Finland - Consular Information Sheet
August 14, 2001
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Finland is a highly developed democracy
with a modern economy. It is a member of the European Union. Tourist
facilities are widely available.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport is required. A visa is
not required for tourist or business stays of up to 90 days. For
additional information concerning entry requirements, travelers
can contact the
Embassy of Finland at 3301 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington,
DC 20008, tel: (202) 298-5800, or the Finnish Consulate General
in Los Angeles or New York. Additional information is available
via the Internet at http://www.finland.org.
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments
have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include
requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission
for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not
present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required,
may facilitate entry/departure.
DUAL NATIONALITY: In addition to being subject to all
Finnish laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also
be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Finnish
citizens. For additional information, see the
Dual Nationality flyer.
CRIME: Although the crime rate in Finland is low compared
to the U.S. and most European countries, it has increased approximately
15 percent since 1998. However, Finland remains a relatively safe
environment. Americans visiting Finland are seldom victims of
crime, but visitors should not be complacent regarding personal
safety or the protection of valuables. The same precautions employed
in the U.S. should be followed in Finland. Finnish police services
are excellent; however, some police officers speak little English.
The telephone number for police and other emergency services throughout
Finland is 112. All forms of public transportation are considered
safe. Street crimes, such as muggings and pick-pocketing, remain
relatively uncommon, but do occur. The loss or theft of a U.S.
passport should be reported immediately to the local police and
the U.S. Embassy. 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
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities are widely available
for emergency services. The public hospital system and many private
hospitals honor foreign credit cards.
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,
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
traveler 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 United States. The information
below concerning Finland is provided for general reference only,
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Excellent
Urban Road Condition/Maintenance: Excellent
Rural Road Condition/Maintenance: Excellent
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Excellent
Finland has an extensive network of highways throughout the country,
as well as excellent public transportation services. Travelers
should be aware that drunk driving laws are strict, and acceptable
blood alcohol levels are much lower in Finland than in the U.S.
Police strictly enforce all traffic laws and institute random
roadside Breathalyzer tests. Those drivers who register a .05
or above alcohol content are subject to immediate arrest. If driving
regulations and traffic signs differ significantly from those
in the U.S. Visitors should be familiar with both prior to operating
a vehicle in Finland. Driving in Finland during the winter months
can be hazardous. Icy road conditions are common. If driving in
Finland, the vehicle must be winterized with studded snow tires
and engine heaters are strongly recommended. When driving at night,
drivers must be alert to moose wandering onto major roadways.
There have been incidents of moose being struck by vehicles, causing
severe damage to the vehicle and even death to the occupants.
For specific information concerning Finnish driver's permits,
vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact
the Finland National
Tourist Organization offices in New York via the Internet
at http://www.mek.fi. The e-mail address
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has assessed the Government of Finland's Civil Aviation
Authority as Category 1 -- in compliance with international aviation
safety standards for oversight of Finland's 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 website 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 (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Finland's customs authorities encourage
the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet
for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial
samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet
Headquarters, located at the
U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the
Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA
Carnet in the United States. For additional information call
212-354-4480, send an e-mail to email@example.com, or visit
http://www.uscib.org for details.
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
Finland's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or
imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal
drugs in Finland are strict and convicted offenders can expect
jail sentences and heavy fines.
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
REGISTRATION AND EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans living in
or visiting Finland are encouraged to register at the Consular
Section of the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki and obtain updated information
on travel and security within Finland. The
U.S. Embassy is located at Itainen Puistotie 14B; tel: 358-9-171931
or after hours tel 358-9-605414; fax 358-9-652057; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org;
or visit the
Embassy's Internet home page at http://www.usembassy.fi.
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated July 23, 2000
to add sections on Dual Nationality and to update information
on Entry Requirements, Medical Insurance, Other Health Information
and Aviation Safety Oversight.