Uruguay - Consular Information Sheet
September 5, 2001
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Uruguay is a middle-income nation
with a developing economy. The quality of facilities for tourism
varies, according to price and area. The capital city is Montevideo.
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: A passport is required. U.S.
citizens do not need a visa for a visit of less than three months.
For further information on entry requirements, contact
the Embassy of Uruguay at 2715 M Street, N.W. Third Floor,
Washington, D.C. 20007, tel. (202) 331-1313; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;
home page: http://www.embassy.org/uruguay/. Travelers may
also contact the Consulate of Uruguay or the Honorary Consul in:
Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New
York, Reno, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Juan, Puerto Rico
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
Uruguayan authorities require that a notarized statement from
the non-travelling parent granting his/her authorization for the
travelling parent to leave the country with the child be presented
to immigration officers at the airport, port or land border crossing.
If a child travels without both parents, even in a group, then
both must sign the document (permiso de menor).
DUAL NATIONALITY: In addition to being subject to all
Uruguayan laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also
be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Uruguayan
citizens. For additional information, see
SAFETY AND SECURITY: Due to Uruguay's close proximity
to the Tri-Border Area (Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay), activities
related to terrorism are a concern, but there are no recent reports
of credible threats directed against American interests in Uruguay
specifically. Throughout Uruguay, there is little-to-no anti-American
sentiment. Almost no acts of civil unrest have been reported within
the country. While demonstrations or protests rarely occur, U.S.
citizens visiting or residing in Uruguay are advised to take common-sense
precautions and avoid any large gatherings or any other event
where crowds have congregated to demonstrate or protest. If such
an event occurs, additional advice may be obtained from the U.S.
Embassy at the telephone numbers listed in paragraph 18.
CRIME: In the capital city of Montevideo, petty street
crime like pickpocketing, purse-snatching, confrontational robberies,
and thefts from unsecured automobiles occur daily. Such crimes
are usually non-violent, but the potential for violence exists
if perpetrators are armed and victims resist. Potential thieves
roam at all hours seeking "targets of opportunity" in
the downtown areas of Montevideo such as Ciudad Vieja, Avenida
18 de Julio, Plaza Independencia, and the vicinity around the
port. Visitors should avoid walking in those areas and use taxis
when possible, especially at night. Victims are usually foreign
tourists, individuals openly carrying valuable items, and motorists
in unlocked vehicles stopped at busy intersections, particularly
on Montevideo's riverfront road known as the Rambla. Drivers should
keep all car doors locked, the driver's window open only one inch,
and purses, bags, briefcases and other valuables out of sight
on the floor or in the trunk. Parked cars, particularly in the
Carrasco neighborhood, are also increasingly targetted for break-ins.
During the summer months (December-March), beach resort areas
such as Punta del Este attract tourists, and petty street crimes
and residential burglaries--similar to those that occur in Montevideo--rise
significantly. Visitors are advised to exercise common sense in
the conduct of their activities around Montevideo and in Uruguayan
resort areas. They should be very attentive to personal security
and their surroundings in the aforementioned areas.
Uruguayan law enforcement authorities have increased the number
of uniformed policemen on foot in areas where criminal activity
is concentrated, and the number of patrol cars in residential
areas. The clearly-marked patrol cars are equipped with cellular
phones and the phone numbers are conspicuously painted on the
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
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;
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Facilities for medical care are considered
adequate. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or
medical evacuation to the United States can cost tens of thousands
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
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 Uruguay 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: Fair
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Good
The Uruguayan Ministry of Transportation is responsible for maintaining
safe road conditions countrywide. Excerpts from its voluminous
Spanish-language road conditions inventory (unavailable on Internet)
may be requested from the
Embassy by fax at 598-2-408-4110 or e-mail at email@example.com.
The Uruguayan Ministry of Interior highway police (tel. 1954)
are responsible for traffic safety on highways and other roads
beyond city limits. In urban and suburban areas, transit police
and municipal employees share road safety responsibilities. Driving
is on the right-hand side of the road. Wearing seat belts and
using headlights on highways and other inter-city roads 24 hours
a day are mandatory. Children under 12 must ride in the back seat.
Motorcyclists must wear helmets. The use of cellular phones while
driving is prohibited. Turns on red lights are not permitted.
Drivers approaching an intersection from the right or already
in traffic circles have the right of way. Flashing high beams
indicates an intent to pass or continue through unmarked intersections.
