Government Advice: Tips for Travelers to the Caribbean

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Government Advice: Tips for Travelers to the Caribbean



Editor's note: The information below was available as of March 2004 from the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs. All data contained herein is subject to verification; the most current information is available by calling the U.S. State Department's Emergency Center at 202-647-5225.




FOREWORD
CONSULAR INFORMATION SHEETS, TRAVEL WARNINGS, & PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
HOW TO ACCESS CONSULAR INFORMATION SHEETS, PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENTS & TRAVEL WARNINGS
REGISTRATION
U.S. PASSPORT INFORMATION
ENTRY AND EXIT REQUIREMENTS
CUSTOMS, FIREARMS, AND CURRENCY REGULATIONS
MEDICAL INSURANCE
BRINGING YOUR OWN BOAT OR PLANE
HEALTH
PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
SAFETY TIPS
ALCOHOL ABUSE AND DRUG OFFENSES
DRIVING IN THE CARIBBEAN
SHOPPING: AVOID WILDLIFE PRODUCTS
RESIDENCE OR INVESTMENTS IN THE CARIBBEAN
COUNTRY INFORMATION
FOREIGN EMBASSIES IN THE UNITED STATES
U.S. EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES ABROAD
U.S. CONSULAR AGENTS


FOREWORD

As you travel, keep abreast of local news coverage. If you are in an area experiencing civil unrest or a natural disaster, if you will be staying more than 2 weeks in an area, or if you are going to a place where communications are poor, you are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate.


Registration takes only a few moments, and it may be invaluable in case of an emergency. Remember to leave a detailed itinerary and the numbers of your passport or other citizenship documents with a friend or relative in the United States.


For up-to-date travel information on any country in the world that you plan to visit, obtain the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet. This covers topics such as entry regulations, the crime and security situation, drug penalties, and location of the nearest U.S. Embassy, consulate or consular agency.




CONSULAR INFORMATION SHEETS, TRAVEL WARNINGS, & PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

The State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs is responsible for providing assistance and information to U.S. citizens traveling abroad.


Consular Affairs issues Consular Information Sheets, Travel Warnings, and Public Announcements. Consular Information Sheets are issued for every country in the world. They include such information as the location of the U.S. Embassy or consulate in the subject country, health conditions, political disturbances, unusual currency and entry regulations, crime and security information, and drug penalties.


The State Department also issues Travel Warnings and Public Announcements. Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department decides to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. Countries where avoidance of travel is recommended will have Travel Warnings as well as Consular Information Sheets. Public Announcements are issued as a means to disseminate information quickly about terrorist threats and other conditions overseas that pose significant risks to the security of American travelers.




HOW TO ACCESS CONSULAR INFORMATION SHEETS, PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENTS & TRAVEL WARNINGS

Online: The most convenient source of information about travel and consular services is the Consular Affairs Website. The address is http://travel.state.gov.


Telephone: Consular Information Sheets and Travel Warnings may be heard any time by dialing the office of American Citizens Services at toll free (888) 407-4747 or (202) 647-5225.


Mail: Consular Information Sheets, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be obtained by sending a selfaddressed, stamped business-size envelope to: Office of American Citizens Services, Room 4811, Department of State, Washington, DC 20520. On the outside envelope, write the name of the country or countries needed in the lower left corner.




REGISTRATION

As you travel, keep abreast of local news coverage. If you plan more than a short stay in one place, or if you are in an area experiencing civil unrest or a natural disaster, you are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate. Remember to leave a detailed itinerary with a friend or relative in the United States in case of an emergency.


U.S. PASSPORT INFORMATION

Make a record or photocopy of the data from your passport's identification page and from your visas. Also, make a copy of the addresses and telephone numbers of the U.S. Embassy and consulates in the countries you will visit. Put this information along with two passport photos in a place separate from your passport to be available in case of loss or theft of your passport.


