Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Consular Information Sheet
August 15, 2001
TRAVEL WARNING (ISSUED FEBRUARY 14, 2001): The Department
of State cautions U.S. Citizens of the potential danger of travel
to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). The U.S. Government
established diplomatic relations with the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia on November 17, 2000. Persons considering travel to
the FRY should note the conditions described below.
Neither the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade nor the U.S. Office in Pristina,
Kosovo, is currently staffed to provide consular services to American
Serbia: No specific threats or incidents of harassment involving
American citizens have been reported since the Kostunica government
took office in October, 2000. However, a potential for hostility
towards U.S. citizens still exists as a result of the 1999 conflict
between members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
and Serbian forces. Ethnic tensions in the ground safety zone,
a five kilometer wide zone separating Kosovo from Serbia, have
provoked outbursts of violence against Serb police and military
positions. Other hazards include damaged infrastructure and unexploded
ordnance scattered throughout the country.
Montenegro: The security situation for Americans in Montenegro
is generally better than in Serbia. While Montenegrin authorities
have declared visas unnecessary for Americans to travel to Montenegro,
the Yugoslav federal government has requested that Americans obtain
FRY visas for travel to Montenegro. The Department of State strongly
advises American citizens not to attempt travel to Serbia or Montenegro
without a valid Yugoslav visa.
Kosovo: The situation in Kosovo remains unsettled and potentially
dangerous. Despite the deployment of Kosovo Force (KFOR) troops
throughout the province, and United Nations Mission in Kosovo
(UNMIK) attempts to re-establish civil authority, some civil institutions
in Kosovo, including the criminal justice system, are not fully
functioning. Incidents of violence in Kosovo continue to be reported.
Landmines remain in some areas. Road conditions can be extremely
hazardous as roads are narrow, crowded, and used by a variety
of vehicles, from KFOR armored personnel carriers to horse drawn
carts. The reliability of telecommunications, electric and water
systems remains a problem. Travel by U.S. Government officials
to and within Kosovo, particularly to areas that have experienced
recent ethnic violence, is subject to restrictions.
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
is a moderately developed European country. The country underwent
a significant political change in October 2000. Tourist facilities
are widely available, but conditions vary considerably and some
services and supplies taken for granted in other European countries
may be unavailable.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: U.S. citizens require a passport and
visa. Visas should be obtained prior to arriving in Yugoslavia.
However, a visa is not required during the summer holiday season
from July 5 to September 30, 2001. Tourist passes valid for thirty
days will be issued at international border crossings. To obtain
a visa, contact The
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Washington
at telephone (202) 332-0333 or fax (202) 332-3933. The address
of the Embassy is 2410 California Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008
and the website is http://www.mfa.gov.yu. Registration With Local
Authorities: Visitors staying in private homes must register with
police officials upon arrival; failure to comply may result in
a fine, incarceration, and/or expulsion. Visitors staying in hotels
are automatically registered with the police by the hotel.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: See the Travel Warning above.
CRIME: In recent years there has been an increase in street
crime in the large cities. This may partially be attributed to
difficult economic conditions and to the growth of an organized
criminal class. While confrontational and gratuitously violent
crimes rarely target tourists, Mafia-style reprisals can occur
anywhere, including hotels, restaurants and shops. Theft and carjacking,
especially of four-wheel drive vehicles and luxury cars, occur
at all times of day or night and in all sections of Belgrade and
other parts of the country. Several high-profile murders and kidnappings
in recent years remain unsolved. As in other parts of the world,
travelers should be especially on guard near railroad and bus
stations, on public transport and while walking in city centers.
In case of emergency, the police telephone number is 92.
The loss or theft of a U.S. passport overseas should be reported
immediately to the local police and nearest U.S. embassy. Replacement
of a lost or stolen passport and the required Yugoslav exit visa
may take up to ten days. U.S. citizens may 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 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,
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Although many physicians in Yugoslavia
are highly trained, hospitals and clinics are generally not equipped
and maintained to Western standards. Medicines and basic medical
supplies are largely obtainable in privately owned pharmacies.
