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Montenegro

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Still current at: 04 March 2010
Updated: 08 January 2010

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Summary and the Health section (removal of reference to Swine Flu) and the General (Money) section (removal of reference to forged Euros).  The overall level of the advice has not changed.


(see travel advice legal disclaimer)

Travel advice for this country

Travel Summary


  • There is an underlying threat from terrorism.  Attacks, although unlikely, could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

  • You must register with local police within 24 hours of your arrival in Montenegro.  If you do not register you may be fined, detained or face a court appearance.  If you are staying in a hotel or official tourist accommodation, you will be registered automatically on check-in.

  • Most visits to Montenegro are trouble-free.  7 British nationals required consular assistance in Montenegro in the period 01 April 2008 – 31 March 2009 for the following types of incident; deaths (2 cases); hospitalisations (2 cases); and arrests, for a variety of offences (3 cases). You should be aware that you must carry your passport with you at all times for identification purposes.

  • We recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. Please see the General (Insurance) section and Travel Insurance of this Travel Advice.

Safety and security

Terrorism

There is an underlying threat from terrorism. Attacks, although unlikely, could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. 
 
For further information and advice see Terrorism Abroad.
 

Crime

The level of crime is low, and crime against foreigners is particularly low but as in other parts of Europe, you should be aware of the possible incidence of street crime, particularly in larger towns. Be vigilant for pick pocketing in public places such as airports and on public transportation. As a foreigner, you may be a target for criminals who may assume you are carrying large amounts of cash.  Four wheel drive and luxury vehicles are also a popular target.
 
All incidents of crime should be reported to the local police station and  a report obtained.  The loss or theft of a passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the British Embassy in Podgorica. The Embassy can assist you in obtaining an emergency passport (see General section).
 
For more general information see Victims of Crime Abroad.
 

Political Situation

On 17 February 2008, the Government of Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. The UK Government has recognised Kosovo’s independence.  On Thursday 9 October Montenegro recognised Kosovo’s independence. 
 
Montenegro Country Profile
 

Local Travel 

 Special care should be taken in the areas that border Kosovo, and you should keep to the main roads.  The Kula pass (Rozaje-Pec road) is the only official entry/exit point between Montenegro and Kosovo. Public transport (including the rail network) is outdated and overcrowded, although there have been improvements in the major towns. When using taxis, it is possible to negotiate fares where a meter is not in use. You should only use taxis that are officially marked.
 

Road Travel

You must have a valid international driver’s licence to drive in Montenegro. If you are taking your car, you must have vehicle registration/ ownership documents and a locally valid insurance policy. You should check that your insurance provides European Green Card vehicle insurance valid in Montenegro.

On 15 June 2008 the Montenegrin Government introduced an eco tax for using road vehicles in Montenegro.  The funds raised will be used for the implementation of environmental preservation and protection projects in Montenegro. Foreign nationals must pay the tax when entering Montenegro by car. The fee amounts range from €10 to €150 and are determined according to the make and size of the vehicle. For most cars with a capacity of up to eight passengers the fee will be €10. The eco-sticker obtained upon payment of the tax will be valid for a period of one year and must be displayed on the inside of the front windscreen in the upper right hand corner.
 
You are advised to drive defensively and to avoid confrontation with other drivers. You are required by law to wear a seatbelt. You must drive with dipped headlights on during the day and must not use a mobile phone while driving. Excessive speeding (30km over the limit) could lead to your driver’s licence being confiscated temporarily. These offences could result in fines of between €20-300.
 
The general standard of roads is fair to poor with conditions worsening in rural areas, especially in the winter and after bad weather. Many roads are under construction, so there are often delays and detours. A particularly notorious road is the two-lane Moraca Canyon in Montenegro, which is often made dangerous by bad conditions and overcrowding. There are no toll roads in Montenegro. The only pay-to-drive-through point in Montenegro is the Sozina tunnel between Lake Skadar and the sea – the current fee is €2.50 per car.
 
You should check local developments before starting your journey.
 
For more general information see Driving Abroad.

Air Travel

Montenegro has two international airports – one approx 8km from the capital Podgorica and another near Tivat on the coast. See Department for Transport guidance on what you can take with you when travelling from the UK to Montenegro by air.

Local laws and customs

Drugs laws are similar to those in the UK. Possession or trafficking of drugs will be met with strict penalties and often a lengthy prison sentence.
 
There are no laws against homosexual activity and same-sex couples are tolerated, but the nature of society makes public displays of affection inadvisable.

Please note that taking photographs of military and police installations and/ or personnel or vehicles anywhere in Montenegro may lead to difficulties with the authorities.
 
For more general information for different types of travellers see Your trip.