Obtaining a U.S. Passport for a Minor. Each minor child applying for a passport shall appear in person. For a minor under age 14, both parents or the child's legal guardian(s) must appear and present evidence of the child's U.S. citizenship, evidence of child's relationship to parents or guardian(s), and parental identification. If only one parent appears, the second parent's written statement consenting to passport issuance for the child, primary evidence of sole authority to apply or a written statement explaining the second parent's unavailability must be submitted. For more information, please refer to the Bureau of Consular Affairs' Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/passport_services.html.




ENTRY AND EXIT REQUIREMENTS

Entering: Every island in the Caribbean has its own entry requirements. Most countries allow you to visit for up to two or three months if you show proof of U.S. citizenship and a return or onward ticket. Some countries, however, require that you have a valid passport. If you are arriving from an area infected with yellow fever, many Caribbean countries require you to have a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever. Some countries have an airport departure tax of up to $25. For authoritative information on a country's entry and exit requirements and on its customs and currency regulations, contact its embassy, consulate, or tourist office in the United States.


In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.


Returning - Caution! Make certain that you can return to the United States with the proof of citizenship that you take with you. Although some Caribbean countries may allow you to enter with only a birth certificate, U.S. Immigration requires that you document both your U.S. citizenship and identity when you reenter the United States.


The best document to prove your U.S. citizenship is a valid U.S. passport. Other documents of U.S. citizenship include an expired U.S. passport, a certified copy of your birth certificate, a Certificate of Naturalization, a Certificate of Citizenship, or a Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen. To prove your identity, either a valid driver's license or a government identification card that includes a photo or a physical description is acceptable.

If you lose or have your U.S. passport stolen while overseas, report it immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate. A lost or stolen birth certificate or driver's license cannot be replaced outside the United States. There are several countries, most notably Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, and Jamaica, where airlines have consistently refused to board American citizens with insufficient proof of U.S. citizenship. The resulting delays can be inconvenient as well as expensive.




CUSTOMS, FIREARMS, AND CURRENCY REGULATIONS

Customs formalities are generally simple in the Caribbean. As a rule, one carton of cigarettes and one quart of liquor are permitted duty free into the islands. Most countries tax additional quantities at a high rate. In general, tourists are permitted to enter with other commodities required for personal use.


If you wish to bring firearms into any country, inquire at the country's embassy or consulate about the permit required. As noted above, some countries in the Caribbean impose a stiff prison term for importing illegal firearms.


Currency regulations vary. Inquire about them when you check on entry requirements. In some countries, you must declare all currency and are not allowed to take out more money than you brought in. Other countries limit the amount of their own currency that can be brought in or taken out.


Check with your travel agent about extra fees and taxes that may be overlooked in the tourist literature. Examples are hotel taxes, obligatory restaurant gratuities, and airport departure taxes.


When you convert your money to local currency, retain receipts. You will need to show them if you wish to reconvert money upon departure. It is usually advantageous to reconvert local currency before departure. Although U.S. currency is used along with local currency, in some places there may be an advantage to using local currency.




MEDICAL INSURANCE

Many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the United States may cost well in excess of $50,000. You should consult with your medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether your policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.


Also, when consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas health care provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur.


Remember: U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. So, check with your travel agent and/or a private insurance company to see if they offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations.


Additional 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.




BRINGING YOUR OWN BOAT OR PLANE

If you plan to arrive in the Caribbean in your own boat or plane, contact the embassy, consulate, or tourist office of each country you plan to visit to learn what is required for entry and exit. Besides title of ownership, most ports of entry will require proof of insurance coverage for the country you are entering. Some countries require a temporary import permit for your boat or plane.


Authorities in the Caribbean are familiar with U.S. regulations for documentation of air and sea craft. They will detain improperly documented craft that enter their territory. In some countries, authorities will confiscate firearms found on a boat or plane unless the owner or master can show proof that U.S. licensing and export procedures have been followed. In addition, some countries impose stiff prison terms for the importation of illegal firearms.





