MOLDOVA Latest Update: 5/21/2010 7:07 AM EDT REQUIREMENTS FOR COUNTRY Yes, all official visitors must have an CLEARANCE approved country clearance before arriving Last Updated: 6/21/2007 6:58 in Moldova. AM EDT CONTACT U.S. Embassy Chisinau INFORMATION 103 Alexei Mateevici Str. Last Updated: 6/21/2007 6:36 Tel: (373) 22-408300 AM EDT Fax: (373) 22-233044 The workweek is Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. When you receive you approved Country Clearance by e-mail a Control Officer will be listed. Please advise your control officer of any planned or desired meetings with Government of Moldova officials and/or other local political leaders, as these meetings must be arranged through the U.S. Embassy’s protocol section. Any media events must be cleared by the U.S. Embassy's Public Affairs Officer. VISA REQUIREMENTS American passport holders do not need a visa Last Updated: 6/5/2008 1:51 to enter Moldova. Please note that the GOM AM EDT has changed its procedures for registering foreign nationals when they arrive in Moldova. Visitors are now registered at the point of entry (e.g., airport or border) and their passports stamped, serving as evidence of registration. No other papers are required for stays up to 90 days. Please note that entering Moldova from Ukraine through Transnistria is handled differently by the GOM. Please contact the Embassy's Management Office for details. DEPARTURE TAX No departure tax. A VIP Lounge is available Last Updated: 7/31/2007 3:56 at the airport for a fee. The VIP Lounge AM EDT will expedite your customs clearance and bring your luggage to you as you wait in comfortable surroundings. If you wish to use the VIP Lounge, please contact the embassy’s travel assistant, Mariana Cosniceanu at email@example.com. The price for VIP Lounge use for visitors arriving with diplomatic passports is 49 lei (approx. 4.08 USD); for departure the price is 79 lei (approx. 6.58 USD). Standard prices for non-diplomatic-passport holders are 490 lei (approx. 40.8 USD) for arrival and 790 lei (approx. 65.8 USD) for departure. Please note that the traveler is responsible for paying the VIP Lounge fee. HEALTH INFORMATION Western-quality medical treatment is not Last Updated: 6/21/2007 6:53 available in Moldova except for dental AM EDT care. Bring sufficient quantities of prescription drugs and any over-the-counter medications you may require. Post recommends that travelers drink bottled water while visiting Moldova. SECURITY THREAT Moldova is currently rated a "medium" threat INFORMATION country for criminal activity. There are no Last Updated: 6/21/2007 6:32 off-limits areas in Moldova in general AM EDT (although the Transnistria region remains unrecognized) or Chisinau in particular. Most crimes remain crimes of opportunity or property crimes, and visitors should take commonsense precautions to avoid danger. Recommended steps include avoiding unlit areas or walking alone at night, remaining wary of pickpockets in crowded areas like markets or buses, not leaving valuables in plain sight, always locking doors and windows, and avoiding "standing out" as an American. IMMIGRATION, CUSTOMS, AND QUARANTINE Last Updated: 6/21/2007 6:28 AM EDT TDY ICASS POLICY Last Updated: 5/21/2010 7:07 I. INTRODUCTION AM EDT Post’s administrative support, which is offered by ICASS service providers, is available to all TDY employees on a reimbursable basis. It is the policy of post to provide these services whenever possible by direct charge to a fund cite provided by the TDY employee(s). Those services that cannot be directly charged will be billed using the ICASS TDY module. II. BASIC PRINCIPLES: Policy is transparent and posted in eCountry Clearance; Direct charge where possible; TDY stay must be more than 7 days and the ICASS charges $500 or more to warrant an invoice. For groups, multiply the number of travelers times the number of days in calculating length of visit. For example 4 visitors in a delegation who stay 2 days meet the minimum time threshold under this policy, as the total stay is 8 days (4 TDYers multiplied by two days); Daily rates are calculated by the ICASS TDY invoice module and are initially based on post’s approved initial ICASS budget and then on the ICASS mid-year budget once that is available later in the fiscal year. The initial and mid-year ICASS budgets are subject to change