Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic Of) - Consular Information
August 20, 2001
TRAVEL WARNING (August 10, 2001): The Department of State
warns American citizens to defer all travel to Macedonia. U.S.
citizens currently in Macedonia are strongly urged to depart the
country. The Department of State has ordered the departure of
Embassy personnel in non-emergency positions and the dependents
of Embassy personnel, and imposed a curfew, subject to change,
for official Americans in Skopje. In addition, U.S. Government
facilities may temporarily close or suspend public services from
time to time as necessary to review their security posture and
ensure its adequacy. The situation in Macedonia is unsettled and
potentially dangerous as a result of armed clashes between Macedonian
security forces and ethnic Albanian extremists. Amid a climate
of rising anti-foreigner sentiment, there has been an increase
in acts of intimidation and violence against American citizens
in Macedonia. On July 24, rioters staged violent protests in downtown
Skopje at several, Western diplomatic missions, including the
At the present time, civilian airlines are continuing to fly
into Skopje. This situation may change, however, should the security
situation deteriorate. Periodic closures of the border with Kosovo
have occurred with little or no notice and may continue to do
Armed gunmen have set up checkpoints, and claim control of some
villages in the area east of the Crna Gora Mountains and the area
north and west of Tetovo and Gostivar. Macedonian security forces
have also established checkpoints. U.S. Government personnel are
currently prohibited from going into the cities of Tetovo, Debar,
and Kicevo, the area west of the Tetovo-Kicevo highway to the
Albanian border and north of Debar and Kicevo, the area north
of Skopje and Tetovo up to the Kosovo and Serbian border, and
to the north and west of Kumanovo to the Kosovo border. Official
Americans are also prohibited from traveling on the highway between
Skopje, Tetovo and Gostivar. Travel restrictions on official Americans
are subject to change on short notice.
Private Americans who choose to remain in Macedonia despite this
Travel Warning should take similar precautions to those listed
above. In addition, U.S. citizens are urged to maintain a high
level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to increase their security
awareness and to reduce their vulnerability: maintain a low profile,
avoid crowds and demonstrations, monitor local news sources, and
vary routes and times for all required travel. All Americans in
Macedonia are urged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Skopje
and to consult the Embassy for updated safety and security information.
Furthermore, the Embassy's ability to assist Americans will necessarily
be limited to emergency services because of reduced staffing.
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Macedonia is a developing nation
undergoing economic change. Conditions in tourist facilities vary
considerably and may not be up to western standards.
ENTRY AND EXIT REQUIREMENTS: U.S. citizens need a passport
to enter Macedonia. A visa for Macedonia is not required for tourist/business
purposes for stays up to 90 days. For stays longer than 90 days,
American citizens need to obtain a temporary residence permit
from the Ministry of Interior or apply for the appropriate visa
at a Macedonian embassy prior to their trip. Additional information
on entry requirements may be obtained from the
Embassy of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 3050
K Street N.W., Suite 210, Washington, D.C., 20007, telephone (202)
337-3063, fax (202) 337-3093, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; Consulate
General, 866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 4018, New York, New York
10017; phone: (212) 317-1727.
Travelers are required to complete an entry/exit document when
they enter the country. The exit portion of this document must
be retained for presentation to officials upon departure. Loss
of this form may result in departure delays.
The United States Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia provides routine
consular services for residents of Kosovo. Travelers should also
consult the Department of State's Travel Warning and Consular
Information Sheet for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia before
traveling there. Travelers who also intend to visit Kosovo should
note that for security reasons the border between Macedonia and
Kosovo is subject to periodic closures. There are no immigration
requirements for entry into Kosovo. However, travelers will need
passports to re-enter Macedonia.
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.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: See "Travel Warning" above.
Starting in the winter of 2000-01, armed extremists conducted
several attacks against Macedonian government targets, police
and police installations.
Political demonstrations sometimes occur in Skopje and other
towns of Macedonia. Some of these demonstrations have expressed
anti-foreigner sentiments and have been known to turn violent.
Americans should exercise appropriate security precautions and
avoid demonstrations altogether.