HEALTH

Health Precautions/Immunizations. Information on health precautions for travelers can be obtained from local health departments, private doctors, or travel clinics. You may also call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 24-hour hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov for information on immunizations and health risks worldwide.


Medical Insurance. Review your health insurance policy. (See the section entitled "Medical Insurance" for more information.)

The Sun. The most prevalent health hazard in the Caribbean is one you can avoid — overexposure to the sun. Use sunscreen and bring a shirt to wear over your bathing suit, especially if you plan to snorkel.


The Water. Where the quality of drinking water is questionable, bottled water is recommended. Travelers to remote areas should boil or chemically treat drinking water.




PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

If you carry prescription drugs, keep them in their original container, clearly labeled with the doctor's name, pharmacy, and contents.




SAFETY TIPS

Crime Information. Most visitors to the Caribbean have a relatively safe trip. However, thievery, purse snatching, and pick pocketing do happen, particularly in cities and at beaches. There has also been an increase in violent crimes, such as rape and assault against tourists. In some places, U.S. passports and identity documents are especially attractive to thieves. Robbery of yachts is a problem in some marinas.


Here are some precautions to keep in mind:


  • Leave expensive jewelry, unnecessary credit cards, and anything you would hate to lose at home.
  • Use a concealed money pouch or belt for passports, cash, and other valuables.
  • To facilitate replacing a lost or stolen passport, carry two extra passport photos and a photocopy of your passport information page and other identity documents with you in a separate place from those items.
  • Do not take valuables to the beach. When possible, use the hotel safe when you go to the beach or into town.
  • When you enter a marina, register with the local government authorities.

Water Safety. Ask to see a rental agency's business license or safety certificate or equivalent. Also ask for training in the use of unfamiliar equipment.


If you use a beach without a lifeguard, exercise extreme caution. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for Americans in the Caribbean.

Do not dive into unknown bodies of water because hidden rocks or shallow depths can cause serious injury or death. In some places, you may need to wear sneakers in the water for protection against sea urchins.


Civil Aviation Oversight. This information applies only to foreign flag carriers, not U.S. flag carriers who travel to the following countries: At the time of publication, an assessment conducted by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) concluded that the Dominican Republic's, Haiti's, Jamaica's, and Trinidad & Tobago's civil aviation authorities were not in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of air carrier operations. The same applies to the civil aviation authorities of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and St. Kitts & Nevis).


For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation's travel advisory line at (1-800) 322-7873 or http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/.




ALCOHOL ABUSE AND DRUG OFFENSES

It is crucial that you are aware of the risk of disorderly or reckless behavior while enjoying your time in the Caribbean. Some Americans have been arrested for being intoxicated in public areas, underage drinking, and for drunk driving. Some vacationers have been killed in automobile accidents, drownings, and falls because of heavy drinking and/or drug use. Sadly, others have been raped or robbed because they have found themselves in unfamiliar locales and incapable of exercising prudent judgment.


Most countries in the Caribbean have strict laws against the use, possession, or sale of narcotics. Foreigners arrested for possession of even small amounts of marijuana, cocaine or other illegal drugs are often charged and tried as international traffickers. The penalty for carrying narcotics into or out of the country can be 20 years imprisonment. There are usually expensive fines as well. In some places, there is no bail and there are long judicial delays where you can spend more than two years awaiting trial. Conditions in most Caribbean prisons do not meet even minimum U.S. standards.

Judicial Systems


When you travel abroad, you are subject to the laws of the country you are in. If you find yourself in serious difficulty while abroad, contact a consular officer at the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate. U.S. consuls cannot serve as attorneys or give legal assistance, and they cannot get you out of jail. They can, however, provide lists of local attorneys and advise you of your rights under local law. If you are detained, a consul can monitor your case to assure your treatment is in accordance with local law.


DRIVING IN THE CARIBBEAN

If you plan to rent a car, be aware that most jurisdictions of the Caribbean drive on the left. The only places where you drive on the right are Aruba, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, and the Netherlands Antilles.


