FCO TRAVEL ALERTS

THE SOS GROUP
SOS-BANNER-SWADV

BodyGuard / Medical Courses from the SOS GROUP

Click on the Logo !

STREIT Armored Cars

Streit-Armored-Logo

Global Leader in Armored Transportation !!!

ADT Home Security
The Security Website : ADT Alarm Systems

For Specialised ADT

Home Security Solutions

Please Click HERE

SIRAS ACADEMY

Siras-Academy-RSBanner-

Close Protection Courses from the SIRAS ACADEMY

Click on the Logo !

University of St Andrews

St_Andrews_CT_Course_Banner

Terrorism Studies Course from The University of St Andrews ENROLLING NOW !!

TTF DIRECTORY

THIRTYTF_LOGO

 

Aviation Security Directory from TTF

Click on the Logo !

Travel Security Advice

Sub Menu

Banner
Travel Security Advice for Romania

Romanian_National_Flag

romania_mapRomania_Overview


COUNTRY DESCRIPTION:

Romania joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2004 and the European Union (EU) in 2007.  Read the Department of State Background Notes on Romania for additional information.



REGISTRATION / EMBASSY LOCATION:

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Romania are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate at the Department of State’s travel registration page in order to obtain updated information on local travel and security.  U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.  Registration is important; it allows the State Department to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency. 

Local U.S. embassy information is available below and at the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates.

United States Embassy


7-9, Tudor Arghezi Street,
District 2, Bucharest
020942 Romania
Telephone: (+40) 21 200-3300; Emergency after-hours telephone: (+40) 21-200-3433
Fax: (+40) 21 200-3442

United States Consulate


26, Nicolae Filipescu Street
District 2, Bucharest
020962 Romania
Telephone: (+40) 21 200-3300
Fax: (+40) 21 200-3578



ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS:

A valid passport is required.  U.S. citizen visitors are granted 90 days of stay without a visa within a given six-month period.  For stays longer than 90 days, an extension of stay may be obtained in Romania from the Romanian Immigration Office in the area of residence.   An exit visa must be obtained in cases of overstay.  The Government of Romania is enforcing visa regulations more vigorously than in the past and a record of visa overstay can result in the assessment of large fines, temporary denial of permission to leave Romania, and the denial of future entry into Romania without a visa for a specified time.  Visit the Embassy of Romania website for the most current visa information or contact 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.
 
Foreigners are required to carry identification documents at all times in Romania. U.S. citizens who obtain a temporary or permanent stay permit must be able to present this document at the request of the appropriate Romanian authorities.  Foreigners who do not have a stay permit should present their passports.  The U.S. Embassy recommends carrying a photocopy of relevant identification documents at all times.

U.S. visa information for Romanians and other foreign citizens can be found on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest or the Department of State travel website.

The Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors or foreign residents in Romania.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on the Department of State our website.   For further information about custom regulations, please read the Department of State Customs Information sheet.  



THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY:

U.S. citizens are reminded to exercise caution, remain vigilant with regard to their personal security, and monitor media reportsPrior police notice is required for public demonstrations, and police oversight is routinely provided.  Nonetheless, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.  U.S. citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution within the vicinity of any demonstrations.  Information on specific demonstrations can be found on the U.S. Embassy website under the heading Demonstration Notices.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website,

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the U.S. and Canada, or by calling a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). 

The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas.  For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State's extensive tips and advice on traveling safely abroad.



CRIME: 

While most crimes in Romania are non-violent and non-confrontational, crimes do occur in which victims suffer personal harm.  Crimes against tourists, such as robbery, mugging, pick pocketing, and confidence schemes remain a problem in Romania.  Organized groups of thieves and pickpockets, sometimes including minors, operate in 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.  The U.S. Embassy recommends using the highest class available for train travel, and traveling with at least one other person.  As is always the case, travelers should never leave personal belongings unattended, maintaining control over them at all times; likewise, travelers in motor vehicles should stow their personal belongings securely out of sight if leaving them in a parked car.  When driving, doors should remain locked and windows up. 

The U.S Embassy has received reports of bar/night club scams.  These scams involve unsuspecting patrons being charged exorbitant prices when they receive their bar bills.  Another scam involves patrons of "adult" establishments (strip clubs) who are charged for the female worker¡¦s drinks or time while talking to the customers.  Because strip clubs frequently are fronts for organized crime, the U.S. Embassy recommends avoiding these establishments.  Patrons may be forced to pay the bills or risk physical confrontation.  If you find yourself in this situation, you should pay the bill and make a police report once the incident is over.  

