Brunei - Consular Information Sheet
April 25, 2000
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Brunei is a small Islamic Sultanate
on the northwest coast of the island of Borneo. The capital, Bandar
Seri Begawan, is the only major city. Tourist facilities are good,
and generally available. For more information concerning Brunei,
see the homepage on the Internet at http://www.brunet.bn
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: U.S. passport-holders may take advantage
of Brunei's participation in the Visa Waiver Pilot Program (VWPP),
which allows visitors to Brunei for business or pleasure to obtain
visas upon arrival for up to 90 days at no charge. The existing
airport tax upon arrival/departure is Brunei dollars 12. For further
information about entry requirements, travelers may consult the
consular section of the Embassy of Brunei, 3520 International
Court, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008; Tel: (202) 342-0159 (http://www.embassy.org/embassies/bn.html).
CRIME INFORMATION: The crime rate in Brunei is low, and
violent crime is rare. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport
should be reported immediately to the local police and to the
U.S. Embassy. U.S. citizens can refer to the Department of State's
pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad
for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. The pamphlet
is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S.
Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet
or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: There is adequate care for basic medical
conditions in Brunei; however, due to unpredictable shortages
of materials and uncertain support staff, any elective surgery
or complicated care is best obtained in Singapore or elsewhere.
Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical
evacuation to the United States, however, can cost thousands of
dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate
cash payment for health services, and U.S. medical insurance is
not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and
Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services
outside the United States.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: Uninsured travelers who require medical
care overseas may face extreme difficulties. Check with your own
insurance company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas,
including provision for medical evacuation. Ascertain whether
payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether
you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance
policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for
disposition of remains in the event of death. Useful information
on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs,
is provided in the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs
brochure Medical Information for
Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of
Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov
or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international
travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or via their Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Brunei 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: Good
Driving in Brunei is similar to driving during rush hour in large
cities in the United States, although traffic moves on the left.
Major roads in Brunei are generally good and most vehicles are
new and well maintained. Vehicular accidents are now one of the
leading causes of death in Brunei. Brunei suffers a high traffic
accident rate, possibly due to excessive speed, poor driver education,
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has assessed the Government of Brunei’s Civil Aviation Authority
as Category 1 - in compliance with international aviation safety
standards for oversight of Brunei’s air carrier operations.
For further information, Travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation (DOT) at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet
web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/.
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 DOD at618-229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Brunei customs authorities enforce
strict regulations concerning the temporary import or export of
items such as firearms, religious materials and alcohol. For non-Muslims,
very limited amounts of alcohol for personal consumption are permitted
(i.e., 12 bottles of beer and two bottles of wine/spirits). It
is advisable to contact the Embassy of Brunei in Washington for
specific information regarding customs requirements.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and do not afford the protections available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
Brunei’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or
imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal
drugs in Brunei are strict and convicted offenders can expect
jail sentences and heavy fines, or worse.
Brunei has a mandatory death penalty for many narcotics offenses.
Under the current law, possession of heroin and morphine derivatives
of more than 15 grams, and cannabis of more than 20 grams, carries
the death penalty. Possession of lesser amounts carries a minimum
twenty-year jail term and caning.
REGISTRATION/U.S. EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans living in
or visiting Brunei are encouraged to register in person or via
telephone or fax at the consular section of the U.S. Embassy in
Bandar Seri Begawan and obtain updated information on travel and
security within the country. The U.S. Embassy is located on the
3rd floor, Teck Guan Plaza, Jalan Sultan, in the capital city
of Bandar Seri Begawan. The U.S. mailing address is American Embassy,
PSC 470 (BSB), FPO AP, 96507. The telephone number is (673)(2)229-670,
fax number (673)(2)225-293 and e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
The after hours number for emergency calls is (673)(8) 730-691.
CHILDREN’S ISSUES: For information on international adoption
of children, international parental child abduction, and international
child support enforcement issues, please refer to our Internet
site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated September
14, 1999 to update the sections on Country Description, Entry
Requirements, Medical Facilities, Traffic Safety and Road Conditions,
Aviation Safety Oversight, Customs, Criminal Penalties, and Registration/Embassy
location, and to delete Y2K information.