each fiscal year; III. APPLICABLE AND EXEMPT PERSONNEL This policy will be applied to all TDYers who come to post (with exceptions noted below) to ensure equity and transparency of transactions. Generally, TDYers for the purpose of this section are U.S. Government employees sent overseas for temporary duty; however, they can also be USG contractors/grantees, provided their contract/grant covers ICASS services and the sponsoring agency agrees in advance to pay for ICASS services. TDY visitors must request country clearance from the Deputy Chief of Mission. Once the Deputy Chief of Mission grants country clearance, ICASS must be one of the mechanisms used to provide the approved visitor with official support. The following categories of visitors are not subject to ICASS TDY invoice charges: Visits of the President, First Lady, Vice President and spouse, members of Congress, Supreme Court Justices and Cabinet members, including principals and support staff. Visitors who are temporarily filling vacant positions or staffing gaps (which are already reflected in the customer agencies’ workload statistics); Visitors who are providing support for ICASS services, or Visitors who are providing post-to-post assistance (regional personnel sent from one overseas post to another to provide temporary support/assistance, when the traveler is already counted in the regional post’s annual ICASS workload statistics). Visitors who utilize no ICASS services (beyond the basic country clearance) and who have virtually no impact on the post ICASS platform; IV. TYPES OF CHARGES FOR SERVICE PROVIDED TO TDYers There are two categories of charges for services provided to TDY visitors, direct charges and ICASS TDY charges. A. Direct charges for Administrative Support: Administrative support services that can be direct charged to fiscal data provided by the TDYer include but are not limited to: Airport transportation, one way to/from hotel by commercial contractor ($25-30 per sedan) Cell phone usage ($20 for activating a SIM card; or $100 to $150 to purchase a basic cell phone with SIM card) and costs of actual cell phone calls (up to $0.15 per minute for local calls, $0.13 per minute for calls to the USA); Vehicle rental with driver ($75-$165 per day, 8hrs, 100km); Official in-country travel expenses (e.g. $0.55 per mile for government-owned vehicle; daily perdiem rates outside Chisinau is $140 for lodging and $65 for M&IE. Round trip cost to Balti via USG vehicle cost approximately $89, excluding driver overtime.) Cost of office supplies and other goods procured to support the visit; Interpreters ($150 to $180 per 8-hour working day) Overtime incurred in support of an agency, individual TDYer or TDY group, including motorpool drivers ($5.96 to $6.92 per hour) and emergency after-hours assistance by RSO personnel ($10.80 to $14.40 per hour) Note: Airport transportation and cell phone charges are quoted in US dollars but charged in Moldovan Lei. The current exchange rate is 12.50 Moldovan Lei = US$1.00. All the direct charge rates quoted above are estimates only and subject to change. B. ICASS TDY charges through TDY Module: There are two types of costs connected with TDYers in this category and each one is managed differently as follows: Per capita costs - can be recovered in the current fiscal year using the TDY module and are a non-recurring addition to the post ICASS funds. Transaction/quantity-based costs - are recovered in the current fiscal year using TDY module and are a non-recurring addition to the post ICASS funds. 1. The per capita services that can be charged to TDYers under ICASS Lite are: Basic Package Services Community Liaison Office (CLO) Services Health Services General Services – Shipping/Customs, Travel, Leasing General Services – Procurement General Services – Motor Pool Operations General Services – Storage and Delivery General Services – Vehicle Maintenance Information Management Services - Pouching, Mail and Messenger Information Management Services – Switchboard Operations Security Services (FSNI support) 2. Transaction-based costs – cost for services for temporary support of TDYers who may not be covered in annual workload measurements include the following: ICASS SERVICE WORKLOAD FACTOR Information Management Number of peripherals supported and number of Technical Support OpenNet+ user accounts; Financial