What should every foreigner visit in Serbia

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Current

The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.

Before unnecessary, tourist trips to Serbia will be currently warned.

Epidemiological situation

Serbia was badly affected by COVID-19, but the number of new infections has fallen again. Nationwide, the number of new infections exceeds more than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days, which is why Serbia is classified as a risk area.
The national Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide current and detailed figures.

entry

German citizens must present a negative PCR test when entering Serbia, which must not be older than 48 hours from the date of issue. The PCR test must have been carried out by a recognized laboratory in the country of residence or the country from which you are entering the country.

There is no obligation to submit a PCR test for children up to 12 years of age (if the legal guardian or another person accompanying the child has a negative PCR test), personnel in international freight and passenger transport and transit travelers. Also excluded from this regulation are people who have already been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Serbia (one dose is already sufficient for the AstraZeneca vaccine) and who have a certificate issued by a Serbian health facility. Germans who are resident in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Montenegro or Hungary can enter without a negative PCR test if they report a negative PCR or antigen COVID-19 to the local health department within 48 hours of entry - Submit test from a Serbian reference laboratory.

German nationals with a Serbian residence permit who enter the country without a negative PCR test and do not fall under one of the above exceptions must be quarantined at home for 10 days. Entry, residence, contact details and health status must be registered with the Serbian authorities (in Serbian or English) within 24 hours. The quarantine is lifted by submitting a (chargeable) negative PCR test issued by a reference laboratory in Serbia. The appointment reservation is on-line or by phone + 381-11 / 36 20 000 (on working days 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) possible (only in Serbian). The Serbian government offers instructions for online appointment reservations in English.

German nationals who travel to Serbia for business purposes do not need a PCR test if they inform the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry by e-mail about the entry 48 hours before entry. The company letter, first and last name, passport number and country of issue, the business reason for entry, the date and the border crossing point of entry to Serbia, flight number or license plate number, address and length of stay in Serbia, contact telephone and email address must be communicated. Furthermore, a negative PCR or antigen test issued by a reference laboratory in Serbia must be submitted to the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry within 24 hours of entry. Further information is available from the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Transit and onward travel

A negative PCR test is not required for the transit of German citizens, which is limited to a maximum of 12 hours. This also applies to passengers and flight personnel in transit via Serbian airports.

Travel connections

There are currently no restrictions.

Restrictions in the country

Restrictions apply to restaurants and cultural institutions.

Hygiene rules

It is compulsory to wear mouth and nose protection indoors and outdoors in all situations in which personal contact cannot be avoided.

  • Make sure you comply with the AHA regulations and also follow the instructions from local authorities. High fines can be imposed if the hygiene regulations are violated.
  • Find out about measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the Serbian government website (English) or on the Serbian Ministry of Health's hotline for COVID-19 issues: + 381-64-8945235 and the Batut Institute: +381 -11-2684566. Further information on contact points is available from the Serbian Ministry of Health.
  • Stays in foreign countries can currently affect the possibility of entering other countries. Therefore, find out about the current regulations on entry, transit and quarantine in the respective travel countries via the travel and safety information before starting any trip.
  • When you return to Germany, note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, proof and, if necessary, quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the relevant company or your tour operator, and if you are entering from a risk area, contact the health department of your residence or travel agency Place of residence. Further information is available in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.

security

terrorism

Domestic situation

The political situation is stable. Tensions can arise in the border region with Kosovo. During soccer games of the two Belgrade clubs Partizan and Red Star, there may be traffic obstructions around the stadiums and sometimes violent clashes between fan groups.

  • Find out about the local media.
  • Avoid demonstrations and large crowds in large areas.
  • Follow the instructions of local security guards.

crime

Petty crimes such as pickpockets and frauds occur particularly in large cities in places that are very frequented by tourists.

Vehicle break-ins occur. Fraudsters pretend to be false "yellow angels", offer overpriced repair services or simulate breakdowns.

  • Keep your money, ID, driver's license, air tickets and other important documents safe.
  • Prefer cashless payments and only take the cash you need for the day and no unnecessary valuables.
  • Be vigilant in large crowds such as airports, train stations, public transport and markets, and watch out for your valuables.
  • Do not spend the night at rest stops or petrol stations along the motorway.
  • Do not leave valuables in the vehicle.
  • Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails from alleged friends. Do not disclose any data about yourself; if necessary, make sure yourself personally or contact the police.

Nature and climate

Serbia lies in a seismically active zone, which is why there are usually lighter earthquakes.

