Romania - Consular Information Sheet
September 20, 2001
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Romania has undergone profound political
and economic changes since the 1989 revolution and is in a period
of economic transition. Most tourist facilities, while being upgraded,
have not yet reached Western European standards.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport is required. Tourist visas
for stays up to thirty days are not required. An exit visa must
be obtained only in cases when the original passport used to enter
the country was lost or stolen and a replacement passport has
been issued by the American Embassy. For stays longer than thirty
days, visas should be obtained from a Romanian embassy or consulate
abroad. These should be extended at passport offices in Romania
in the area of residence. Travelers can obtain visas and other
information regarding entry requirements from the Romanian Embassy
at 1607 23rd St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone number
(202) 232-4747, or the Romanian consulates in Los Angeles, Chicago,
or New York City. The
Romanian Embassy maintains a web site at http://www.roembus.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
Romanian laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also
be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Romanian
citizens. For additional information, please see Dual
CRIME: While most crimes in Romania are non-violent and
non-confrontational, there has been an increase in the number
of crimes in which the victim suffers personal harm. Crimes against
tourists (robbery, mugging, pick-pocketing and confidence scams)
are a growing problem in Romania. Organized groups of thieves
and pickpockets operate in the train stations and on trains, subways,
and buses in major cities. A number of thefts and assaults have
occurred on overnight trains, including thefts from passengers
in closed compartments. Money exchange schemes targeting travelers
have become increasingly common in Romania. Some of these scams
have become rather sophisticated, involving individuals posing
as plainclothes policemen, who approach the potential victim,
flash a badge and ask for his/her passport and wallet. In many
of these cases, the thieves succeed in obtaining passports, credit
cards, and other personal documents.
The loss or theft abroad of an 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
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, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical care in Romania is not up
to Western standards, and basic medical supplies are limited,
especially outside major cities.
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 United States 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, please ascertain whether payment will be made to
the overseas healthcare provider or if 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 orautofax: (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 that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Romania 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: Fair
Road conditions vary widely throughout Romania. While major streets
in larger cities and major inter-city roads are in fair to good
condition, most other roads are in poor repair, badly lit, narrow,
and often do not have marked lanes. Many roads, particularly in
rural areas, are also used by pedestrians, animals, people on
bicycles, and horse drawn carts that are extremely difficult to
see, especially at night. Road travel can be particularly dangerous
when roads are wet or covered with snow or ice. This is especially
the case concerning mountain roads.
Romanian traffic laws are very strict. Any form of driver's license
or permit can be confiscated by the traffic police for 1-3 months
and payment of fines may be requested at the time of many infractions.
Some examples are: failure to yield the right of way, failure
to yield to pedestrians at crossroads, or not stopping at a red
light or stop sign. Romanian traffic law provides for retention
of licenses and possible imprisonment from 1 to 5 years for driving
under the influence (alcohol level over 0.1% limit) or for causing
an accident resulting in injury or death. In spite of these strict
rules, however, many drivers in Romania often do not follow traffic
laws or yield the right of way. Therefore it is strongly recommended
that defensive driving be practiced while driving throughout Romania.
U.S. driver's licenses are only valid in Romania for up to 30
days. Before the 30-day period has expired, U.S. citizens must
either obtain an international driving permit in addition to their
U.S. driver's license or a Romanian driver's license. Wearing
a seat belt is mandatory only in the front seats of a car. Children
under 12 years of age cannot be transported on the front seat.
Drivers must yield to pedestrians at all marked pedestrian crosswalks,
but many of these are poorly marked and difficult to see. Unless
otherwise marked with road signs, speed limits are as follows:
inter-city traffic on highways, 120 km/hr for cars, 100 km/hr
for motorcycles, 90 km/hr for vans. On all other roads: 90 km/hr
for cars, 80 km/hr for motorcycles, and 70 km/hr for vans. Inner-city
traffic: 50 km/hr. Speed limits for motor vehicles with trailers
and for drivers with less than 1 years of driving experience are10
km/hr slower than those listed above.