Management Services Number of strip codes processed for cashier and non- cashier transactions + accommodation exchange transactions Non-Residential maintenance Gross square meters occupied (if space is excluded from annual budget); Residential maintenance Gross square meters occupied (if space is excluded from annual budget); V. LENGTH OF STAY AND COST THRESHOLD CRITERIA The length of stay and the cost threshold are the two criteria for determining ICASS TDY charges. Based on this, there are two categories of TDYers: Short-Term (0 to 7 days stay and when cumulative support cost is less than $500) The post’s built in TDY base is expected to support TDYers during this period. Post will absorb the first 7 days of support for any TDY provided the total cost of support is less than $500. Long-Term (over 7 days or when cumulative support cost is $500 or more) Post will prepare a TDY invoice to reflect the required services workload for these types of TDYers. This is in contrast to the Partial Year Invoice, which is done for changes in permanent staffing levels. Charging for ICASS Support through TDY module: VI. TDYer RESPONSIBILITIES A. All visitors must request Country Clearance before proceeding to post. B. When direct charges will be incurred: Visitors who anticipate incurring direct charges are responsible for bringing travel orders and/or fiscal data to pay for direct costs of the visit. This information must be provided to the Management Officer at the beginning of the visit. The fiscal data must include an explanation of what costs may be charged against it and the total amount of funding available. Post will not provide service if fiscal data is not provided for the direct charges. Fiscal data should be attached to each service request. C. When the 7 day threshold will be exceeded. TDYers who will be at post over seven days and anticipate consuming ICASS services are responsible for informing the Management Officer what services will be required. If the cost of the requested services is at least $500, a TDY invoice will be generated using the TDY module. Charges in this module are calculated on a per-capita-basis or per temporary workload basis, prorated for the length of stay. See Appendix A for current daily rate estimates. Please note that a TDY invoice will be based on the initial ICASS budget if issued during the first half of the fiscal year and on the final mid-year budget if issued in the last half of the fiscal year. For this reason, the daily rates for services may change throughout the year if there is a difference between the initial and final mid-year ICASS budgets. When the agency is not subscribed to ICASS at this post. If your agency is not signed up for ICASS services at post, please be prepared to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) document for ICASS support services upon arrival. The agency should provide post with a written communication that confirms the agency will pay ICASS charges for the TDYers, provides the agency ICASS billing code the TDY support charges should be applied to, and authorizes the traveler to sign the ICASS invoice generated by the TDY module. Approved: Brian Anselman, A/DCM Drafted: Aurel Vieru, B&F Cleared: John Hardman, ICASS Council Chair Appendix A Sample Temporary Duty Invoice for Fiscal Year 2010 (based on initial budget, subject to change in mid-year budget) Chisinau – 261 FY10 FINAL BUDGET APPENDIX B ICASS Chisinau Modification Definitions: Please remember that modifications should be based on the general needs of the positions, not preferences of individual incumbents or the needs of a given year. ICASS has to maintain the infrastructure and personnel to provide the services offered, even if demand ebbs and peaks. Cost centers not specified below are not modifiable. General Services – Shipping/Customs, Travel, Leasing: workload factor: Number of USDH/contractors serviced plus number of LES serviced times 0.2. Full-service: An agency signs for all three services, including: Shipping and Customs Leasing Travel Services 0.6: An agency signs up for (and specifies) 2 of 3 services. 