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Country Description: The Republic of Palau is a constitutional democracy in free association with the United States. Tourism, especially marine-based tourism, is an important and growing sector of the economy. Palau has a developing agrarian economy. Limited tourist facilities are available.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: For information about entry requirements of Palau, travelers may consult the Embassy of the Republic of Palau, 2000 L Street, N.W., Suite 407, Washington, D.C. 20036. The telephone number is (202) 452-6814. The fax number is (202) 452-6281.

Medical Facilities: Health facilities in the Republic of Palau are adequate for routine medical care, but limited in availability and quality. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. Supplemental medical insurance which specifically covers overseas treatment and medical evacuation has proven 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 via the CDC Home Page on the Internet: for additional useful health information.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: The crime rate within the local community in the Republic of Palau is high, but does not usually affect tourists and other foreigners. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to local police and to the U.S. Embassy in Palau. Useful information on guarding 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.

Customs Information: Firearms of any kind are strictly prohibited in Palau; the penalty for possession of a firearm or ammunition is up to fifteen years imprisonment.

Road Safety: Palau accepts a driver's license issued by a U.S. state or military authority. Side roads in Koror and on the Island of Babeldaop are in poor condition. Maximum speed limit is 25 miles per hour, but slower in congested areas, and passing of slow moving vehicles is prohibited.

Embassy Location/Registration: U.S. citizens living in or visiting Palau are encouraged to register at the U.S. Embassy. They may also obtain updated information on travel and security within the country at the Embassy. The U.S. Embassy is located in Koror, Palau. There is no street address. The Embassy is located in an area known as topside, about one and one quarter miles north of the post office and downtown area of Koror on the main road towards the airport; P.O. Box 6028, Koror, Palau 96940. The telephone number is (680) 488-2920. The fax number is (680) 488-2911.

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