Malta - Consular Information Sheet
June 14, 2001
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Malta is a small, developed, democratic
Mediterranean island nation, positioned as a cultural and political
stepping-stone between Europe and North Africa. Tourist facilities
of all categories are widely available.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport is required. A visa is
not required for U.S. citizens for stays of up to 90 days. For
more information concerning entry requirements for Malta, travelers
should contact the Embassy of Malta at 2017 Connecticut Avenue,
N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, tel: (202) 462-3611, or the Maltese
Consulate in New York City, tel: (212) 725-2345.
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.
CRIME: Malta has a low rate of violent crime. Incidents
of pickpocketing and purse-snatching are relatively rare; however,
break-ins and thefts from parked vehicles and thefts of cars are
on the increase. Caution is urged in the Paceville nightclubs
area, as excessive drinking and poor crowd control combine to
create conditions that may aggravate a minor incident into a brawl.
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
pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad
for ways to promote a trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is 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 available through
public and private hospitals. The service at the public hospitals
is not always up to the standards of private hospitals. In addition,
most of the best doctors are found in the private medical facilities.
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, 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, which differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Malta 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: Fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Good
Traffic flows on the left and this takes some adjustment for
visitors from right-hand drive countries such as the United States.
Additionally, visitors should exercise extreme caution, as drivers
may be erratic. Roads flood easily, and they are often narrow,
winding, and congested, with poor visibility around curves. Traffic
arteries are prone to bottlenecks and serious accidents, often
due to drivers' inexperience in merging or due to excessive speed.
Buses are the primary means of public transportation, but they
are rather old and uncomfortable and are not equipped for the
heat of summer. Taxis are safe but expensive.
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 Malta driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax
and mandatory insurance contact the
Malta national tourist organization offices in New York via
the Internet at http://www.visitmalta.com.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has assessed the Government of Malta's civil aviation authority
as Category 1 -- in compliance with international aviation safety
standards for oversight of Malta'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 the
FAA's Internet website 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: Malta'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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
Malta's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs
in Malta 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/EMBASSY AND CONSULATE LOCATION: Americans
living in or visiting Malta are encouraged to register at the
Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Malta and obtain updated
information on travel and security within Malta. The U.S. Embassy
is located on the third floor of Development House, St. Anne Street,
Floriana, Valletta. The Consular Section's telephone number is
(356) 235-960, fax: (356) 243-229, and the
Embassy website address is U.S.Embassy@kemmunet.net.mt.