Hospitals usually require payment in cash for all services.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: The Department of State strongly urges
Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior
to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas
and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical
evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs
incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage
is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do
not provide payment for medical services outside the United States.
However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance
plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including
emergency services such as medical evacuations.
When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans
should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require
payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical
evacuation to the U.S. may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured
travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme
difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your
trip, ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare
provider 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, autofax: (202)
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, which differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is provided
for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in
a particular location or circumstance.
Safety Of Public Transportation: Fair
Urban Road Condition/Maintenance: Fair
Rural Road Condition/Maintenance: Poor
Availability Of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Dangerous areas for road travel are "Ibarska Magistrala,"
and a road called "Moraca Canyon". Ibarska Magistrala
is the main road from Serbia to Montenegro, a two-lane road running
through central Serbia, in bad condition and usually overcrowded.
Moraca Canyon in Montenegro is a twisting, two-lane road that
is especially overcrowded in summer. Road conditions in Kosovo
can be extremely hazardous as roads are narrow, crowded, and used
by a variety of vehicles, from KFOR armored personnel carriers
to horse drawn carts.
Metered taxi service is safe and reasonably priced, although
foreigners are sometimes charged higher rates. Buses and trams
are overcrowded in Belgrade and in other areas of Yugoslavia and
are poorly maintained. Some improvement in the quality of public
transportation has been noted recently with the introduction of
buses and trams obtained from other countries in Europe.
Travelers entering the country by road should be aware that purchase
of local third-party insurance is required. In addition, road
tolls for foreign-registered vehicles are very high.
The use of seat belts is mandatory. A driver with a blood alcohol
level higher than 0.05 is considered intoxicated. Roadside assistance
is available by dialing 987. Other emergency numbers are police:
92, fire department: 93, and ambulance: 94.
additional general information about road safety, including links
to foreign government sites, see the Department of State,
Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html.
For specific information concerning Yugoslavian driving permits,
vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, see the
National Tourism Organization of Serbia Internet home page
at http://www.serbia-info.com/NTOS. See also road safety information
Yugoslav Automotive Association at http://www.amsj.co.yu/eng/eindex.html.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial
air service by local carriers at present, or economic authority
to operate such service, between the U.S. and Yugoslavia, the
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Yugoslavia's
Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit
FAA's Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/iasa.pdf.
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 DOD at (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Travelers are required to declare
all currency upon entry and obtain from customs officials a declaration
form that must be presented at departure. Failure to comply may
result in the confiscation of all funds. In the past, American
travelers have had thousands of dollars of such unclaimed funds
confiscated by customs authorities. Travelers should obtain the
necessary forms at ports of entry.
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 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
Yugoslav laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or
imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal
drugs in Yugoslavia are strict and convicted offenders can expect
jail sentences and heavy fines.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Travelers should carry sufficient
cash for their stay. Personal checks and travelers' checks generally
are not accepted. Although a limited number of hotels and restaurants
now accept credit cards, their use is still not widespread. Travelers
expecting to pay bills with a credit card should check in advance
whether the hotel or restaurant accepts a particular credit card.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For
information on international adoption of children and international
parental child abduction please refer to our Internet site
http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone
REGISTRATION AND EMBASSY LOCATION: At present the
U.S. Embassy is not staffed to accept walk-in registration.
Instead American citizens are strongly encouraged to register
their presence in Yugoslavia by (1) calling 011-301-1234 to register
by telephone or to obtain a mail-in registration form or (2) requesting
a registration form by leaving your address and telephone number
at the Internet address: email@example.com. American Embassy
in Belgrade is located at 48 Kneza Milosa Street, phone (381)
(11) 646-924 for American Citizens Services or (381) (11) 645-655
for the Embassy Switchboard.
U.S. citizens who plan on traveling to Kosovo should register
at the U.S. Office in Pristina by telephone (873-762-029-525).
However, the U.S. Office in Pristina cannot provide routine consular
services such as passport and visa issuance. No visa is required
to enter Kosovo, but entry to Serbia from Kosovo should not be
attempted without a valid Yugoslav visa.
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet issued on February
28, 2001 to update sections on Entry Requirements, Medical Insurance,
and Registration and Embassy Location.