Getting here and advice about your stay
Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.
You do not need a visa to enter Romania. British citizens who enter Romania have the right to stay for a period of three months from the date of entry. If you intend to stay for a longer period than three months, you can apply for a registration certificate issued by the Romanian Office for Immigration as either self-employed, an employee, self-supported, or as a student. See: www.igi.mai.gov.ro/home/index/en
Parental consent when travelling with minors
Some British nationals travelling with minors who hold Romanian citizenship (irrespective of whether they hold citizenship of other countries) are being prevented from leaving the country without notarised parental consent from the minor’s non-travelling parent/s. While enforcement of this may vary at borders, British nationals travelling with minors who hold Romanian citizenship should obtain notarised parental consent before departure from Romania.
A list of the public notaries can be found on the website of the National Union of Public Notaries from Romania. See: www.uniuneanotarilor.ro/?p=2.2.3&lang=en
Working in Romania
If you intend to work in Romania, you should register with the Romanian Office for Immigrants. No separate work permit is required. You can also register as self-employed.
For further information on working in Romania, contact:
The Romanian General Inspectorate for Immigration
15A, Lt. col. Marinescu C-tin Street
Information on customs regulations is available on the website of the National Customs Authority of Romania (ANAF). See: www.customs.ro/en.aspx
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, transfer and exit from Romania.
Safety and security
Local laws and customs
It is illegal to change money on the streets. You should change money only in recognised exchange shops, banks and hotels.
The Romanian authorities treat all drug-related and sex offences very seriously. The age of consent is 18. If you are convicted, you can expect a prison sentence.
Homosexuality is no longer illegal, but attitudes are conservative and the gay community keeps a low profile.
Most airports and military bases will have signs prohibiting photography. Ask permission before photographing anything potentially sensitive (e.g. official buildings, police cars).
Bribery and corruption
Bribery is illegal. It is an offence for British nationals or someone who is ordinarily resident in the UK, a body incorporated in the UK or a Scottish partnership, to bribe anywhere in the world. In addition, a commercial organisation carrying on a business in the UK can be liable for the conduct of a person who is neither a UK national nor resident in the UK or a body incorporated or formed in the UK. In this case it does not matter whether the acts or omissions which form part of the offence take place in the UK or elsewhere.
The UK Government takes a very serious view on bribery and corruption, and any UK company considered to be involved in corrupt practices will feel the full weight of the law bear down on them under the UK Bribery Act 2010. The UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS, formerly Department for Business Innovation and Skills, BIS) has published a number of documents on their website. See: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy for assistance in this area.
Since its EU accession in 2007, the Romanian judiciary has been monitored by the European Commission under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism. Romania has made significant progress since 2007. Key legislation has now been put in place, including key measures to reform the civil and criminal judicial Codes. A criminal code and a criminal procedure code entered into force in 2014 aiming at increased efficiency and a more coherent practice of the judiciary. The adoption of a National Anti-Corruption Strategy in 2012 marked another important step in Romania’s effort to prevent corruption.
An extensive institutional anti-corruption framework is in place and is demonstrating a convincing track record. However Romania needs to continue to take action to ensure the independence of the judiciary is respected, promote high standards of integrity in a consistent manner and improve the consistency of jurisprudence.
The level of perceived corruption in Romania remained relatively high in 2015. Transparency International’s 2015 Corruption Perception Index showed that Romania ranked 58th in the world (an improvement since 2014, when it ranked 64th).
Visit the EU Business Anti-Corruption portal page at www.business-anti-corruption.com, for advice and guidance about corruption and some basic effective procedures you can establish to protect your company from them.
There is an underlying threat from terrorism. Attacks, although unlikely, could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.
Romania’s location in South East Europe with large land and sea borders make it an ideal transit route for the trafficking of drugs and human beings. Romania is on the Balkans route for the smuggling of South West Asian Heroin from Turkey and Bulgaria and/or the Black Sea coast to Western Europe.
Romania is also a nexus point for migration flows from the North (Moldova, Ukraine, FSU) and the South (Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan).
Romania is seen as a source country for victims to be used for human trafficking for labour exploitation, sexual exploitation and street crime (shoplifting, table surfing, pick pocketing, etc.).
Romania is the source of cyber-crime attacks on private and public sectors and is also a threat for cyber enabled crime such as false job offers and false sales through internet auction sites.
The banking sector is especially vulnerable to money laundering from Romanian OCGs laundering the proceeds of their criminality through financial institutions in the UK. The regional cooperation usually proves difficult due to historical prejudices and weak bilateral relationships.