In other places, if you are not used to driving on the left, proceed slowly and with utmost caution. You may wish to ride as a passenger for a while before trying to drive yourself.


Driving conditions and local driving patterns are different from the U.S. Many roads are narrow or winding, signs may not be in English, and in some places, domestic animals roam freely. Defensive driving is a must.




SHOPPING: AVOID WILDLIFE PRODUCTS

Beware of purchasing a live animal or plant or an item made from one. Many such items are prohibited from international traffic. You risk confiscation and a possible fine by U.S. Customs if you attempt to import certain wildlife or wildlife products. In particular, watch out for and avoid:


  • All products made from sea turtles, including turtle leather boots, tortoiseshell jewelry, and sea turtle oil cosmetics
  • Fur from spotted cats.
  • Feathers and feather products from wild birds.
  • Birds, stuffed or alive, such as parrots or parakeets.
  • Crocodile and caiman leather.
  • Black coral and most other coral, whether in chunks or in jewelry.




RESIDENCE OR INVESTMENTS IN THE CARIBBEAN

You will need a passport and visas to reside in or to conduct or start a business in the Caribbean. Although some Caribbean countries welcome retirees or others of independent means as long-term residents, requests for work permits are rarely granted. Before you travel, apply to the country's embassy or consulate in the United States to obtain a visa if you wish to reside, go into business, or work in the country.


U.S. citizens who wish to invest in the Caribbean, such as in real estate or a business, should first thoroughly investigate the company making the offer and, in addition, learn about the investment climate in the country. A good resource is the Trade Information Center of the U.S. Department of Commerce, telephone 1-800-USA-TRADE. The Center can tell you how to access the National Trade Data Bank. Among the things you can learn are how to find out if the company is registered with local authorities and how to get in touch with local trade associations.


Before signing a contract for a timeshare or other real estate, you may wish to consult with a lawyer. You will need to check whether the contract contains the same safeguards as do similar contracts in the U.S., such as the retention of timeshare rights if the property is sold. You should also determine whether the builder or seller has a clear title.




COUNTRY INFORMATION


Antigua and Barbuda

General Information. Tourism and yachting facilities are widely available.


Medical Care. Medical care is limited. There is no hyperbaric chamber; divers requiring treatment for decompression illness must be evacuated from the island.


Crime Information. Petty street crime occurs and valuables left unattended on beaches are subject to theft.


Bahamas

General Information. In the Bahamas, be sure to budget for hotel room tax, an energy surtax, a 15% obligatory gratuity in restaurants, and a departure tax which must be paid in cash.


Medical Care. Medical care is generally good, but may be limited outside of Nassau and Freeport.


Drug Penalties. The importation, purchase, possession or use of drugs can incur severe penalties, including heavy fines or imprisonment. All persons 16 years of age or older are tried as adults.


Crime Information. Visitors should exercise normal caution in safeguarding valuables left on the beach. Women may wish to avoid deserted areas, especially at night. Most criminal incidents take place in a part of Nassau not usually frequented by tourists (the "Over-the-Hill" area south of downtown), but crime and violence have increasingly moved into more upscale tourist and residential areas.

Boating and Fishing. Long-line fishing in Bahamian waters is illegal. Long-line fishing gear should be stowed below deck while transiting through Bahamian waters.


There are stiff penalties are imposed for catching crawfish (lobster) or other marine life out of season or in protected areas.


Timeshares. Bahamian law allows timeshare purchasers five days to cancel the contract for full reimbursement. Disputes that arise after that period can be very time-consuming and expensive to resolve through the legal system.


Barbados

General Information. Tourism facilities are widely available.


Medical Care. Medical care is generally good, but may be limited in outlying areas.


Crime Information. Street crime sometimes occurs. Valuables left unattended on beaches are subject to theft.


Bermuda

General Information. Although it is often thought of as part of the Caribbean, Bermuda is not actually in the Caribbean Sea, it is located in the Atlantic about 650 miles east of North Carolina.


Medical Care. Medical care is generally good.