Inter-city travel is generally done via trains and buses, which
are relatively safe, inexpensive, and reliable. However, travelers
should be aware of pickpockets while on night trains or in train
stations. Inter-city travel by taxi is much more expensive, and
safety depends on the quality of the driver. Many older taxis
are not equipped with seat belts. To avoid being overcharged,
those using inner-city taxis should request the taxi by phone,
make sure the taxi has an operational meter, or agree upon a price
before entering the taxi.
The host country authority responsible for road safety is the
Traffic Police of the Romanian Ministry of Interior. The
Traffic Police maintain a web site at http://www.politiarutiera.ro.
Emergency roadside help and information may be reached by dialing
9271 for vehicle assistance and towing services, 961 for ambulance
services, 981 for fire brigade, and 955 for police.
For additional information about road travel in Romania, please
see the U.S.
Embassy home page at http://www.usembassy.ro. For
additional general information about road safety, including links
to foreign government web sites, please see the Department
of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html.
For specific information concerning Romanian driving permits,
vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact
the Romania National
Tourist Organization offices in New York via the internet
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has assessed the Government of Romania's civil aviation
authority as Category 1 -- in compliance with international aviation
safety standards for oversight of Romania's air carrier operations.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the United States 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: Romania's customs authorities may
enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into
or export from Romania of items such as firearms, antiquities,
and medications. Romanian law allows foreigners to bring up to
$10,000 in cash into Romania. No amount in excess of that declared
upon entry may be taken out of Romania upon departure. Sums larger
than $10,000 must be transferred through banks. No more than 1,000,000
Romanian lei (rol) may be brought into or taken out of the country.
It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Romania in Washington
or one of Romania's consulates in the United States for specific
information regarding customs requirements.
Romania 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, N.Y. 10036, issues and guarantees the
ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information,
please 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
Romanian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or
imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal
drugs in Romania are strict, and convicted offenders can expect
jail sentences and heavy fines.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Romania is largely a "cash
only" economy. While an increasing number of businesses do
accept credit cards, travelers are advised to use cash for goods
and services rendered due to an increase in credit card fraud.
Venders have been known to misuse credit card information by making
illegal purchases on individuals' accounts. There are an increasing
number of ATM machines located throughout major cities. Travelers'
checks are of limited use, but they may be used to exchange local
currency at some exchange houses.
There is a significant population of stray dogs in and around
Bucharest, and attacks on pedestrians and joggers are not uncommon.
While there have not been any reported problems with rabies, travelers
are advised to avoid all stray dogs.
Persons who participate in or photograph demonstrations risk
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Romania is an earthquake-prone
country. General information about natural disaster preparedness
is available via the Internet from the
U.S. Federal Emergency Aanagement Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov/.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: There is currently a moratorium on
adoptions in Romania. 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
International Adoptions: Before traveling to Romania, prospective
parents may wish to obtain information about both United States
visa requirements and Romanian adoption laws from the U.S. Embassy
in Bucharest or from the
Embassy's web site at http://www.usembassy.ro. Romanian adoption
law mandates criminal penalties for offering money or goods to
obtain the release of children for adoption. A guidebook detailing
the adoption process can be found on the Embassy's web site or
by requesting a copy from the
U.S. Embassy, Consular Section, Immigrant Visas Unit, Tudor
Arghezi 7-9, Bucharest, Romania or firstname.lastname@example.org.
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY AND CONSULATE LOCATION: Americans
living in or visiting Romania are encouraged to register with
the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Romania and obtain
updated information on travel and security within Romania. The
U.S. Embassy is located at Strada Tudor Arghezi 7-9, telephone
(40) 1-210-4042. In life or death emergencies, an after hours
duty officer may be reached by calling (40) 1-210-0149. Consular
services for U.S. citizens are performed in the Consular Section
located at Strada Filipescu no. 26 (formerly Strada Snagov), one
block from the
U.S. Embassy at the corner of Strada Batistei. The telephone number
of the Consular Section is(40) 1-210-4042, and faxes can be sent
to (40) 1 211-3360. An Embassy Information Office in Cluj-Napoca
is located at Universitatii 7-9, Etaj 1, telephone (40) 64-193-815.
This office is able to provide only limited consular information.
* * *
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated September
14, 1999 to provide additional sections on Dual Nationality, Medical
Information, Other Health Information, Traffic Safety and Road
Conditions and to update information on Entry Requirements, Aviation
Safety Oversight and Children's Issues.