Georgia has experienced several improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and attempted attacks, both in Tbilisi and elsewhere in the country, since September 2010. Most of these attacks are believed to have originated in the occupied territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, though at least one attack had its origins outside of Georgia. Targets have included government facilities, public places, and diplomatic missions.
The lack of adequate lighting in some public places, particularly outside of Tbilisi and Batumi, heightens your vulnerability to crime.
Georgia’s customs authorities enforce regulations concerning the temporary import into or export from Georgia of items such as alcohol, tobacco, jewelry, religious materials, art or artifacts, antiquities, and business equipment. Only personal medicines with a doctor’s statement can be imported without the permission of the Georgian Drug Agency section of the Ministry of Health.
You may not import firearms into Georgia; however, you may bring hunting weapons into the country for a two-week period, based on a valid Georgian hunting license. While there is no limit to the amount of currency that you can import, if you try to take out more money than you declared at the time of entry, you are obligated to prove it was legally obtained. There are limits on the amount of Georgian currency that may be exported. For additional customs information, U. S. citizens should contact the Embassy of Georgia in Washington DC.
The U.S. Embassy strongly discourages the purchase of property in the occupied Abkhazia or South Ossetia regions of Georgia. Land for sale in those regions may rightfully belong to internally displaced persons forced to leave the breakaway regions in the early 1990s and may have been placed improperly on the market. In such cases, the Government of Georgia considers the sale of property in occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia illegal and the property could be reclaimed by original owners at a future date.
The Ministry of Culture ‘s Department of Expertise and Evaluation must license any valuables such as artwork, antiques, jewelry, or paintings. This license describes the object, assesses its value, and provides permission to export it from Georgia. Please contact the Embassy of Georgia in Washington, D.C. for specific information regarding customs requirements. Please see our information on Customs Regulations.
While the Georgian lari is the only legal tender, dollars can be exchanged freely for lari at market rates. ATMs are widespread within Tbilisi. Credit cards are accepted in upscale hotels and restaurants, but travelers’ checks are difficult to cash. U. S. citizens in Georgia have reported incidents of credit card fraud and identity theft. You should closely monitor your credit card statements.
Military Draft: U.S.-Georgian dual-national males between the ages of 18 and 27 may be subject to military conscription under Georgian law. For more information, you may wish to review the information available by the Ministry of Defense.
Accessibility: Individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different in Georgia from what you find in the United States. While the Georgian administrative code mandates access to buildings for persons with disabilities and stipulates fines for noncompliance, very few public or private facilities or buildings are accessible. Public and private transportation offer no accommodation for persons with disabilities. There are few sidewalks outside of Tbilisi or Batumi.