Crime Information. Bermuda has a low crime rate, but it is rising. Incidents of assault, robbery, as well as purse snatchings and theft of unattended personal belongings can occur.


Drug Offenses. Drug offenses are taken very seriously in Bermuda. Simple possession of illicit drugs for personal use will most likely result in a court appearance and a fine. Trafficking in drugs will result in imprisonment for an extended period.


British Virgin Islands

General Information. The islands of Anegada, Jost Van Dyke, Tortola and Virgin Gorda make up the British Virgin Islands.


British West Indies

General Information. The British West Indies include Anguilla, Montserrat, Cayman Islands and Turks & Caicos.

Special Information for Montserrat. Montserrat is a volcano-prone island. Although volcanic eruptions have largely abated, the volcano is still active and dangerous, and access to the southern part of the island is restricted. Persons entering restricted areas without authorization are subject to fine and/or imprisonment.


Cuba

General Information. The United States has no direct diplomatic relations with Cuba.


Financial Restrictions. The Cuban Assets Control Regulations of the U.S. Department of the Treasury require that transactions incident to the travel to and within Cuba of U.S. citizens or residents be licensed. A general license needs no application.


Transactions under a general license are authorized only for the following categories of travelers:


  • U.S. and foreign government officials, including representatives of international organizations of which the U.S. is a member, traveling on official business;
  • journalists regularly employed in such capacity by a news reporting organization; and
  • persons visiting close relatives who reside in Cuba due to extreme humanitarian needs once within any 12-month period.

Transactions relating to the following categories of travel must be authorized by a specific license based upon a written application to Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control:


  • humanitarian travel by persons traveling to visit close relatives more than once within 12 months;
  • persons traveling to accompany licensed humanitarian donations (other than gift parcels);
  • persons traveling in connection with activities of recognized human rights organizations;
  • persons traveling for professional research or similar activities;
  • persons traveling in connection with clearly defined educational or religious activities; and
  • persons traveling in connection with the exportation, importation, or transmission of information and informational materials, including provision of telecommunications services.

U.S. citizens whose transactions are not authorized by general or specific licenses may not buy goods (a meal at a hotel or restaurant, for example) or services (an airline ticket or hotel room) related to Cuban travel.

Transactions relating to travel to Cuba for tourism or business purposes are not authorized by a general license, nor would they be authorized in response to an application for a specific license. This restriction includes transactions related to tourist and business travel from or through a third country such as Canada or Mexico.


Any payments to the Marina Hemingway International Yacht Club by unlicensed travelers are prohibited and a violation of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations.


For more information, contact the Licensing Division, Office of Foreign Assets Control, Department of Treasury, Washington, D.C. 20220, telephone: (202) 622-2480 or www.treas.gov/ofac/.


Entry Regulations. Cuba requires a passport and a visa for entry. Attempts to enter or exit Cuba illegally or to aid the illegal exit of Cuban nationals are punishable by jail terms. Entering Cuban territory, territorial waters or airspace without prior authorization from the Cuban Government many result in arrest. Violators may also be putting their lives at risk.


Dual Nationals. For all practical purposes, the government of Cuba considers Cuban-born U.S. citizens to be solely Cuban citizens. The Cuban Government does not recognize the right or obligation of the U.S. Government to protect dual U.S.-Cuban citizens. Cuban authorities have consistently denied U.S. consular officers the right to visit incarcerated dual nationals and to ascertain their welfare and proper treatment under Cuban law. Dual U.S.-Cuban nationals may be subject to a range of restrictions and obligations, including military service.


Credit Card Transactions. Credit cards issued by U.S. financial institutions are not valid in Cuba. Personal checks drawn on U.S. banks are not accepted in Cuba. However, some non-U.S. travelers checks are sometimes acceptable.


Restriction on Photography. Photographing military or police installations or personnel, harbor, rail or airport facilities is forbidden.


