A maritime state, with its influence and policy by means of legal measures and regulations, can and must follow and urge business operations and development of the national port system, in a word, of each single port within that system. The development of the port system has to be marked by a clearly defined port policy that is a constituent part of the economic and traffic policy of the country. Port policy is a set of legal regulations by which the state shapes and guides the development of ports in compliance with assessed needs. The state’s influence on business operations and development of ports in Croatia is at the very outset. The new maritime legislation (Maritime Code and Seaports Act) in Croatia attempts to overcome and rectify the flaws taken over from ex-Yugoslavia and endeavors to organize and direct business and development of the port system more successfully and in compliance with other developed European maritime states. The acts that are now in the process of legislating are the basis for the making of a long-standing, integral and justified port policy in Croatia.
The paper illustrates the need to introduce a consistent routing system on the Adriatic Sea for the purpose of preventing maritime accidents with large-scale pollutions. The grounds for international legislation for introducing the routing system have been established too, as well as the basic principles that should be adhered to on the occasion of determining the routing system. Furthermore, a proposal for a routing system is given and the reasons in favour of such a choice.