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Travel Warning & Consular Information Sheet for Dominica

Dominica - Consular Information Sheet
April 5, 2000

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Dominica is a developing Caribbean island nation with a high level of unemployment and serious economic challenges. The tourism industry is not highly developed and has a very limited number of first-class tourist facilities, including hotels.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: U.S. citizens may enter Dominica without a passport for tourist stays of up to three months, but they must carry an original document proving U.S. citizenship, such as a U.S. passport, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship or certified U.S. birth certificate; photo identification; and a return or onward ticket. For further information concerning entry requirements, travelers can contact the Embassy of the Commonwealth of Dominica, 3216 New Mexico Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016, telephone: (202) 364-6781, email: embdomdc@aol.com, or the Consulate General of Dominica in New York at (212) 768-2480.

CRIME INFORMATION: Petty street crime occurs in Dominica. Valuables left unattended on beaches are subject to theft. Availability and use of illegal drugs are increasing.

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. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlets, "A Safe Trip Abroad" and "Tips for Travelers to the Caribbean," for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. The pamphlets are available by mail 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 home page at http://travel.state.gov.

MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical care is limited. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the U.S. can cost thousands of dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.

MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the U.S. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the U.S. 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. Please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that 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 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 CDC's 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 U.S. The information below concerning Dominica 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: Good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: None

Vehicles are driven on the left, so traffic approaches from the right in Dominica. Roads are narrow with steep inclines/declines throughout the island, and there are few guardrails in areas that have precipitous drop-offs from the road.

For specific information concerning driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance in Dominica, please contact the Dominica Mission in New York at tel. (212) 949-0853.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Dominica civil aviation authority as category 2 - not in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Dominica's air carrier operations. While consultations to correct the deficiencies are ongoing, Dominica's air carriers are permitted to conduct limited operations to the U.S. subject to heightened FAA surveillance.

For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at tel. 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) does not permit its personnel to use air carriers from Category 2 countries for official business except for flights originating from or terminating in the U.S. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact the DOD at tel. (618) 229-4801.

CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Dominica's customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning the temporary import or export of items such as business equipment, food and beverages, paints and varnishes, and chemicals. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Dominica in Washington or the Consulate in New York 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 U.S and may not afford the protection available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the U.S. for similar offenses. Persons violating Dominican laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs in Dominica are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

CONSULAR ACCESS: There is no U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Dominica. The U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados is responsible for the safety and security of U.S. citizens on the island of Dominica. U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry their U.S. passports, certified birth certificates or Certificates of Naturalization/Citizenship and photo identification with them at all times, so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available.

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Dominica is a hurricane-prone country. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov/.

CHILDREN'S 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 (202) 736-7000.

REGISTRATION/EMBASSY AND CONSULATE LOCATIONS: Americans living in or visiting Dominica are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados and obtain updated information on travel and security within Dominica. Consular Section hours are 9:00am-12 noon and 2:00pm-4:00pm, Monday-Friday except local and U.S. holidays. The U.S. Embassy is located in the American Life Insurance (ALICO) building, Cheapside, Bridgetown, Barbados, telephone 1-246-431-0225, fax 1-246-431-0179, e-mail: consularbridge@state.gov or Internet: http://usembassy.state.gov/posts/bb1/wwwhcons.html.

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