Comoros - Consular Information Sheet
November 30, 2000
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Comoros is a developing island nation
located in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa. Facilities
for tourism are limited, and telecommunication links are extremely
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport and onward/return ticket
are required. A three-week entry visa, which may be extended,
may be obtained upon arrival at the airport. Travelers should
obtain the latest details from the Mission of the Federal Islamic
Republic of the Comoros, 420 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022;
telephone (212) 972-8010, fax (212) 983-4712.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: Comoros has experienced frequent
strikes and civil unrest, resulting in violent clashes between
police and demonstrators. Although foreign residents and visitors
have not been targeted, the potential for further outbreaks of
civil disorder remains high.
On the island of Anjouan, a secessionist crisis that began in
1997 appears to have been at least temporarily resolved. However,
in view of the continued existence of Organization of African
Unity sanctions on Anjouan, U.S. citizens are urged to defer non-essential
travel to Anjouan. U.S. citizens already there are urged to review
their personal security situation in determining whether to remain
on the island.
U.S. citizens should avoid political rallies and street demonstrations
and maintain security awareness at all times.
CRIME: Petty crime is common. Pick-pocketing, purse snatching,
and various types of scams are the most common forms of crime
confronting U.S. travelers in crowded market areas, parks, and
at the beaches.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately to local police and to the nearest U.S. embassy or
consulate. The pamphlets, A
Safe Trip Abroad and Tips
forTravelers to Sub-Saharan Africa, provide useful information
on personal security while traveling abroad and on travel in the
region. Both are available from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
or via the
Bureau of Consular Affairs web site at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities in Comoros are
poor. Travelers should bring their own supplies of prescription
drugs and preventive medicines.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs
do not provide for payment of medical services outside the United
States. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment
for health services. Uninsured travelers who require medical care
overseas may face extreme difficulties.
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether
your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical
evacuation, and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems
requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United
States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor,
or if 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, Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available
via its home page at http://travel.state.gov and autofax service
at (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the
Centers for Disease Control and Preventions international
travelers hotline at telephone 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747);
fax: 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or by visiting the CDC Internet
home page 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
Comoros is provided for general reference only, and may not be
totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
In Comoros, one drives on the right side of the street. Roads
are generally adequate, but are narrow and poorly lit at night.
Travelers should exercise extreme caution when driving after dark.
Most urban roads are paved, but many rural roads are not. Speed
limits range from 30 to 40 miles an hour. Drivers and front seat
passengers are required to wear seat belts. There are no laws
regarding child safety seats.
There are no organizations in Comoros that provide emergency
or roadside assistance. Individuals involved in accidents rely
on passersby for assistance.
Taxis or a rental car with driver are preferable to public transportation.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside/Ambulance Assistance: Poor
For additional information about road
safety, including links to foreign government sites, please
see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs web site
AVIATION SAFETY: As there is no direct commercial air
service by local carriers at present, nor economic authority to
operate such service between the U.S. and Comoros, the U.S. Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Civil Aviation
Authority of Comoros for compliance with international aviation
safety standards for oversight of Comorian air carrier operations.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit
Internet home page 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 at telephone 618-229-4801.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that countrys laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may 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
the laws of Comoros, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested,
or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in
illegal drugs in Comoros are strict, and convicted offenders can
expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
CHILDRENS ISSUES: For information
on international adoption of children and international parental
child abduction, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone in the U.S. at 202-736-7000.
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY AND CONSULATE LOCATION: The United
States has no embassy in Comoros, but has a liaison representative
in Moroni, who can be contacted at Quartier Oasis, POB 720, Moroni,
telephone (269) 73-00-11, fax (269) 73-00-12. U.S. citizens in
Comoros are encouraged to register with the
U.S. Embassy in Port Louis, Mauritius. Registration information
and forms are collected at the liaison office in Moroni and forwarded
to the U.S. Embassy, Consular Section, Rogers house, fourth floor,
John F. Kennedy Street, Port Louis, Mauritius; telephone numbers
(230) 202-4400 and 208-2347; fax (230) 202-4401 and 208-9534.
The U.S. Embassy home page is located at http://www.usembassymauritius.mu;
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated September
14, 2000 to update the sections on Safety and Security, Traffic
Safety and Road Conditions, and Registration/Embassy Location,
and to delete the section on Y2K.