Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Latest updates: The Safety and security tab was updated - removal of U.S. Travel Alert for the holiday season.
Bosnia-Herzegovina - Exercise a high degree of caution
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution the risk of unmarked landmines and unexploded ordnance, particularly in isolated mountainous areas and in the countryside.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Demining operations are ongoing but unmarked landmines and unexploded ordnance continue to pose a risk, particularly in isolated mountainous areas and in the countryside. Keep to main roads, stay on paved surfaces, avoid abandoned houses and buildings and travel only during daylight hours. War relics and unknown items should not be touched and should be reported to local authorities. For more information, please visit Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Centre website.
The crime rate is low. Petty crime (such as pickpocketing, purse snatching and snatching visible jewellery) is prevalent, however, particularly in large urban centres. Foreigners are often targeted.
Random violence by organized crime to settle disputes occurs in Sarajevo, and includes the use of firearms. Foreigners are rarely the target of these acts, but there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, such as in nightclubs and cafés late at night and in the early morning hours.
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities and there is a potential for other violent incidents, which could target areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Continue to exercise normal security precautions.
Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.
Travel by road can be hazardous due to traffic congestion and poorly maintained roads and vehicles. Drivers do not follow safe driving practices, and are known to speed and drive drunk. Extreme weather conditions—such as dense fog and black ice—also pose risks. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a disproportionately high rate of death and injury due to motor vehicle accidents. The emergency number for assistance, road conditions and towing service is 1282.
During winter months, many roads are particularly hazardous. Secondary roads and many mountain roads may be blocked. During the summer, traffic is frequently stopped to enable landmine clearance and road repairs. Visit the Bosnia and Herzegovina auto club Bihamk for up-to-date information on road conditions.
There are only two-lane roads. Many secondary roads have no service stations; undertake travel on secondary roads only with a vehicle in excellent mechanical condition and with sufficient fuel, food and water supplies.
Local rail, tram and bus services are reliable but sometimes slow. Inter-city bus service is widely available and a few train lines operate, although train service is slow and the schedule is often unreliable. Lock compartment doors from the inside when travelling on an overnight train.
Taxi service is available in most towns and for inter-city travel. Use only registered taxis whose licence plates begin with “TA”. Ensure that the meter is running. Pay particular attention at the airport.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
General safety information
Ensure that your personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Avoid isolated and poorly lit areas after dark. Avoid showing signs of affluence and carrying large sums of cash.
While tourist facilities and services have improved, they may be limited outside major cities.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Bosnian authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina for up-to-date information.
You must register with local police within 24 hours of your arrival in the country. Hotels, on behalf of their guests, will register guest names with local police. The registration form can be found on the Ministry of Security’s Service for Foreigners' Affairs website.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Bosnia-Herzegovina, which must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Ensure that your passport is stamped by customs when you enter. The absence of an entry stamp could create difficulties when trying to leave the country.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Student visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
- Measles: Global Update - July 28, 2016 00:00 EDT
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).
Tick-borne encephalitis is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It is spread to humans by the bite of an infected tick. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks (e.g., those participating in outdoor activities in wooded areas) while travelling in regions with risk of tick-borne encephalitis.
Yellow Fever Vaccination
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Southern Europe, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southern Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in Southern Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities tend to be inconsistent with Western standards, especially outside Sarajevo and other major cities. Private clinics are available. Immediate payment is required.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
Photography of military/police installations, vehicles and personnel, as well as hydroelectric dams, is prohibited, unless you have obtained prior permission from local authorities.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Bosnian, Herzegovinian citizen. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present a Bosnian, Herzegovinian passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
Dual citizens may be subject to national obligations, such as taxes.
Same-sex marriage and homosexuality
Same-sex marriage is not recognized in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Homosexual activity is not widely accepted. Visitors are advised to exercise discretion.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
All vehicles must be equipped with emergency travel equipment (that is, warning triangle, tow rope and spare tire) and a first-aid kit. Vehicles must be equipped with winter equipment, such as chains on tires, from November 15 to April 15. The use of headlights and seatbelts is mandatory at all times throughout the country. The use of a cellular telephone while driving is prohibited.
Speed limits may not be clearly shown in rural areas. Most roads have a speed limit of 50 km/h, with certain roads having a limit of 80 km/h; highways are generally 100-km/h. Police can collect traffic fines on the spot.
In case of an accident, you must remain at the scene and not move your vehicle until the police arrive.
Penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are strict. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.03 percent. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines, and driver’s licences may be confiscated immediately.
The currency is the convertible mark (KM).
The economy is primarily cash-based. Automated banking machines (ABMs) are widely available in major centres but are limited in rural areas. ABMs affiliated with international banks are the most reliable.
Some credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and Maestro) are increasingly accepted in most large cities. American Express and traveller’s cheques are not widely accepted.
When crossing one of the external border control points of the European Union (EU), you must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit if you have at least €10,000 or the equivalent in other currencies. The sum can be in cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible assets. This does not apply if you are travelling within the EU or in transit to a non-EU country. For more information on the EU legislation and links to EU countries’ sites, visit the web page of the European Commission on cash controls.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Severe flooding in the spring or after heavy rains is a potential risk year-round. Exercise caution in narrow river valleys at such times.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in an active seismic zone, and minor earthquakes are common.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
There is no resident Canadian government office in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Embassy of Canada in Vienna, Austria, is responsible for providing consular services in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Vienna - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada in Vienna, Austria and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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