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Country Description: The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a parliamentary democracy, constitutionally in free association with the United States. It has a developing agrarian and service-oriented economy. Tourist facilities are not widely available, but adequate. Small hotels exist in Majuro and on Ebeye, the second most populous island in the nation. Water shortages are common.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: For information about entry requirements for the Marshall Islands, travelers may consult the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, 2433 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008. The telephone number is (202) 234-5414.

Medical Facilities: Health facilities in the Republic of the Marshall Islands are adequate for routine medical problems, but are available only on Majuro and Ebeye. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. Supplemental overseas medical insurance, including coverage for medical evacuation, may prove useful. The Medicare/Medicaid program does not provide payment of medical services outside the United States. The international travelers hotline of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be reached at tel.: 404-332-4559 or visit the CDC home page on the Internet: for additional health information.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: The crime rate in the Republic of the Marshall Islands is relatively low, but rapidly increasing. Most common crimes are break-ins and thefts from homes, hotel rooms and vehicles. Random acts of vandalism are also on the rise. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police, and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Useful information on safeguarding valuables and protecting personal security while traveling abroad is provided in the Department of State pamphlet, "A Safe Trip Abroad." It is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 20402.

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 do 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 the law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.

Aviation Oversight: As a result of an assessment conducted by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in August, 1994, the FAA has found the Government of the Marshall Islands' Civil Aviation Authority to be in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Marshall Islands' carriers operating to and from the United States. However, during its assessment, the FAA noted that the Marshall Islands' operations to destinations other than the United States are not provided a similar level of safety oversight. For further information, travelers may contact the U.S. Department of Transportation at 1-800-322-7873.

Road Safety: Road conditions, while poor in some areas, are generally satisfactory. After heavy rains, some road sections experience temporary flooding. Vehicle traffic proceeds at a slow rate, rarely over 25 miles per hour. Drinking and driving is a common practice, especially on the weekends.

Registration and Embassy Location: U.S. citizens living in or visiting the Republic of the Marshall Islands are encouraged to register at the U.S. Embassy in Majuro where they may also obtain updated information on travel and security within the country. The U.S. Embassy, which is located in Majuro, does not have a street address. The Embassy is on the ocean-side of the island's road, near the Mormon church and "Blue Wall" compound; P.O. Box 1379, Majuro, MH 96960-1379. The telephone number is (692) 247-4011. The fax number is (692) 247-4012.

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