Money exchange schemes targeting travelers are common in Romania.  Some of these ploys have become rather sophisticated, involving individuals posing as plainclothes policemen, who approach the potential victim, flash a badge, and ask for the victim's passport and wallet.  In many of these cases, the thieves succeed in obtaining passports, credit cards, and other personal documents.

Credit card and Internet fraud remain among the most common crimes affecting foreigners in Romania.  Romania is largely a "cash only" economy.  While an increasing number of businesses accept credit cards, travelers may wish to use cash for goods and services rendered due to the risk of credit card fraud.  Vendors, including restaurant staff, have been known to misuse credit card information by making illegal purchases on a customer¡¦s account.  There are an increasing number of ATMs located throughout major cities, and sophisticated identity theft rings target them.  Travelers should try to use ATMs located inside banks and check for any evidence of tampering with the machine before use.  Travelers should also be very cautious when using publicly available Internet terminals, such as in Internet cafes, as sensitive personal information, account passwords, etc. may be subject to compromise.

U.S. citizens should exercise caution when traveling to Romania to meet individuals known only through contact over the Internet.  A significant number of confidence scams have been uncovered involving Romanians who contact their prospective victims through chat rooms or personal advertisements.  They generally identify themselves as young Romanian women and develop a "relationship" with their victims over time.  Variations of this scam have emerged but money extortion remains the ultimate goal.  U.S citizens who suspect they may have fallen victim to this kind of scam should contact American Citizens Services at the U.S. Embassy.

In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available.  Transactions involving such products may be illegal under local law.  In addition, bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.



VICTIMS OF CRIME:

If you are the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate (see end of this sheet or see the Department of State list of embassies and consulates).  This includes the loss or theft of a U.S. passport.  The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds may be transferred.  Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.
 
The local equivalent to the "911" emergency line in Romania is 112.  English-speaking operators are available.

Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.



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 Romania's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Romania are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.  Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Under Romanian law, engaging in sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 15, or a minor between the ages of 15 and 18 where the adult has abused the minor's trust or had influence/authority over the minor is a crime punishable with a 3-10 year prison sentence.  Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with someone who has a physical or psychological disability is punishable with a 3-12 year prison sentence.  Distribution of obscene materials depicting minors is a crime punishable with a 1-5 year prison sentence.  Prostitution is illegal in Romania, regardless of the age of the participants.



SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

Abandoned dogs are commonplace in Romania and generally tolerated.  Strays are often fed and are seen frequently in public areas, especially in or near parks.  Some statistics report one dog bite hourly in Bucharest, the capital city. Because the immunization status of stray dogs is unknown, precautions to prevent rabies are recommended.  See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for more details.  If you encounter dogs that appear aggressive, it is best to change your path to avoid contact with them.

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 travelers to bring cash into or out of Romania.  However, sums larger than 10,000 Euros or the equivalent must be declared.  Travelers are advised to contact the Embassy of Romania in Washington or one of Romania's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.
 
The unit of currency in Romania is the leu (also called the RON).  Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), called "bancomats" in Romanian, are widely available throughout larger cities.  However, ATMs that accept debit cards from the United States are less widespread.  Look for international banks or ATMs that have symbols for international networks such as STAR and PLUS. 

While major credit cards are accepted in many places, the U.S. Embassy cautions that there is a risk of fraud (see Crime).  Contrary to practice in the United States, a PIN is usually required to make credit card purchases.  Travelers' checks are of limited use but may be used to purchase local currency at some exchange houses.

Disaster Preparedness:

Romania is situated in a seismically active region and has a history of devastating earthquakes.  Mountainous areas of the country can be subject to torrential rains and flash floods, especially in the spring and summer months.  While responsibility for caring for disaster victims, including foreigners, rests with Romanian authorities, disaster preparedness is also a personal responsibility.  Additional information is available from the U.S. Embassy in BucharestGeneral information about natural disaster preparedness is available from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency.



MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION:

Medical care in Romania is generally not up to Western standards, and basic medical supplies are limited, especially outside major cities.  Some medical providers that meet Western quality standards are available in Bucharest and other cities but can be difficult to locate. Travelers seeking medical treatment should therefore choose their provider carefully.  A list of hospitals and physicians is available on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest.  Information regarding health threats or other medical issues affecting visitors to Romania can also be found at this site. The website also contains the latest information/guidelines on the status of H1N1 influenza in Romania.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the CDC's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's websiteFor information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the infectious diseases section of the World Health Organization's (WHO) website The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.



MEDICAL INSURANCE:

The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens 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.  For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.

U.S citizens who wish to extend their stay in Romania must present proof of health insurance that applies overseas for the duration of their intended stay in Romania.  Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided on the Department of State Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad web page.



