State Department: Romania - Consular Information Sheet, April 24, 1998
Romania - Consular Information Sheet
April 24, 1998
Country Description: Romania has undergone profound
political and economic changes since the 1989 revolution and is in a period
of economic transition. Most tourist facilities, while upgraded, have not
yet reached Western European standards.
Entry Requirements: A passport is required. Tourist visas for
stays up to thirty days are not required. For stays longer than
thirty days, visas may be obtained from a Romanian embassy or
consulate abroad. These may be extended at passport offices in
Romania in the area of residence. Travelers can obtain visas and
other information regarding entry requirements from the Romanian
Embassy at 1607 - 23rd St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone
(202) 232-4747, or from the Romanian consulates in Los Angeles or
New York City.
Medical Facilities: Medical care in Romania is limited. Basic
medical supplies are scarce. Doctors and hospitals often expect
immediate cash payment for health services. U.S. medical insurance
is not always valid outside the United States. Supplemental medical
insurance with specific overseas coverage, including provision for
medical evacuation, have proven to be useful.
For further information, travelers may contact the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention's international travelers hotline at
1-888-232-3228, or their autofax service at 1-888-232-3299, or their
Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
Crime Information: While most crimes in Romania are non-violent
and non-confrontational, there has been an increase in the number of
crimes in which the victim suffers personal harm. In late 1997 and
early 1998, there have been several reports of victims hailing a
taxi off the street, only to be transported to a secluded spot and
physically assaulted and robbed. Crimes against tourists (robbery,
mugging, pickpocketing, and confidence scams perpetrated by
black-market money changers) are a growing problem in Romania.
Organized groups of thieves and pickpockets operate in the train
stations and on trains and buses in major cities. A number of
thefts and assaults have occurred on overnight trains, including
thefts from passengers in closed compartments.
Money exchange schemes targeting travelers have become increasingly
common. Some of these scams are rather sophisticated, involving
individuals posing as plainclothes policemen, who approach the
potential victim, flash a badge and ask for his/her passport and
wallet. In many of these cases, the thieves succeed in obtaining
passports, credit cards, and other personal documents.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or
consulate. Useful information on guarding valuables and protecting
personal security while traveling abroad is provided in the pamphlet
"A Safe Trip Abroad," which is available from the Superintendent of
Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.
Currency Information: Romania is largely a "cash only" economy;
credit cards and travelers checks are of limited utility.
Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the
country in which they are traveling. Penalties for possession, use,
or sale of illegal drugs in Romania are strict, and convicted
offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.
Ground Transportation: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen
may encounter road conditions which differ significantly from those
in the United States. The information below is provided for general
reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular
location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Driving, especially after dark, can be hazardous. Roads are
generally narrow, badly lit, and in poor repair. Roads often are
used by pedestrians and animals as well as vehicles. Road travel
can be particularly dangerous during the winter when snow is on the
Taxis are fairly inexpensive for inner-city transportation. Most
older taxis are not equipped with seat belts. Travelers should
either call for a taxi in advance or agree upon a price before
entering a taxi to avoid being overcharged. Buses and trolley cars
are widely available and inexpensive, although they tend to be
crowded and susceptible to pickpockets.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Romania's civil
aviation authority as Category 1 -- in compliance with international
aviation safety standards for oversight of Romania's air carrier
operations. For further information, travelers may contact the
Department of Transportation within the U.S. at telephone
1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet home page at
http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa.htm. The U.S. Department of Defense
(DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability
as official providers of air services. For information regarding
the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact the
Pentagon at telephone (703) 697-7288.
Adoptions: Before traveling to Romania, prospective parents may
wish to obtain information about both United States visa
requirements and Romanian adoption laws from the U.S. Embassy in
Bucharest or from the Embassy's website: http://usis.kappa.ro.
Romanian adoption law mandates criminal penalties for offering money
or goods to obtain the release of children for adoption. An
information packet on Romanian adoptions is available by writing to
the Office of Children's Issues, Room 4817, Department of State,
Washington, D.C. 20520, or by telephoning (202)647-2688.
Other Information: Customs regulations prohibit the export of some
items from Romania. At the time of departure, tourists may need all
receipts for presentation to customs authorities.
Persons who participate in or photograph demonstrations risk
arrest. In and around Bucharest, there are many stray dogs. While
there have not been any reported problems with rabies, travelers are
advised to avoid stray dogs because a number of dog bites have been
Registration and Embassy Location: U.S. citizens are encouraged to
register in the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy and obtain
updated information on travel and security within Romania. The U.S.
Embassy in Bucharest, Romania, is located at Strada Tudor Arghezi
7-9; telephone (401) 210-40-42. After hours, a duty officer may be
reached by calling (401) 210-63-84. Consular services for U.S.
citizens are performed in the Consular Section located at Strada
Filipescu No. 26 (formerly Strada Snagov), one block from the U.S.
Embassy at the corner of Strada Batistei. The telephone number of
the Consular Section is (401) 210-40-42. A U.S. Embassy branch
office in Cluj-Napoca provides emergency services only to U.S.
citizens; its address is Universitatii 7-9, Etage 1, telephone
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated January 31,
1996, to update information on crime, road and aviation safety, and
adoptions; to note an additional Romanian consulate in Los Angeles;
new telephone numbers for CDC; and Internet addresses.