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Travel & living abroad

Europe

Macedonia

Flag of Macedonia
Still current at: 07 January 2011
Updated: 20 December 2010


This advice has been reviewed and reissued without amendment. The overall level of the advice has not changed; there are no travel restrictions in place in Macedonia.

(see travel advice legal disclaimer)

Travel advice for this country

Safety and security

Safety and Security - Terrorism
There is an underlying threat from international terrorism. Attacks, although unlikely, could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. See our Terrorism Abroad page.

Safety and Security - Crime
Personal attacks against foreigners are extremely rare. Organised criminal groups are active. Shooting incidents, including in Skopje do occur sporadically, but are not targeted at foreigners. Serious crime is rare and people unconnected with these groups have not been specifically targeted, however, there is obviously a risk of accidental injury from such incidents as some people carry firearms. Gunfire can also be a part of celebration. There is always therefore the possibility of foreigners being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You should be vigilant at all times.

There have been several cases of foreigners being pick pocketed by gangs of children and bag snatchers in the main shopping and entertainment areas late at night. Foreign nationals appear to have been specifically targeted. You should ensure that your personal possessions are secure.

Credit card fraud is widespread and caution should be exercised when making a purchase using this method. The number of ATMs in Macedonia is increasing, making the withdrawal of local currency much easier.  

Acts of intimidation and harassment against nationals of western countries have been reported. In the event of civil disorder, we advise British nationals to stay at home and restrict their movements as much as possible, especially after dark. Avoid crowds and demonstrations generally.  Keep a low profile, vary times and routes of travel and ensure that travel documents are current.  Remain aware of your surroundings at all times.  See our Victims of Crime Abroad page.

Safety and Security - Local Travel
Visitors to North West Macedonia should exercise particular caution as armed groups are known to operate there, and there are sometimes sporadic incidents of violence. While there is no evidence of foreigners being deliberately targeted, visitors to this region may find themselves the victims of local bandits or caught up in acts of violence.


You should exercise caution when travelling in regions near the Kosovo borders. Travel should be restricted to primary roads and daylight hours only. A high level of vigilance should be maintained. Particular care should be taken due to the continuing threat from land mines and unexploded ordnance.


You should exercise caution when travelling to the area bordering Serbia. Apart from designated border crossings, the immediate border area is a military restricted zone. Permission must be obtained from the nearest Macedonian police station before travelling to this zone.


Load Carrying Vehicles transiting Macedonia borders may be subject to long delays before being permitted to cross. You should ensure that you have the proper customs documentation prior to arrival at any of the Macedonian border crossings.


Safety and Security - Local Travel - Road Travel
Traffic in Macedonia is unpredictable, road conditions and driving standards vary widely.  Driving styles and practises differ significantly from those in UK. Traffic regulations are not well adhered to and accidents are frequent. You are advised to exercise caution at all times whilst driving or on foot.

You can drive in Macedonia with either a UK or International Driving Licence.

By law all vehicles must use side lights/ dipped headlights during the day.

It is illegal to use mobile phones whilst driving.

It is a legal requirement for drivers and passengers to always wear seatbelts in Macedonia.

The legal drink/drive limit in Macedonia is lower than in the UK.

If you are taking your car, you must have vehicle registration/ownership documents and a locally valid insurance policy.  European green card vehicle insurance is now valid in Macedonia.  If you do not have a green card valid for Macedonia you will be charged a cash border insurance fee, the price of which depends on your vehicle.  You are advised to confirm that your insurance company recognises that your policy covers Macedonia.

In case of emergency, drivers may contact the police at telephone 192, the Ambulance Service at telephone 194, and Roadside Assistance at telephone 196.

In the event of an accident, you should not move a vehicle until the police have recorded the incident and allowed you to do so.

See our Driving Abroad page.

General - Political Situation

Macedonia Country Profile

The Presidential and Municipal elections in March and April 2009 passed off peacefully.

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Contacts

Macedonia, Skopje, British Embassy

Address:

Salvador Aljende No. 73
1000
Skopje

Telephone:

(00) (389) (2) 3299 299

Fax:

(00) (389) (2) 3179 726
(00) (389) (2) 3179 729 Consular/Visa

Office hours:

GMT:
Mon-Thurs: 0700-1530; Fri: 0700-1200

Local Time:
Mon-Thurs: 0800-1630; Fri: 0800-1300

Website: http://ukinmacedonia.fco.gov.uk/en

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