0.3: An agency signs up for (and specifies which) 1 of 3 services. Financial Management Services: workload factor: Number of strip codes processed over 12 month count. Full-service includes, per Post Service Standards, Planning/reporting (includes preparation of ICASS initial and mid-year budgets and associated workload counts, invoices, and reports); Accounts and records (technically this is only for serviced agencies, but some reports are done for all customers); vouchering (payments); and cashiering. Since the percentages for services are spelled out in the service standards, any agency that has bills paid through FMO is automatically at the 0.6 level. Adding any of the other services would bump the agency into full-service. 0.6: An agency signs up for vouchering and cashiering services only. Your eCC and arrival at Post constitutes acceptance of this policy. CURRENCY Moldovan Lei - Please be aware that Moldova Last Updated: 6/21/2007 6:27 is mostly a cash economy. Although credit AM EDT cards can be used at major hotels and for withdrawal of cash from ATMs, nearly all stores and restaurants require payment to be made in cash. When using credit cards in Moldova, travelers are reminded to be vigilant against attempts to obtain pin numbers and other sensitive information. Businesses and official exchanges generally do not accept travelers’ checks. All travelers are advised that it is illegal to exchange currency except at established, government-authorized agencies. For official purposes visitors can use the Embassy cashier. The cashier's exchange rate is currently [CURRENT EMBASSY EXCHANGE RATE] Moldovan lei to one U.S. dollar. The rate obtained at exchange agencies can vary by as much as 0.15 Moldovan lei. CLIMATE Moldova’s climate is continental and is Last Updated: 6/21/2007 6:28 roughly comparable to that of New York AM EDT City. Moldova has four distinct seasons, including warm, semi-humid summers with average daily temperatures in July exceeding 75 degrees. Winters are cold with temperatures in January ranging from 23 degrees to 27 degrees. Sidewalks and streets can remain icy from the first snow until the beginning of spring. EMBASSY POLICY ON ELECTRONIC DEVICES Electronic Devices are not allowed in the CA Last Updated: 2/28/2007 areas. 11:19 AM EDT EMBASSY HOLIDAYS Last Updated: 6/5/2008 1:52 New Year's Day (US & Mold) January 1, AM EDT 2008 Orthodox Christmas (Mold) January 7-8, 2008 HoMartin L. King Jr. Birthday (US) January 21, 2008 President's Day (US) February 18, 2008 International Women's Day (Mold) March 8, 2008 Easter Monday (Mold) April 28, 2008 Labor Day (Mold) May 1, 2008 Memorial Easter (Mold) May 5, 2008 Victory Day (Mold) May 9, 2008 Memorial Day (US) May 26, 2008 Independence Day (US) July 4, 2008 National Day (Mold) August 27, 2008 Language Day (Mold) August 31, 2008 Labor Day (US) September 1, 2008 Columbus Day (US) October 13, 2008 (Observed) Veteran's Day (US) November 11, 2008 Thanksgiving Day (US) November 27, 2008 Christmas (US) December 25, 2008 TRANSPORTATION [Per Post TDY Policy, all travelers are INFORMATION FROM instructed to use the airport taxi service AIRPORT TO HOTEL (1400 taxi) for travel to and from the Last Updated: 6/18/2008 7:49 airport. Please be prepared to pay between AM EDT USD 20-25 to the taxi driver for each trip to/from the airport. Drivers will accept local currency (Lei) or euros. During your stay in Chisinau, you may choose to take taxis. They are generally available during the day on busy streets at designated taxi stands and in front of hotels. Rates are reasonable, although passengers should establish the cost of the ride before getting into the taxi. Tipping is not expected. The most frequently used taxi services in town are the Expediting Taxi Service (Oleg’s) (tel. 24-04-32) and CVS service (tel. 22-95-59). Dispatchers and some drivers speak English. OTHER RESTAURANTS: Chisinau has a fair number of Last Updated: 6/21/2007 6:53 good, reasonably priced AM EDT restaurants. Although most restaurants serve standard Moldovan cuisine, there are also restaurants serving Turkish, Mexican, French, Italian, Greek, and Lebanese food. In warm weather, Chisinau blossoms with many outdoor, street-side cafes. Tipping is generally 10%. GETTING TO CHISINAU: Travelers should be aware that no U.S. airline has an inter-line agreement with any Moldovan airline for baggage handling. Unless the airline agrees to check bags through to Chisinau, travelers must claim their bags at the intermediate stop in western or central Europe, pass through local customs, and check in again for their Moldovan flights.