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State Department: Serbia & Montenegro - Consular Information Sheet, March 11, 1997

Serbia & Montenegro - Consular Information Sheet
March 11, 1997

Country Description: The "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" (Serbia and Montenegro) is a moderately developed European country confronting profound political and economic change. Tourist facilities are widely available, but conditions vary considerably, and some services and supplies taken for granted in other European countries are unavailable. Although the U.S. does not recognize the "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" (FRY), the U.S. maintains an Embassy in Belgrade and the FRY maintains an Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Entry Requirements: U.S. citizens must have a valid passport and visa. Visas should be obtained prior to departure from the U.S. as they are not normally granted at ports of entry; U.S. citizens should not attempt to enter without a valid entry visa. Travelers must declare all currency upon entry, and will receive a declaration form from customs officials which must be presented at departure. Failure to present the declaration could result in the confiscation of all funds. For further information about entry requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of the "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" at 2410 California Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 462-6566.

Areas of Instability: Travelers should be aware that the potential for violent incident exists throughout the country. Ethnic tensions remain high in Kosovo and, to a lesser extent, in the Sandzak as well. Travelers can expect to be stopped by government militia and should cooperate fully. American citizens should also exercise caution in Belgrade and larger cities throughout Serbia. There have been daily demonstrations in Belgrade and other urban centers since the municipal elections in Serbia on November 17, 1996. Clashes between demonstrators have occasionally resulted in severe injuries.
To minimize risk, travelers should avoid demonstrations, crowds and places where police personnel congregate.

Medical Facilities: Although many local physicians are highly trained, hospitals and clinics are generally not equipped and maintained to U.S. standards. Medicines and basic medical supplies are largely obtainable in privately owned pharmacies. Hospitals usually require payment in cash for all services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. While travelers have found supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage useful, they may be required to pay first and seek reimbursement later. Further information on health matters can be obtained from the International travelers hotline at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tel. (404)332-4559 or by visiting the CDC's home page on the Internet at

Crime Information: There has been an increase in street crime in the larger cities in recent years. Travelers should be especially on guard near railroad and bus stations, on public transport and while walking in city centers. Additionally, mafia-style reprisals can occur anywhere including hotels, restaurants and shops frequented by foreigners.

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. The Department of State's pamphlet "A Safe Trip Abroad" provides useful information on protecting personal security and possessions while traveling abroad. It is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.

Currency Regulations: Travelers should carry sufficient cash for their stay. Despite the lifting of sanctions, credit cards, personal checks and travelers' checks generally are not accepted in Serbia/Montenegro.

Road Conditions: There are few superhighways of the quality found in the U.S. and Western Europe. Most roads are equal in quality to reasonably good two or three lane secondary roads in the U.S. Thus extra care must be taken when passing slower moving vehicles. The removal of sanctions and increased commercial traffic across the borders have added to long delays when entering the country by car or bus. Travelers entering by road should be aware that purchase of local third party auto insurance is required. In addition, road tolls for foreign-registered vehicles are extremely high.

Other Information: Visitors staying in private homes need to register with police officials immediately upon arrival; failure to comply may result in a fine, incarceration, and/or expulsion from the country.

Registration and Embassy Location: U.S. citizens are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade and obtain updated information on travel and security in Serbia and Montenegro. The U.S. Embassy is located at Kneza Milosa 50, telephone (381)(11) 645-655. The after hours telephone number is (381) (11) 646-481. The Consular Section fax number is (381) (11) 644-053. The alternate fax number is (381) (11) 645-221.

No. 97-046

This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated January 31, 1996, to update information on crime, areas of instability, and entry requirements.

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