The climate is temperate continental with hot summers and cold winters.
Especially in the summer months, bush and forest fires occur again and again in Serbia due to the prevailing climatic conditions. Impairment of the infrastructure in tourist areas must be expected in these cases.

  • Always observe prohibitions, information signs and warnings as well as the instructions of local authorities.
  • Familiarize yourself with earthquake behavioral guidelines. These are provided by the fact sheets of the German Research Center for Geosciences.

Travel info

border controls

The controls at the Serbian border crossings and at the neighboring states have been intensified due to the refugee situation and the efforts of neighboring states with a view to joining the Schengen Agreement. There may also be waiting times outside of the holiday periods.

  • Find out about the current situation at the Serbian Automobile Club AMSS, by phone at + 381-11-1987 or at ADAC Belgrade at + 381-11-333 1111.

Infrastructure / traffic

Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.

There are local and international bus connections. Train traffic is almost exclusively limited to local connections within Serbia. Trains are slow and often delayed.
Some of the Serbian highways are in poor condition and poorly lit. Even on motorways, vehicles sometimes drive without adequate lighting.
Away from the main roads in the border region with Kosovo, there is still a risk of landmines.

Lights must be used on all roads in Serbia, even during the day, so you have to drive with dipped headlights or daytime running lights all year round, even during the day.
From November 1st to April 1st, winter tires are compulsory in winter road conditions (at least tires with M + S identification).
The alcohol limit in Serbia is 0.3, for professional drivers and novice drivers 0.0. However, because of the blame for accidents, it is strongly recommended that you avoid alcohol altogether in traffic.

Violations of the traffic regulations are punished with severe penalties depending on the severity of the culpable behavior.

When traveling in or through Serbia, tolls must be paid on motorways and motorway-like roads. Dodging on country roads to avoid the toll is associated with much longer driving times and often poor road conditions (potholes, missing edge markings).
The toll can be paid in Serbia with cash or credit card. Small bills and coins should be carried with you to pay the toll in euros or to exchange money at the border.

Automatic speed monitoring takes place on all motorway sections in Serbia, for each of which a minimum journey time applies in accordance with the maximum permitted speed. Failure to do so results in an inevitable punishment of a high fine for exceeding the speed limit. For vehicles with foreign license plates, the fine (several hundred euros depending on the violation) must be paid immediately to the police at the toll station.

In particular, accidents resulting in personal injury and death are punishable by imprisonment for several years. As a rule, the sentence is not suspended.

If the driver of the vehicle is not identical to the owner entered in the vehicle documents, a power of attorney with a publicly certified signature of the owner in Serbian or alternatively in English must be carried, which also contains the personal details and passport number of the authorized person.
The German license plate is sufficient as proof of valid motor vehicle liability insurance. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you bring your green insurance card with you.

In the event of an accident in Serbia, the police must be called and they will draw up a damage report, which is essential for insurance purposes and, if necessary, customs procedures when leaving the country. In many cases the decision of a traffic judge is required. Therefore, even in the case of alleged minor accidents, waiting times of several hours can occur.

Taking hitchhikers along can constitute a criminal offense of smuggling, especially when crossing the border.

  • Drive particularly carefully after dark and do not leave the main routes in the border area with Kosovo.
  • Find out more about road conditions and peculiarities at an automobile club, such as the Serbian automobile club AMSS.

Driving license

Driving licenses from member states of the European Union, including the German driving license, are sufficient for temporary stays. The German embassy in Belgrade offers further information.

LGBTIQ

Homosexual acts are not punishable in Serbia; nevertheless, large sections of society are hostile to homosexuality. There are always verbal and, in individual cases, physical attacks on members of the LGBTIQ community.

Legal specifics

Against the background of the refugee movements in the Western Balkans, taking along hitchhikers when crossing the border can constitute a criminal offense of smuggling under Serbian law.

Photographing military facilities is prohibited.

Importing, buying, selling or possessing drugs is strictly punished in Serbia. Even with smaller quantities intended for personal use, there is a risk of a fine and imprisonment of up to three years. Prosecution may be waived in certain circumstances.

Sexual acts against minors (persons under the age of 14) are punishable in Serbia. There is an exception if the participants are not judged significantly differently with regard to their mental and physical maturity. Sexual acts against minors between the ages of 14 and 18 are punishable if they were committed with the use of violence or with abuse of the official position.

Prostitution is an administrative offense in Serbia. In the case of prostitution, both parties are punished with a fine or imprisonment. Inciting and mediating prostitution as well as advertising in public media is punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years, in the case of a minor for the perpetrator up to ten years.