For driving under the influence, violators are fined and confiscated
licenses may be retained for up to six months. In accidents causing
injury or death, drivers are brought before a judge who decides
if incarceration is warranted.
Inter-city travel is via bus, taxi, car service (remise), car
and motorcycle. Speed limits are posted on highways and some main
roads. Most taxis have no seat belts in the back seat. Cycling
outside the capital or small towns is hazardous due to a scarcity
of bike paths, narrow road shoulders and unsafe driving practices.
Illumination, pavement markings and road surfaces are sometimes
poor. Route 1, which runs between Montevideo and Colonia or Punta
del Este, and Route 2, between Rosario and Fray Bentos, are particularly
accident-ridden because of heavy tourist traffic. Road accidents
rise during the austral summer beach season (December to March),
Carnaval (mid-to-late February) and Easter Week.
Key road emergency numbers are: police - 109; highway police
- 108; and fire brigade - 104. The Automobile Club of Uruguay
responds to emergency calls for roadside assistance at 1707, "Car
Up" at 0800-1501 and the Automobile Center of Uruguay at
2-408-6131/2091. SEMM (tel. 159) and UCM (tel. 147), Montevideo-based
ambulance services manned by doctors, have agreements with emergency
medical units in other cities.
The Uruguayan Ministry of Transportation is designing a
road-specific web site. Current
government web sites contain some road safety-related information
at: http://minterior.gub.uy/unidades/caminera.htm and http://www.montevideo.gub.uy/transito/Indice.htm
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 Uruguayan driving permits,
vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact
National Tourist Organization offices in Coral Gables, Florida
via the Internet at http://www.turismo.gub.uy/ or at tel. (305)
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has assessed the Government of Uruguay's civil aviation
authority as Category 2 - not in compliance with international
aviation safety standards for the oversight of Uruguay's air carrier
operations. While consultations to correct the deficiencies are
ongoing, no flights to the U.S. by Uruguay's air carriers will
be permitted unless they arrange to have the flights conducted
by an air carrier from a country meeting international aviation
safety standards. 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 web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some
foreign carriers for suitability as official providers of air
services. In addition, DOD does not permit its personnel to use
air carriers from Category 2 countries for official business except
for flights originating from or terminating in the U.S. Local
exceptions may apply. For information regarding the DOD policy
on specific carriers, travelers may contact DOD at (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Uruguay's customs authorities may
enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into
or export from Uruguay of items such as: precious jewels, gold,
firearms, pornography, subversive literature, inflammable articles,
acids, prohibited drugs (medications), plants, seeds, and foodstuffs
as well as some antiquities and business equipment. It is advisable
to contact the Embassy of Uruguay in Washington, D.C. or one of
Uruguay's consulates in the U.S. for specific information regarding
customs requirements. Note: Travelers entering Uruguay with precious
jewels or gold worth more than $500.00 (U.S.) must declare them
to customs officers at the port of entry or face possible detention
or seizure of the goods and charges of contraband or evasion of
customs controls. Visitors are expected to comply with local law
and regulations by approaching a customs officer before routine
inspection of all incoming baggage, conducted on standard security
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 U.S. 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 U.S. for similar offenses. Persons violating Uruguayan laws,
even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties
for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Uruguay
are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and
The Uruguayan Ministry of Agriculture and Fishing strictly enforces
all regulations regarding hunting permits, as well as seasonal
and numerical limits on game. Visitors who contravene local law
have been detained by the authorities and had valuable personal
property (weapons) seized. Under Uruguayan law, seized weapons
can only be returned after payment of a sum equivalent to the
value of the property seized. Hunters are also subject to stiff
fines for practicing the sport without all appropriate permits.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: General information about natural
disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the
U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov/.
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 LOCATIONS: Americans
living in or visiting Uruguay are encouraged to register at the
Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Montevideo and obtain
updated information on travel and security within Uruguay. The
U.S. Embassy is located at Lauro Muller 1776; telephone (598)(2)
408-7777; fax (598)(2)408-4110 or -8611. Internet: http://www.embeeuu.gub.uy/.
Consular Section hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9:00
a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated September
14, 1999 to provide updated information on Entry/Exit Requirements,
Safety and Security, Crime, Medical Facilities, Medical Insurance,
and Traffic Safety and Road Conditions, Aviation Safety Oversight
and Customms Regulations; and to include sections on Dual Nationality,
and Disaster Preparedness.