Entry requirements

Visas

British passport holders do not require visas to enter Montenegro for stays of up to 90 days. Before you travel, you should ensure that your passport is undamaged and valid for the duration of your stay Montenegro.

Before you travel

On entering Montenegro, make sure that you get an entry stamp in your passport from the border police. If you try to leave Montenegro without an entry stamp or exit visa, you may face charges of illegal immigration, a heavy fine and possible imprisonment (see ‘Crime’). Temporary residents (remaining for more than 90 days) should obtain exit-entry visas as well as residence stamps in their passports.  For more information on obtaining an exit-entry visa you should visit the Government of Montenegro.

You should only enter Montenegro through recognised border crossings.
 
It is essential that you register with local police in the town/city where you are staying within 24 hours of your arrival in Montenegro, unless you are staying in a hotel or official tourist accommodation, where you will be registered automatically on checking-in.  If you do not register you may be fined, detained or face a court appearance. You are also advised to make your presence known to, the British Embassy in Podgorica.
 
Although there is no limit to the amount of money you can bring into Montenegro, you are advised to declare sums of money in excess of €2,000 (including travellers’ cheques or equivalent in other currencies).  This is recommended because to take more than €2,000 out of the country you will need to provide proof that you brought the money in.  Customs Officers at all border points hold declaration forms.  On departure, you will need to return a certified copy of this declaration to customs so hat the money can be take out again.  If you fail to comply with these rules, your money may be confiscated.  In order to avoid customs charges you should declare items of value (e.g. jewellery, photographic and computer equipment) that you are temporarily importing into Montenegro.  These items should be intended for your own personal use and must be taken with you when you leave the country.

Passport validity

You should ensure that your passport is undamaged and valid for the duration of your stay in Montenegro.

Health

There is a reciprocal healthcare agreement for British nationals, which entitles you to free genuine emergency treatment in Montenegro.  However, the health system in Montenegro can suffer from a shortage of medicines and other essentials.  Medical staff do not always speak English. In non-emergency cases, payment may be required and this would normally be made in cash. Therefore, you are advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance, which should also cover medical evacuation.

You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. For more general information on how to do this see HIV and AIDS.

You should seek medical advice before travelling to Montenegro and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date.  For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit the websites of the NaTHNaC and NHS Scotland's Fit For Travel or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

For more general health information see Travel Health.

Natural disasters

Montenegro lies in a seismically active zone and earth tremors are common. Serious earthquakes are less frequent but do occur. The last serious earthquake was, in 1979, resulted in 94 deaths and approximately 1000 injuries and caused major structural damage along the Montenegrin coast.

General

Insurance

We recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake.  
 
For more general information see Travel Insurance.

If things do go wrong when you are oversees then this is How We Can Help.

Registration

Register with our LOCATE service to tell us when and where you are travelling abroad or where you live abroad so our consular and crisis staff can provide better assistance to you in an emergency.
  • More information about registering with LOCATE.
 

Passports

You should carry your passport at all times.  We therefore advise that you keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place. This will help you to obtain a replacement, if your passport is lost or stolen.
 
The loss or theft of a British passport should be reported immediately to the local police, from whom you should obtain a report which you will need in order to apply for an Emergency Passport and to exit Montenegro. You should also notify the British Embassy in Podgorica, who can issue you an Emergency Passport (valid for up to seven days and for return journey to UK only).  The Embassy cannot issue temporary or full British Passports.
 
Applications for full passports should be made direct to  the British Consulate General in Dusseldorf for production. The waiting period will be approximately two to  four weeks, due to the requirement for all new passports to be machine readable and capable of storing biometric information.
 
For full details on applying for passports.  For further information on passport photos and biometric passports, please visit the United Kingdom Passport Service website.
 

Purchasing property

If you are interested in purchasing property in Montenegro you are strongly advised to seek independent qualified legal advice.
 

Money

The official currency of Montenegro is the Euro. Credit cards and Travellers’ Cheques are accepted in many of the larger hotels and shops, and ATMs accept international bank cards. Only Bank of England issued bank notes are recognised or exchanged in Montenegro. Scottish and Northern Irish pounds sterling bank notes are not accepted. Serbian Dinars are not accepted, but can be exchanged for Euros.
 
Consular Contact Details 
 
The British Embassy in Podgorica, should be your first point of contact for consular enquiries.

Contacts

Montenegro, Podgorica, British Embassy

Address:

British Embassy
Ulcinjska 8
Gorica C
81000 Podgorica
Montenegro

Telephone:

+382 (0) 20 618 010

Fax:

+382 (0) 20 618 020

Office hours:

GMT:
Mon-Thurs: 0730-1530
Fri 0730-1130
Local Time:
Mon-Thurs: 0830-1630
Fri: 0830-1230

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