U.S. Interests Section. U.S. travelers in Cuba should register in person, in writing, or by telephone during business hours at the U.S. Interests Section, which is part of the Embassy of Switzerland. See address on page 24. Further information is available in the Consular Information Sheet (CIS) for Cuba, see page 3, for details on how to obtain or view a copy of the CIS.


Medical Care. Medical care is limited. While medical professionals are generally competent, many health facilities face shortages of medical supplies and bed space.

Crime Information. As severe economic problems continue in Cuba, street crime against tourists has increased noticeably. Foreigners are prime targets for purse snatchings, pickpocketing, and thefts from hotel rooms, beaches, historic sites, and other attractions.


Dominica

General Information. First-class tourism facilities are limited, but medium-range facilities are more widely available.


Medical Care. Medical care is limited.


Crime Information. Street crime occurs. Valuables left unattended on beaches are subject to theft.


Dominican Republic

General Information. Tourism facilities vary according to price and area.


Medical Care. Medical care is limited.


Entry Requirements. A valid U.S. passport or other proof of U.S. citizenship along with photo identification, and tourist card or visa is required. (Note: Due to widespread document fraud and identity theft in the Dominican Republic, a valid U.S. passport is always the best option.) Minors traveling without their parents require additional documentation.


Currency Regulations. Currency can only be exchanged at commercial banks, authorized exchange booths in hotels, and exchange houses. No more than $10,000.00 (U.S.) (or its equivalent) may be taken out of the Dominican Republic at the time of departure.


Crime Information. Valuables left unattended in parked cars, on beaches, and in other public places are subject to theft. Burglaries of private residences have increased. Some resort areas have experienced an increase in violent crime. The larger resort complexes, which rely on private security services, have generally not been affected.


French West Indies


General Information. The French West Indies include the islands of Guadeloupe, Isles des Saintes, La Desirade, Marie Galante, St. Barthelemy, St. Martin and Martinique.


Medical Care. Medical care is limited.


Crime Information. Street crime, sometimes involving armed assault, appears to be on the rise in St. Martin. In the other territories, petty street crime occurs. Valuables left unattended on beaches are subject to theft.

Grenada

General Information. Tourism facilities vary according to price and area.


Medical Care. Medical care is limited.


Crime Information. Tourists have been victims of armed robbery in isolated areas, particularly after dark. Valuables left unattended on beaches are subject to theft.



Haiti

General Information. Haiti continues to experience civil unrest, including unofficial roadblocks. There have been attacks on some government buildings by unidentified perpetrators. Travelers are urged to use common sense in avoiding large crowds, which have turned violent.


Special Entry/Exit Requirements. Haitian law requires U.S. citizens to have a passport to enter Haiti. In the past, officials have sometimes waived this requirement if travelers have a certified copy of their U.S. birth certificate. Due to fraud concerns, however, airlines will not board passengers for return to the United States unless they are in possession of a valid passport.


The U.S. Embassy strongly recommends that U.S. citizens obtain passports before travel to Haiti. Once in Haiti, they can experience delays of several weeks for the issuance of a passport, as it is often more difficult to establish identity and citizenship overseas than in the United States.


The Haitian government requires foreigners to pay a fee prior to departure. The departure fee must be paid in a combination of U.S. and Haitian currency. The tax must be paid in cash and cannot be paid as part of the airline ticket.


Medical Care. Medical care in Port-au-Prince is limited, and the level of community sanitation is low. Medical facilities outside the capital are almost always below U.S. standards. Life-threatening emergencies may require evacuation by air ambulance at the patient's expense.


In mid-1996, the government ordered Haitian-manufactured pharmaceuticals taken off shelves. Be alert to the presence of Haitian brands in people's homes or in remote pharmacies. Further information is available in the Consular Information Sheet for Haiti, see page 3, for details on how to obtain or view a copy of the CIS.


Crime Information. Reports of crime, including armed and sometimes violent robbery, are increasing. Crimes involving occupied and unoccupied vehicles along Route Nationale No. 1 in the port area, in Cite Soleil, and along the airport road continue to be a problem.