Romania’s position at the external border of the EU makes it a target for fiscal crime, including but not exclusively, cigarette smuggling and infringements of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR offences). When added to the possibility of VAT (MTIC) fraud and emerging fiscal crimes (e.g. Carbon Credit fraud), the country suffers serious losses to its Treasury.
Maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as in the UK. There is a risk of petty theft in large towns, especially Bucharest. Pickpockets and bag snatchers operate in crowded areas, particularly near exchange shops and hotels, on public transport (especially to the airport), in the main railway stations and inside airport terminals.
Organised attacks by groups, often including children, occur. The most common method is of distraction while several people, often the children, attempt to snatch watches and jewellery from pockets or from around the neck and wrist.
There have been reports of a scam involving thieves who present themselves as plain-clothes policemen. They flash a badge and ask to see passports and wallets. They count the money and give the documents back, but when they return the wallet, some of the money is missing.
Valuables including passports have been stolen from hotel rooms. Use the hotel safe and carry a photocopy of the information pages of your passport as ID.
There have been reports of credit or debit cards being ‘copied’ when used for payment in some bars and restaurants.
Protective Security Advice
The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure also provides protective security advice to businesses.
You are advised to maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness in Romania as in the UK.
[Source: FCO Overseas Business Risk/gov.uk (Feb 2016)]
The Romanian currency is the Leu (RON). Romania is largely a cash economy. While an increasing number of businesses do accept credit cards, it may be safer to use cash due to the risk of credit card fraud. There is now a large network of ATMs that accept standard international credit and debit cards. Check with your card provider whether you will be able to use these machines.
US dollars and sterling are not always easy to exchange for local currency, especially outside Bucharest. Euros are widely accepted. You may have difficulties using travellers’ cheques, and Scottish and Northern Irish bank notes may not be accepted in banks and bureaux de change.
Visit your health professional at least four to six weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country-specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website: www.travelhealthpro.org.uk/country-information, and by NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations.aspx.
Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website: www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/Pages/Healthcareabroad.aspx
If you are visiting Romania you should get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC is not a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but it entitles you to state-provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as for Romanian nationals.
If you do not have your EHIC with you or you have lost it, you can call the Department of Health Overseas Healthcare Team (+44 191 218 1999) to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate. The EHIC will not cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or non-urgent treatment, so you should make sure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.
You will need to pay a road toll ‘Ro vignette’ to use the national roads. You can buy the vignette (sticker) at border points and at most petrol stations. Failure to display the sticker may lead to a heavy fine.
Observe the speed limit at all times. Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy and you have with you all documentation, including evidence of insurance.
It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol. Do not drink any alcohol if you are driving.
In winter, equip your car for extreme conditions. Road conditions are variable and secondary roads can be in a bad state of repair. Driving standards can be poor. Look out for double parked cars, people suddenly braking to avoid a pothole, horse-drawn carts, livestock and stray dogs, particularly in rural areas, running in front of the vehicle.
Carry the following equipment: first aid kit, fire extinguisher, red warning triangles and a fluorescent jacket.
If your vehicle is damaged before you arrive in Romania, ask a Romanian Customs or Police Officer to write a report on the damage so that you have no problems when leaving. If any damage occurs inside the country, a report must be obtained at the scene of the accident.
In 2014 there were 1,818 road deaths in Romania. This equates to 9.1 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.7 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2014.
Yellow taxis in Bucharest should list prices on the side of the vehicle and display a company name. There are frequent reports of foreign visitors being overcharged by taxi drivers.
Thieves operate on trains, so make sure all valuables are safe.
FCO Travel Advice
If you are travelling to Romania for business, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website has travel advice to help you prepare for your visits overseas and to stay safe and secure while you are there.
For advice please visit the FCO Travel section pages on the gov.uk website: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/romania
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. See the FCO Foreign Travel Insurance information: www.gov.uk/guidance/foreign-travel-insurance
FCO travel advice update
The EU Referendum held in the UK on 23 June 2016 delivered a clear vote for the United Kingdom to leave the EU. The Prime Minister in his statement reassured British people living in the EU, and European citizens in the UK, that there would be no immediate changes to their circumstances, and that there would be no initial change to the way people can travel. Until it leaves, the UK remains a full member of the EU. The period for exit, under the EU Treaties, is two years unless the other Member States agree to extend it.
[Source: FCO Travel advice/gov.uk (Feb 2016, updated 27 June 2016)]
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