Money / credit cards

The national currency in Serbia is the dinar (RSD). The euro is not an official currency in Serbia.
Credit cards from foreign banks can be used as a means of payment almost anywhere. Most ATMs can also be used to supply money with German bank cards, provided they have the “Maestro” symbol. Cards that only have the “V-Pay” symbol are not suitable for withdrawing money in Serbia. Cash can also be exchanged in exchange offices ("Menjačnica").

Entry and customs

Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.

Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without the Foreign Office being informed beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information that goes beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of the German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app or you can inquire about them by telephone.

Travel documents

Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:

  • Passport: Yes
  • Temporary passport: Yes
  • Identity card: Yes
  • Provisional identity card: No
  • Children's passport: Yes

Comments / minimum remaining validity:
Travel documents must be valid for the duration of the stay.

We strongly advise against entering the country with an identity document that has been reported as lost or stolen. Even if the passport or identity card has been found again and this has been reported to the police or the passport authority in Germany, there is no guarantee that this information will also be available at the Serbian entry border. At Belgrade Airport in particular, it is to be expected that entry will be refused and the next possible return flight to Germany will have to take place. The German embassy in Belgrade has no influence here.

visa

German citizens do not need a visa to enter the country and stay for up to 90 days within 180 days for tourist purposes.
The Serbian authorities also count stays in Kosovo against this period.

Holders of German travel documents for foreigners, refugees and stateless persons need a visa to enter the Republic of Serbia.

Long-term stay or work

If you intend to stay for more than 90 days or if you take up gainful employment, you can either apply for an entry visa at a Serbian diplomatic mission or the required residence permit after entry at the responsible immigration authorities in Serbia. The Aliens Police in Belgrade are the point of contact for questions regarding the extension of a stay in Serbia. Further information is available from the Serbian Ministry of the Interior.

Before taking up employment, you must obtain a temporary residence permit to take up employment, even if you are staying for less than 90 days. This must be applied for at the responsible Serbian diplomatic mission in Germany before entering the country or at the responsible immigration authority in Serbia after entering the country. A corresponding work permit must then be obtained from the national employment office.

Further information can be obtained from the Serbian Foreign Ministry, even if you intend to move to Serbia.

Minors

Minors over the age of 16You may travel to Serbia alone or accompanied by a third party if you have a declaration of consent from the legal guardian with the officially certified signature of the legal guardian. A translation of this declaration into English or Serbian and carrying an international birth certificate is recommended.

Minors who have reached the age of 16 are allowed to travel to Serbia alone.

Entry through Kosovo

When entering Serbia from Kosovo, difficulties can arise, including refusal of entry. It is only possible if you entered Kosovo by land from Serbia and the total travel time does not exceed three months. The background to this is that Serbia regards Kosovo as part of its state territory and not as a foreign country.
Kosovar entry stamps are mostly invalidated by the Serbian authorities. Travelers who do not want a Kosovar entry stamp in their passport can inform the Kosovar border police upon arrival. It is possible to travel to Serbia with a German identity card, see section Travel documents.

  • Please note the current travel and safety information for Kosovo.

Reporting requirement

Foreigners must be registered with the police in Serbia within 24 hours at the place of their stay. After registration, a police certificate will be issued as proof. In the case of accommodation in a hotel, the registration will be taken over by the hotel. In other cases, the organization or host with whom the person is staying must register with the competent police authority.
Violations of the reporting obligation can lead to difficulties when leaving the country and can be punished with a fine.

Notes for German-Serbian dual nationals

Persons who have Serbian citizenship in addition to German are considered by the Serbian authorities exclusively as citizens of their own and are obliged to use Serbian travel documents when entering and leaving the country.
General conscription was suspended, and military service is carried out on the basis of voluntariness. All male Serbian nationals who do not do military service have to be entered on a list ("conscription registration") and are considered reservists. Serbian citizens who live abroad must register in the conscription certificate of the competent Serbian diplomatic mission abroad. The responsible consular missions of the Republic of Serbia in Germany can provide further information.

Import regulations

Serbian dinars can be imported and exported up to an equivalent value of € 10,000. A larger sum may only be imported if it has been bought from a foreign bank and this can be proven by supporting documents.

There is no limit to the number of foreign currencies that can be imported and re-exported up to an amount of € 10,000 When importing foreign currency, amounts in excess of € 10,000 must be reported to customs; the receipt issued for this must be kept until departure. Violations of the registration requirement are punished with foreign currency confiscation upon departure and can result in prison sentences of several months.

If foreign exchange, dinars and travelers checks are exported at the same time, the total amount must not exceed € 10,000. Amounts of € 10,000 or more may only be transferred by bank transfer. Any violation of this provision will result in a heavy fine.