Jamaica

General Information. Tourism facilities are widely available.


Medical Care. Medical care is limited in comparison to care available in the U.S. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the U.S. can cost thousands of dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals often require advance payment prior to providing services.


Drug Penalties. Criminal penalties for possession, use and dealing in illegal drugs, including marijuana, are strict. Substantial fines and mandatory sentences of 2 years are common and longer prison sentences can be levied under Jamaican law. Departing visitors are thoroughly screened for drug possession.


Crime Information. Crime is a serious problem in and around Kingston, Jamaica's capital. Criminal acts can rapidly turn violent. Visitors should exercise common sense, not walk around at night, and use only licensed taxis or hotel-recommended transportation. In tourist areas, be careful at isolated villas and small establishments. Valuables should not be left unattended anywhere, including hotel rooms and the beach, and care should be taken when carrying high value items such as cameras, wearing expensive jewelry, or displaying large amounts of cash on the street.


There is anecdotal evidence that use of so-called "date rape" drugs has become more common at clubs and private parties.


Marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other illegal narcotics are especially potent in Jamaica and their use may lead to severe or even disastrous health consequences.



Netherlands Antilles

General Information. The Netherlands Antilles include the islands of Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustatius (also known as Statia), and St. Maarten. Tourism facilities are widely available.


Medical Care. Medical care is generally good in Curaçao and St. Martin, but may be limited in the other three islands. Hospitals have three classes of service and patients are accommodated due to the level of insurance.


Insurance for Rented Aquatic/Land Vehicles. Caution should be exercised when renting motorized aquatic and land vehicles. Renters should note the insurance underwriter and the amount of deductible that they would be responsible for in case of an accident. (When accidents occur, the renter is often charged exorbitant charges against his/her credit card for repairs or replacement of the vehicle.)


Crime Information. Petty street crime has increased.

Burglary and break-ins are increasingly common at resorts, beach houses and hotels.


St. Kitts and Nevis

General Information. Tourist facilities are widely available.


Medical Care. Medical care is limited.


Crime Information. Petty street crime occurs. Valuables left unattended on beaches are subject to theft.


St. Lucia

General Information.General Information. Tourist facilities are widely available.


Medical Care. Medical care is limited.


Crime Information. Petty street crime occurs. Valuables left unattended on beaches are subject to theft.


St. Vincent and the Grenadines

General Information. Tourism facilities are available, but they are not always highly developed.


Medical Care. Medical care is limited.


Crime Information. Petty street crime occurs. Valuables left unattended on beaches are subject to theft.


Trinidad and Tobago

Medical Care. Medical care is limited.


Drug Penalties. Drug laws are severe and strictly enforced in Trinidad and Tobago. Possession of even small amounts of narcotics can result in lengthy jail sentences and expensive fines. The penalty for carrying narcotics into or out of the country is five to 15 years imprisonment with no possibility of parole.


Crime Information. Violent crime, including murder, is on the rise. Although crime is significantly lower in Tobago, travelers may wish to avoid traveling alone.




FOREIGN EMBASSIES IN THE UNITED STATES

In addition to embassies listed below, some Caribbean countries have consulates or tourist offices in large cities in the United States. Look for them in your telephone book.

Embassy of ANTIGUA & BARBUDA
3216 New Mexico Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 362-5122 or 5166
http://www.antihgua-barbuda.org/


Embassy of the BAHAMAS
2220 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 319-2660


Embassy of BARBADOS
2144 Wyoming Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 939-9200
CUBAN Interests Section
Embassy of Switzerland
2639 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 362-5122 or 5166
http://www.eda.admin.ch/washington_emb/e/home/cuban/html


Consulate General of DOMINICA
820 2nd Ave.
Suite 900B
New York, NY 10017
(212) 599-8478
www.domrep.org/


Embassy of the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
1715 22nd Street, NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 332-6280


Embassy of FRANCE
4101 Reservoir Road, NW
Washington, DC 20007-2172
(202) 944-6200 or 6187
http://www.consulfrance-washington.org


