you don't need it for Neum. It is another matter, altogether, if you cross into BiH at any other border crossing, such as Metković from Opuzen. There, you will find long queues whilst the border guards check your vehicle documents and passports. 

So, if you don't have a Green Card from your British Insurer or have not registered your vehicle in another European country, where all Insurers (I am told and have seen the evidence) provide this document as a matter of course, then you will need to buy one from a local  insurance company.  What you cannot do is buy it at the Croatian/Neum border. You will have to go to Metković or Capljina and buy it from Croatian Osiguranje.

The gentleman you need to contact is Gosp. Slavo Jelcic of Croatia Osiguranje d.d.,. 88300 CAPLJINA, BiH and his last known number was 00 387 36 811 100 & 106

There are, of course, other Insurance Companies, but this is the one I have dealt with.

Lastly, and this the option which many members use, there is a regular ferry from Ploce, just north of Neum across to the Peljesac peninsula at Trpanj, run by the biggest ferry company in Croatia, Jadrolinja. http://www.jadrolinija.hr/default.aspx?lang=2

 This will enable you to by-pass Neum until the ferry is replaced by the new bridge.

The price list can be accessed here:   http://www.jadrolinija.hr/pdfs/st.kn.pdf    this is a link to a pdf file the last column is for the Ploce/Trpnje ferry. Currently the price for a foot passenger is 27 Kuna each, a medium sized car is 105 Kuna, and a Motorhome is 201 Kuna for a medium sized vehicle and the same price for a Caravan.

Around 7.5kuna to the .at the time of writing this.

This has been produced as a Help-sheet for travellers to Croatia and Bosnia and I give no guarantee of its accuracy. It is for individuals to check and ensure the information us up to date before travel. 

Graham Peacock
Feb 2010.

*Expenses - not salaried!    

Letter from Graham Peacock in the October 2005 edition of the MMM


Please may I ask for your indulgence in arranging for my letter to be published in a future edition of MMM? The result could be of some significant help to many motorcaravanners who travel to Eastern Europe - particularly Croatia - and who are put off by the draconian motor insurance limitations applied by the UK's insurers.

My wife and I are overseas site inspectors for the Caravan Club and our area of responsibility includes former states of the Jugoslav Federation such as Croatia and Slovenia. For visitors driving to southern Croatia, a big problem is passing through a very small (5.5 km) coastal area of Bosnia. After three years of research, we have found that virtually no British motor/motorcaravan insurer will issue a Green Card for Bosnia.

We have spoken to one or two motorists who have found appropriate insurers (Saga being one) but we would now like to find out which other companies will provide it. This will enable us to make recommendations for travel to this area and enable travellers to visit, without worry, this beautiful part of Europe. We have approached all the sources we can think of to get this information without success, so we now need readers' help.

Whilst here in Croatia, we have met many motorcaravanners who would also like to visit countries further east (such as Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Turkey). Therefore, anyone with insurance information on those countries could contribute to this plea for help.

Finally, the British seem, again, to be the odd ones out - as all the other Europeans we have spoken to have no problem at all in getting automatic insurance cover for these countries.

Will anyone who can help please contact me by e-mail?

Graham Peacock Email:

MMM Editor's note: If you e-mail Graham with information, would you please be kind enough to copy your e-mail to: , so I can let other readers know.

Our email to Graham Peacock, 3 May 2006

Dear Graham

We were motorhoming on the west coast of the USA last autumn and have spent the winter and early spring in Greece. We have, therefore, only just come across a copy of the October 2005 edition of the MMM with your interesting letter about travel in the Balkans.

We occupy the role of MMM 'Travel Consultants' for Bulgaria, Slovenia and Croatia, answering individual queries and referring readers to the information on our website: www.magbaztravels.com.

We have had several queries about crossing the Bosnian enclave on the road south to Dubrovnik and we have motorhomed through there ourselves. Our assumption is that the enclave does not provide an entry point into Bosnia or a re-entry point into Croatia. There are no check points and no side road east into Bosnia. Bosnians wishing to access their enclave for a seaside holiday have to do so via Croatia. We therefore saw no need for extra formalities, other than those required for Croatia itself.

We agree with you about the travel restrictions applied by UK insurance companies, which our French, German and Italian fellow-travellers do not share. UK companies severely restrict both the countries they cover and the periods they allow you out of the country. Comfort Insurance (agents for Norwich Union) suit us in giving 12-months cover out of the UK for a large number of countries, adding others (including Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Croatia, Morocco) for a total of 120 days in any one year, for a small fee.

For some other Balkan countries (eg Montenegro) we would have to buy 3rd-party cover locally, perhaps at the border, as one used to do for the Baltic Republics. For others, such as Albania, we would postpone travel until it is safer, the roads improve and fuller insurance is available.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Reply from Graham Peacock, 3 May 2006

Great to hear from you. I seem to remember, I did correspond with you some time ago, but the records have been erased! Your 'traveller' status is well known in the caravan world!  Have had a look at your comprehensive web site, which is very informative - well done.

I tend to agree with your contention that Neum does not need extra Insurance formalities as it is just a seaside resort for the Bosnains & a transit area - it does, however have a road connecting inland Bosnia from the East! Also, Croatians do have to go through customs & are charged on their duty free purchases! The Croats are very upset about the Bosnians actions vis a vis Neum and the customs posts as they did not expect this when they negotiated a sea access with Bosnia after the war. They now are worried that, in the event of disagreement with Bosnia, they will be denied access to the south on the Magistrale. Accordingly, plans are being drawn up (surveying has already been started) to build a bridge from the mainland north of Neum across to the Peljesac peninsula and so avoid Neum altogether.

When I go through Neum I use the 'Transit only' lane but I see a regular queue of other traffic patiently waiting to be waved through....I just wave to the border officials and have never yet been stopped.

I have not published the information I got in feedback from the MMM article, but have responded individually to the emails and have passed the information I did get on to the Caravan Club for their files. The information only confirmed my existing knowledge that Saga do provide cover and so do the NFU (for farmers who already have comprehensive NFU insurance). So the information is available through the Caravan Club and you could give a link on your web site.

Our email to Graham Peacock, 3 May 2006

Thank you very much for this information and for your kind remarks about our website. We will add what you have written to our information on Croatia where it will be very useful.

When we passed through the enclave in October 2003, there were no check points, lanes, queues, nothing. Perhaps there has been a recent increase in pressure by the Bosnians or perhaps it's something they put on in the busier months. It seems that the sooner the Croats build the bridge the better.

Our map, bought in Croatia, shows a road going inland into Bosnia, from Duzi in the enclave, but terminating after a short distance in the Bosnian town of Hutovo.

We are returning to the UK at the moment (sailing Patras-Ancona tomorrow) for some repairs, but we then aim to drive the motorhome out to Romania by the end of May for some cycling in the north and east. We may well return via Slovenia and Croatia (with a ferry across to Italy) to give ourselves an update, among other things.

Reply from Graham Peacock, 3 May 2006

"Our map, bought in Croatia, shows a road going inland, into Bosnia, from Duzi in the enclave, but terminating after a short distance in the Bosnian town of Hutovo." You are of course correct! I think to get to central BiH you do have to go into Croatia, through Metokvic etc. I recall the road from the centre of Neum, just past one of the many shopping areas on the Magistrale which I calculated would take us inland to Medjugorje, but we did not take it eventually. Had we done so, we would have had to return.