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State Department: Serbia & Montenegro - Consular Information Sheet, January 31, 1996

Serbia & Montenegro - Consular Information Sheet
January 31, 1996

Country Description: The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) is a moderately developed European country undergoing profound political and economic change. In January 1996, the U.S. implemented the suspension of UN economic sanctions. U.S. citizens and companies may now undertake normal business and personal transactions involving the export and import of goods to and from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Tourist facilities are widely available, but conditions vary considerably and some services and supplies found in other European countries are unavailable.

Entry Requirements: U.S. citizens require a passport and visa. Visas should be obtained prior to departure from the U.S. as they are not normally granted at land border points, and never granted at airports. The Embassy of the Former Republic of Yugoslavia at 2410 California Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 462-6566, may be contacted for updated entry requirements. Visitors staying in private homes need to register with police immediately upon arrival; failure to comply may result in a fine, imprisonment and/or expulsion.

Areas of Instability: The potential for violent incidents persists throughout the country. Ethnic tensions remain high, particularly in the Kosovo and Sandzak regions. Travelers may be stopped by government militia at any time and should be prepared to cooperate. Border regions, particularly near Croatia and along the Drina River, are sensitive areas.

Medical Facilities: Although many physicians are highly trained, hospitals and clinics are generally not equipped and maintained to U.S. standards. Medicines and basic medical supplies are usually available in private pharmacies. Because U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States, travelers have found that supplemental insurance with overseas coverage, including specific provision for air evacuation, has proven beneficial. However, even with special coverage, payment is required in cash at the time of service. Further information on health matters can be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international travelers hotline, telephone (404) 332-4559.

Crime Information: There is a continuing trend toward lawlessness and disorder. Robberies are often perpetrated near railroad and bus stations, on public transport, and in city centers. Violent crime has increased dramatically, with many incidents taking place in broad daylight at popular public places. Possession of firearms (including grenades and mines) is widespread and weapons are frequently discharged in public.

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. The Department of State's pamphlet "A Safe Trip Abroad" provides useful information on protecting personal security and possessions while traveling abroad. It is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Currency Information: All currency must be declared upon entry and a customs receipt issued. Failure to produce this receipt upon departure may result in all funds being confiscated. Credit cards, personal checks and traveler's checks are generally not accepted.

Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.

Internal Travel: The suspension of sanctions and increased commercial traffic across the border have added to long delays when entering the country by car or bus. Purchase of third party insurance is required for cars. Road tolls for foreign registered vehicles are very high. Overland travel between Serbia and Croatia and between Montenegro and Croatia generally is not possible for private individuals.

Registration and Embassy Location: U.S. citizens may register with the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade and obtain updated information on travel and security in Serbia and Montenegro. The Embassy is located at Kneza Milosa 50, telephone (381)(11) 645-655. The after hours telephone number is (381) (11) 646-481.

No. 96-008

This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated November 2, 1994, to remove the travel warning, delete sanctions information and update all information.

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Tuesday, 3 December 1996