Embassy of GRENADA
1701 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 265-2561


Embassy of HAITI
2144 Wyoming Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 939-9200


Embassy of JAMAICA
1520 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 452-0660


Embassy of the NETHERLANDS
4200 Linnean Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 244-5300
http://www.netherlands-embassy.org

Embassy of ST. KITTS & NEVIS
3216 New Mexico Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 686-2636
http://www.stkittsnevis.org


Embassy of ST. LUCIA
3216 New Mexico Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 364-6792


Embassy of ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES
1717 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 462-7803
Embassy of TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
1708 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 467-6490


UNITED KINGDOM
British Embassy
3100 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 462-1340
http://www.britainusa.com




U.S. EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES ABROAD

Note that the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti, and Jamaica are on Eastern Time. The Dominican Republic is an hour ahead of Eastern Time during the winter and on Eastern Time in the summer. All others are one hour ahead.


BAHAMAS

American Embassy
Queen Street
Nassau, BAHAMAS
(1-242) 322-1181 or 328-2206


BARBADOS
American Embassy
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Bldg.
Broadstreet
Bridgetown, BARBADOS
(1-246) 436-4950
http://www.usembassy.state.gov/bridgetown/


American Consulate
ALICO Building
Cheapside
Bridgetown, BARBADOS
(1-246) 431-0225
http://www.use mbassy.state.gov/posts/bb1/wwwhcons.html

BERMUDA
American Consulate General
Crown Hill, 16 Middle Rd.
Devonshire
Hamilton, BERMUDA
(1-441) 295-1342


CUBA
Swiss Embassy (USINT)
Calzada between Land M
Vedado
Havana, CUBA
(537) 33-4401


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
American Embassy
Consular Section
Calle Cesar Nicolas Penson and Avenida Maximo Gomez
Santo Domingo, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
(1-809) 731-4294


GRENADA
American Embassy
Point Salines
St. George's, GRENADA
(1-809) 444-1173 thru 5


HAITI

American Embassy
Harry Truman Blvd.
Port-au-Prince, HAITI
(1-509) 22-0200 or 0612


American Consulate General
Rue Oswald Durand #104
Port-au-Prince, HAITI
(1-509) 23-7011


JAMAICA
American Embassy
Jamaica Mutual Life Center
2 Oxford Road
Kingston, JAMAICA
(1-809) 929-4850 to 4859


NETHERLANDS ANTILLES
American Consulate General
J.B. Gorsiraweg No. 1
Willemstad, CURACAO
(599-9) 461-3066

TRINIDAD and TOBAGO
American Embassy
15 Queen's Park West
Port of Spain, TRINIDAD and TOBAGO
(1-809) 622-6371



U.S. CONSULAR AGENTS

To supplement the consular services available to American citizens at U.S. embassies and consulates, resident consular agents have been designated in two locations in the Caribbean. You may contact the consular agent directly or through the U.S. embassy in the country where he or she is located


American Consular Agent
George Town, Grand Cayman*
Tel: (246) 949-7955
*Assists Americans in the Cayman Islands.


American Consular Agent
Hospital Hill, Nelson's Dockyard P.O.
English Harbour, Antigua*
Tel: (268) 460-1569
*Assists Americans in Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, and the British West Indies.


American Consular Agent
Calle Beller 51, Second Floor,
Office 6
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic*
Tel: (809) 586-4204
*Assists Americans in the Dominican Republic.


American Consular Agent
9 Rue Des Alpinias, Didier
Fort de France, Martinique*
Tel: (596) 71-96-90
(596) 71-96-74 (after hours)
*Assists Americans in Martinique, Guadeloupe, Isles Des Saintes, La Desirade, Marie-Galant, St. Barthelemy and St. Martin (French side).


American Consular Agent
St. James Place, 2nd Floor,
Gloucester Ave.
Montego Bay, Jamaica*
Tel: (809) 949-7955
*Assists Americans in Jamaica.