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Travel Warning & Consular Information Sheet

Travel Warning & Consular Information Sheet for Marshall Islands

Republic of the Marshall Islands - Consular Information Sheet
September 8, 2000

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: The Republic of the Marshall Islands consists of two chains of coral atolls in the Central Pacific with a total area of approximately 705 square miles. The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a parliamentary democracy, constitutionally in free association with the United States of America. It has a developing agrarian and service-oriented economy. Tourist facilities are not widely available, but they are adequate. Hotels exist in the capital of Majuro and on Ebeye, the country's second most populous island. Water shortages are common.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Visas are not required for U.S. citizens. A valid passport, sufficient funds for a stay, and an onward/return ticket are required for stays up to 30 days (and may be extended for up to 90 days from the date of entry). A departure fee is required. A health certificate is required if arriving from infected areas. An AIDS test may be required for visits over 30 days. (U.S. test are accepted.) For further information on entry requirements for the Marshall Islands, please contact the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, 2433 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008. The telephone number is (202) 234-5414. Also, please see the home page for the Embassy of the Marshall Islands at http://www.rmiembassyus.org/.

DUAL NATIONALITY: U.S. citizens may obtain dual nationality at the discretion of the Cabinet of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. For more information, please contact the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. In addition to being subject to all Republic of the Marshall Islands' laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Marshall Islands citizens. For additional information, please see the Consular Affairs home page on the Internet at http//travel.state.gov for our Dual Nationality flyer.

CRIME INFORMATION: The Republic of the Marshall Islands has a relatively low, but increasing crime rate. Most common crimes are break-ins and thefts from homes, hotel rooms and vehicles. Random acts of vandalism are also on the rise. The loss or theft of a U.S. passport abroad should be reported immediately to the local police and to the U.S. Embassy in Majuro. 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 by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402 or via the Internet at http://www.access.gop.gov/su_docs, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.

MEDICAL FACILITIES: Health facilities in the Republic of the Marshall Islands are adequate for routine medical problems, but they are available only on Majuro and Ebeye. Majuro has a private clinic and a public hospital. Ebeye has a public hospital. Most outer islands have medical dispensaries. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States 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 United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. 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, and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. 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 the 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 the Republic of the Marshall Islands is provided for general reference only, and it 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

Majuro atoll has a paved road, but there are few traffic signs and lights. Drivers should be alert for animals roaming the streets and children darting onto the roads. After heavy rains, some roads experience temporary flooding. Vehicle traffic proceeds at a slow rate, rarely over 25 miles per hour. Since visibility is poor with few streetlights, night driving requires special caution. Drinking and driving is a common practice, especially on the weekends, so drivers should use caution.

For specific information concerning Republic of the Marshall Islands driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the National Tourist Organization offices in New York.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Republic of the Marshall Islands' civil Aviation Authority as Category 1, in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of the Marshall Islands' air carrier operations.

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 web site 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 the DOD at tel. (618) 229-4801.

CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: The Republic of the Marshall Islands customs authorities strictly prohibit the importation of firearms, ammunition, explosives and indecent publications. Certification from the Quarantine Division is required for importing birds, plants and fruits. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands in Washington, D.C. or one of the Republic of the Marshall Islands' consulates in the United States 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 United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under the U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Marshall Islands' laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in the Marshall Islands are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: The Republic of the Marshall Islands uses U.S. currency. Most hotels and a few restaurants accept VISA and MasterCard.

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 send a 9 x 12-inch self addressed envelope to the Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State, Suite L-127, SA-1, 2401 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20037, or telephone (202) 736-7000. At present, there is a moratorium on child adoptions in the Republic of the Marshall Islands lasting through January 2001 for non-residents.

REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans living in or visiting the Marshall Islands are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Majuro. The U.S. Embassy does not have a street address in Majuro. The Embassy is located on the ocean-side of the island's road, near the Church of the Latter-Day Saints and Gibson's Express, "Long Island." The U.S. Embassy's mailing address is P.O. Box 1379, Majuro, MH 96960-1379. The telephone number is (692) 247-4011. The fax number is (692) 247-4012. The U.S. Embassy home page on the Internet is http://usembassy.state.gov/majuro/.



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