Americans should exercise caution traveling in areas of Macedonia
near the borders with Kosovo and Yugoslavia, which have been the
scene of violent confrontations between Macedonian security forces
and armed extremists. Travelers should be aware that the immediate
border area apart from designated border crossing points is a
military restricted zone; travel in this zone is not permitted
without permission, which can be obtained from the nearest Macedonian
police station. People traveling in the border area risk stumbling
into minefields. There have also been reports of people being
shot in these areas for refusing to stop when challenged. Military
operations or patrols may also be occurring in Yugoslavia near
the border of Macedonia, and most border areas are not marked.
Travelers should consult the Travel Warning on the Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia for further information on travel to all areas of
CRIME: Crime in Macedonia is low by U.S. standards; however,
incidents of theft and other petty crimes do occur, and travelers
should take the same precautions they would take in any unfamiliar
environment. The loss or theft of a U.S. passport abroad should
be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S.
embassy or consulate. Useful information on guarding valuables
and protecting personal security while traveling overseas is provided
in the Department of State pamphlet, A
Safe Trip Abroad, 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: Health facilities are limited. Medical
facilities are rarely up to Western standards. Patients may have
to undergo medical procedures without the benefit of anesthesia.
Medicines may be in short supply. Maternity hospital facilities
are considered less than adequate. Women may wish to consult their
physicians about the advisability of traveling to and in Macedonia
after the fourth month of pregnancy.
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, whereas travelers who have purchased overseas medical
insurance have, when a medical emergency occurs, found it life-saving.
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, available
via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202)
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Hepatitis A and Brucellosis
are endemic in Macedonia. Travelers to the region may wish to
consult their physicians about the advisability of getting a Hepatitis
A vaccination. Information
on vaccinations and other health precautions may be obtained from
the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for
international travelers at 1-877-394-8747; fax 1-888-232-3299,
or by visiting the CDC's Internet homepage 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 Macedonia 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: Poor
Most major highways are in good repair, but secondary roads are
poorly maintained and lit and are used by horse-drawn carts and
livestock. Some vehicles are old and lack standard front or rear
lights. Secondary mountain roads can be narrow, poorly marked,
lack guardrails and quickly become dangerous in inclement weather.
Military convoys may cause traffic delays on roads approaching
Skopje Petrovec Airport.
For 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
Macedonia driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory
insurance, contact the Embassy of Macedonia at email@example.com.
information about road travel in Macedonia see the U.S. Embassy
home page at http://usembassy.mpt.com.mk.
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 United States and Macedonia,
the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed
Macedonia's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international
aviation safety standards for oversight of Macedonia's air carrier
operations. For further information, travelers may contact the
Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873,
the FAA 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 DOD at (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Macedonian customs authorities may
enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation or
export from Macedonia of certain items. Customs regulations require
that non-Macedonian citizens make a customs declaration upon entry
into Macedonia when they bring more than 300 German marks in cash
or cash equivalents (about $167) into the country. Failure to
complete such a declaration may result in the confiscation of
any cash over that amount upon leaving the country.
Casual, non-business travelers with expensive lap-top computers,
video cameras, extensive amounts of personal jewelry, etc., are
advised that they should declare those items with Macedonian Customs
upon entry to avoid problems and delays upon departure. Personal
importation of duty-free liquor is limited to one liter. Two hundred
cigarettes may also be imported without duty. Pets should have
appropriate vaccination and/or health certificates. It is advisable
to contact the Macedonian Embassy in Washington or Consulate General
in New York for specific information regarding customs requirements.
Macedonian 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 e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org,
or visit http://www.uscib.org for details.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens
are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling.
Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the
United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Macedonian
laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.
Penalties in Macedonia for possession, use or trafficking in illegal
drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences
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: U.S. citizens living
in or visiting Macedonia are encouraged to register at the
U.S. Embassy in Skopje and obtain updated information on travel
and security for both Macedonia and bordering countries. The U.S.
Embassy is located at Ilindenska bb, 91000 Skopje, tel. (389)
(2) 116-180, fax (389) (2) 213-767. Registration forms are available
on the Embassy's web site, located at http://usembassy.mpt.com.mk.
* * * * * *
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated June 29, 2001,
to update the Travel Warning.