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.  Traffic accidents are arguably the single most dangerous threat for American citizens visiting Romania. The World Economic Forum ranks Romania 126 out of 134 states for road quality.  Currently Romania has a total of only 270 kilometers of freeways.  While major streets in larger cities and major inter-city roads are generally in fair to good condition, many secondary roads are in poor repair, unpaved, badly lighted, narrow, and lacking marked lanes.  A main contributor to this issue is that the infrastructure has failed to keep pace with the dramatic increase in motor vehicles since 1990.
 
Roads, especially in the mountains, can be particularly dangerous when wet or covered with snow or ice.  Winter snow removal, even in cities and on major highways, can be intermittent.  Pedestrians, animals, cyclists, and horse-drawn carts share many roads with motor vehicles and can be extremely difficult to see, particularly at night in rural areas.  Vehicles often block sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to walk in the streets.  Maintain vigilance when driving to avoid hitting those who are walking in the streets.  Cross the street only in crosswalks and always look both ways before crossing.  Crosswalks are generally poorly marked and drivers may ignore crosswalks even if there is a traffic light.

Driving practices in Romania can be aggressive and/or inattentive.  Combined with the substandard road conditions noted above, the result is a significant traffic mortality rate.  According to the European Union Road Federation, Romania has the highest per vehicle rate of traffic fatalities of any country in the EU.  It is essential for drivers to practice defensive driving techniques.

Romanian traffic laws are very strict.  The traffic police can confiscate any form of driver's license or permit for 1-3 months and payment of fines may be requested at the time of the infractions.  Some examples when this might occur are failure to yield the right of way, failure to stop at a red light or stop sign, or failure to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.  While, in theory, drivers must yield to pedestrians at all marked pedestrian crosswalks, many of these are poorly maintained, difficult to see, and sometimes located in unexpected places for foreign drivers.   Pedestrians must take extreme caution when crossing any road.

Romanian traffic laws provide for retention of a driver's license by the police and possible imprisonment for driving under the influence of alcohol or for causing an accident resulting in injury or death. There is zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol and police are required to give breathalyzer tests on the scene to all drivers involved in an accident. Refusal to take a breathalyzer test will result in criminal penalties regardless of whether or not alcohol was involved.

U.S. driver's licenses are only valid in Romania for up to 90 days.  Before the 90-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.  Children under 12 years of age may not be transported in the front seat. 

Unless otherwise marked with road signs, speed limits are as follows:

  • Inter-city traffic on highways

    • 130 km/hr for cars and motorcycles (80 miles/hr)

    • 110 km/hr for vans (65 miles/hr)

  • Urban traffic - 50 km/hr (30 miles/hr)
    Express and European roads

    • 100 km/hour for cars and motorcycles (60 miles/hr)

    • 90 km/hour for vans (55 miles/hr)

  • All other roads

    • 90 km/hr for cars and motorcycles (55 miles/hr)

    • 80 km/hr for vans (50 miles/hr)

  • Motor vehicles with trailers, and drivers with less than one year of driving experience have speed limits 20 km/hr (or 12 miles/hr) slower than those listed above.

Inter-city travel is generally done via trains and buses, which vary in terms of quality, safety, cost, and reliability.  Scheduled train service may be cancelled or extensively delayed without advance notice.  Pickpockets pose a danger on night trains and 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, passengers should request the taxi by phone through a reputable company and make sure the taxi has an operational meter or agree upon a price before entering the taxi.  The meter rate per km is posted on both sides of the taxi vehicle.

The host country authority responsible for road safety is the Traffic Police of the Romanian Ministry of InteriorEmergency roadside help and information may be reached by dialing 9271 for vehicle assistance and towing services.  For ambulance services, fire brigade, or police, dial 112.

Please refer to our Road Safety page and the Bucharest Metropolitan Police Department website for more information.  Also visit the website of  Romania's national tourist office.



AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Romania's Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Romania's air carrier operations.  Further information may be found on the FAA safety assessment page.



CHILDREN'S ISSUES:

Please see our Office of Childrens Issues web pages on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.  In 2005, Romania banned intercountry adoptions except by biological grandparents.

THIS REPLACES THE COUNTRY SPECIFIC INFORMATION DATED OCTOBER 13, 2009  TO UPDATE THE SECTION ON CRIME.


The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office also has information for Romania HERE.......

Looking for an Embassy ?, You can also check out our World Wide Embassies Listings Section HERE (For US Citizens) or HERE (For UK Citizens).......

Regards

The SW Team.......

 

Direct Gov Travel News and Alerts