Luggage and goods for personal use (clothing, personal hygiene items, technical devices) can temporarily be imported into Serbia duty-free. Medicines are also limited to the personal needs required for the duration of the stay. To avoid problems with re-export, it is recommended to register higher value items upon arrival and to ask the customs authorities to produce a certified import list.

The import and transit of petrol and diesel fuel in canisters is not permitted in Serbia.

Furthermore, in Serbia there are restrictions on duty-free imports for the following groups of goods:
- 1 liter of alcohol
- 200 cigarettes
- 1 perfume or eau de toilette

Objects of archaeological or artistic value may only be exported with the prior approval of the competent Serbian authority. This also applies to hunting trophies.

Weapons (including bows, arrows, knives, gas pistols, sports weapons) may only be imported and exported with special permission from the Serbian authorities. Before you plan to travel with a weapon, please inquire at the relevant Serbian diplomatic mission in Germany.

Radios and drones may only be imported and used with the prior approval of the relevant Serbian authorities.

The Serbian Customs Administration provides further information.

Pets

The EU pet passport is required for the importation of pet animals, from which the identification of the animal by microchip or clearly legible tattoo must emerge. A microchip is compulsory for animals marked for the first time after July 3rd, 2011.
A valid rabies vaccination must be entered in the EU pet passport, the first vaccination must have been given at least 21 days before entry.
Further information can be obtained from the Serbian Customs Administration.

health

Current

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease COVID-19, which is triggered by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.

In January 2019, WHO declared delaying or skipping vaccinations as a threat to global health. In particular, the lack of vaccination against measles poses a high risk when the number of cases increases internationally.

  • As part of your travel preparations, check your and your children's vaccination protection against measles and have this supplemented if necessary.

Vaccination protection

No compulsory vaccinations are required for direct entry from Germany.

  • Make sure that you and your children have the standard vaccinations according to the vaccination calendar of the Robert Koch Institute up to date.
  • Vaccinations against hepatitis A are recommended as travel vaccinations, and for long-term stays or special exposure also against hepatitis B, rabies and early summer meningoencephalitis (ACWY).
  • Please note the instructions for use and help for the indication in the travel vaccination recommendations leaflet.
  • The DTG offers up-to-date, detailed travel vaccination recommendations for specialist groups.

West Nile fever

West Nile fever is a viral disease spread by migratory birds and transmitted to humans by diurnal mosquitos. Seasonal outbreaks can occur in Serbia during the summer months; The ECDC provides current case numbers. The infection is mostly clinically normal, but in rare cases severe neurological symptoms can occur. There is no vaccination or specific treatment, see information sheet West Nile fever.

  • To avoid West Nile fever, protect yourself consistently against mosquito bites as part of exposure prophylaxis, especially during the day.

Early Summer Meningoencephalitis (TBE)

In parts of the country, tick bites transmit early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE) at certain times of the year, see the TBE leaflet.

Exposure prophylaxis is recommended to all travelers due to the mosquito-related risk of infection. Particular attention should be paid to the following points:

  • Wearing light-colored clothing that covers the body (long trousers, long shirts)
  • Repeated application of insect repellent to all exposed parts of the body during the day
  • Sleep under an impregnated mosquito net if necessary.

measles

Large measles outbreaks occur again and again in Serbia, most recently from October 2017 to June 2018, with more than 5500 cases. Measles can be safely prevented by vaccination. The measles vaccination is part of the standard vaccination in Germany, missing vaccinations can be made up.

Air pollution

Medical supplies

Medical care according to German standards is not guaranteed nationwide in Serbia. Even hospitals do not always have adequate equipment and are sometimes not in a position to provide adequate medical care for patients with certain clinical pictures. The general hygienic conditions are often inadequate. Mainly in Belgrade there are - often private - clinics and medical practices with equipment that meet European standards.

Serbian institutions sometimes charge higher fees for the treatment of foreigners than for local residents. Free treatment is available in state hospitals. Before treatment, the insured person must present their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to the local branch of the “Republican Health Insurance Agency” (Republicki zavod zu zdravstveno osiguranje). There he receives a “certificate for the use of benefits in kind” (Potvrda o koriscenju davanja u naturi un zdravstvenim organizacijama). This certificate is then presented to the doctor or hospital.

  • Take out travel health and repatriation insurance for the duration of your stay abroad. The German Liaison Office for Health Insurance - Abroad provides detailed information.
  • Before you go on a trip, seek personal advice from a travel doctor and adjust your vaccination protection. Corresponding doctors can be found e.g. B. about the