Vanuatu - Consular Information Sheet
April 6, 2000
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Vanuatu consists of 80 islands located
in a Y-shaped archipelago, 1,300 miles northeast of Sydney, Australia.
It is an independent parliamentary democracy and a member of the
British Commonwealth, with a primarily agricultural economy. Tourist
facilities are limited outside of the capital, Port Vila, located
on the island of Efate. The Vanuatu Tourism Office can be contacted
at P.O. Box 209, Port Vila, Vanuatu, telephone (678) 22685, fax
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport and onward/return ticket
are required. Visas are not required for stays up to 30 days.
Travelers who anticipate the possibility of transiting or visiting
Australia are advised to obtain an Electronic Travel Authority
(ETA) or visa for Australia before leaving the United States.
The ETA is available to eligible U.S. citizens at time of ticket
purchase through travel agents and airlines. For more information
about entry requirements, travelers, particularly those planning
to enter by sailing vessel, may consult the Vanuatu Mission to
the United Nations at 42 Broadway, Room No. 1200-18, New York,
NY 10004; tel (212) 425-9652, fax (212) 422-3427.
CRIME INFORMATION: Violent crime is rare in Vanuatu; however,
petty theft does occur. 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 more trouble-free journey. The
pamphlet is 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 or via the
Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities are limited. The
nearest reliable medical facilities are in Australia or New Zealand.
Medical conditions resulting from diving accidents may require
medical evacuation to Australia or New Zealand. A hyperbaric recompression
chamber is located in Luganville on Espititu Santo Island. Malaria
incidence is high in some areas of Vanuatu. Serious medical conditions
requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United
States can cost thousands of dollars. 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. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas
may face extreme difficulties. Check with your own insurance company
to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision
for medical evacuation. Ascertain whether payment will be made
to the overseas hospital or doctor 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 Consular Affairs homepage
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 the Vanuatu is provided for general reference
only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location
Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good to Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Not available
Vanuatu is a chain of islands and atolls; travel between them
is mainly conducted by plane and boat. Only the capital city of
Port Vila (on Efate Island) and the town of Luganville (on Espiritu
Santo Island) have paved roads, on which a speed limit of 50 kilometers
per hour is enforced. These paved roads are two lanes and can
be narrow in spots; care should be taken especially when driving
at night or along unfamiliar routes. The roads found in all other
areas are unpaved or dirt tracks. Drivers on all roads should
give way to traffic coming from the right. Travelers must take
care when driving off main roads to avoid trespassing on communal
land. For information concerning the operation of motor vehicles
in Vanuatu contact the Vanuatu Mission to the United Nations or
the Vanuatu Tourism Office.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial
air service at present, or economic authority to operate such
service, between the U.S. and Vanuatu, the U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) has not assessed Vanuatu's Civil Aviation
Authority for compliance with 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 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) 256-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Vanuatu customs authorities may enforce
strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export
from Vanuatu of items such as firearms and ammunition, sexually
explicit material and certain prescription medications. Other
goods may be subject to quarantine or import duty. The government
of Vanuatu prohibits the export of artifacts from the Second World
War without prior permission. It is advisable to contact the Vanuatu
Mission to the United Nations for specific information regarding
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 do 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
the law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs
are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences
CONSULAR ACCESS: U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry
a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times, so that,
if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship
are readily available.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Vanuatu lies in the South Pacific
cyclonic trajectory, and is vulnerable to earthquakes, volcanic
eruptions and sudden tidal movements. The Pacific Cyclone season
extends from November through March. General
information regarding disaster preparedness is available via the
Internet at http://travel.state.gov/crisismg.html, and from
the U.S. Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) home page 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 LOCATION: There is no U.S. Embassy
or diplomatic post in Vanuatu. Assistance for U.S. citizens is
provided by the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea,
which is located on Douglas Street, adjacent to the Bank of Papua
New Guinea. This address should be used for courier service deliveries.
The mailing address is P.O. Box 1492, Port Moresby, N.C.D. 121,
Papua New Guinea; Tel: (675) 321-1455; fax (675) 321-1593. There
is a voluntary American Warden located in Port Vila who has general
information and forms (such as passport application forms). The
U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby can provide information on how to
get in touch with the warden in Vanuatu.
Americans are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, and to obtain updated information
on travel and security in Vanuatu from the Embassy. Information
can also be obtained from the homepage of the U.S. Embassy in
Port Moresby at http://www.altnews.com.au/usembassy.