Criminal Penalties in Congo, Republic of the

While you are traveling in the Republic of the Congo, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. It is important to carry some form of identification at all times. Wallets should contain only a small amount of cash and be free of all credit cards. You may be taken in for questioning if you are stopped by the police and are unable to produce an acceptable form of identification. A common practice among policemen is to stop foreigners and accuse them of minor infractions (which may or may not be valid). When this occurs, the police do not want to write a ticket, but rather request the person to pay a fine on the spot. The U.S. Embassy does not encourage anyone to pay fines. The Embassy recommends that all travelers carry a copy of their U.S. passport and Congolese visa to prevent them from being taken by police or armed assailants during an attempted bribe.

If you travel to a new region within the Republic of the Congo, you should carry your passport, as you may be asked to register with Immigration Service officials upon arrival in a new location. It is illegal to take pictures of government buildings, military installations, and other key parts of infrastructure such as ports, train stations, and airports. In general, it is best to keep your camera out of sight and ask permission prior to taking photos. If permission is refused, don’t take the photo.

There are also some things that might be legal in the Republic of the Congo, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children and using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in the Republic of the Congo, your U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. If you are arrested in the Republic of the Congo, you have the option to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the U.S. Embassy of your arrest, and to have communications from you forwarded to the U.S. Embassy.

Disclaimer

You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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