This paper identifies the degree to which the Republic of Croatia is prepared for EU integration in the area of trade and trade policy. According to a comparative analysis of the extent of integration into the European market, of Croatian trade policy and the policies of applicant countries, as well as of the conditions placed before the applicants by the EU, and the specific features of the EU trade regime, we determine where Croatia is relative to the other applicants. The next section identifies the key measures that need passing in the Republic of Croatia for adjustment to the EU and its trade institutions and to facilitate the free movement of goods between Croatia and the EU. The conclusion is that during the transition period, the reforms necessary for joining the EU were not carried out, and that progress is slower than in the other applicant countries. However, since Croatia started the EU convergence process at a higher level of development than some of the applicants, this lagging behind in the preparations for accession have not entirely wiped out the “first-mover” advantages of Croatia. The question arises, however, as to whether these will completely disappear with the first phase in the imminent enlargement of the EU.