Customs regulations and required documents
Personal effects import regulations
Free import for persons over 18 years of age:
There is a zero tolerance policy for possessing or supplying any drugs. While legislation stipulates that fines are possible for drug use/supply, in practice possession of even small quantities of drugs (Class B/C drugs as well as Class A) could result in long prison terms in addition to heavy fines.
Homosexuality is not forbidden in Moldova, though the Moldovan government does not formally recognise unmarried or same-sex partners. There is an active social and lobbying group on gay and lesbian issues in Chisinau, but public attitudes are less tolerant. Be careful about public displays of affection. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
Avoid taking photos of military and government facilities (including airports, power stations etc). You’re likely to be detained for questioning or arrested if you’re caught.
There are frequent police checks and police officers have the legal right to ask for identification on the street. You should carry a copy of the bio data page of your passport with you at all times.
You must obtain permission from the Moldovan Department of Monuments to bring out of the country any artwork or antiques. Failure to obtain this permission could result in the artwork or antiques being impounded and criminal charges brought.
The person conveying goods and vehicles across a customs border or the authorized customs broker representing an importer must declare goods and vehicles for customs clearance. Importers must submit customs declarations in writing within 72 hours following importation into the customs territory of Moldova or electronically at least one hour before the vehicles and goods are presented at the border. A customs declaration must be filled out for every commercial invoice. A customs declaration has to be accompanied by a commercial document such as the contract or invoice; transport document and the permissive act (licenses, and other authorizations, which will vary depending on the product.)
Agents must pay import duties prior to submitting the customs declaration. All business and customs brokers should obtain an “electronic signature” from the Special Telecommunications Center to access the electronic customs clearance on import and export. Folowing payment of import duties, agents can electronically sign and register their cargo via the customs information system Asycuda World.
Licensed customs brokers can help navigate the complex procedure of customs clearance, reduce interaction with customs, and prevent extra costs because of insufficient knowledge of all relevant regulations. A list of licensed customs brokers can be found here.
Upon request, Moldovan Customs may issue a so-called Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) status to any businesses that meet a set of reliability criteria. The AEO status allows businesses to enjoy simplified clearance procedures, priority at border crossing, fewer customs controls, fewer formalities to be met, etc.
The law on general product safety prohibits dangerous products from being placed on the market. The Customs Code notes that Moldovan legislation can prohibit or restrict certain goods or transport means from being introduced into or taken out of Moldova for reasons of state security, assurance of public and moral order, environmental protection, protection of art objects, protection of objects of historical or archeological value, protection of intellectual property rights, protection of the domestic market, and protection of other public interests. Moldovan legislation has special provisions dealing with strategic goods, weapons, munitions, dual-use goods, radioactive and toxic substances, and food products. Certain restrictions apply on ethylic alcohol, tobacco products and oil products. The import of such products is subject to license or permission from various authorities.
Temporary import prohibitions are also applied in line with the latest updates on hazardous diseases from the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) and based on EU legislation for certain diseases.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration keeps a centralized record of all mandatory international restrictive measures in force.
Note: Contact the destination agent for information.
Birds, cats and dogs require a Veterinarian Good Health Certificate issued at point of origin. Additionally, cats and dogs also require a Rabies Inoculation Certificate and a Certificate that the animal is not of national value.
Baggage is cleared at the first airport of entry in Moldova (Rep.).
Exempt: baggage of transit passengers, transiting through Chisinau (KIV), with a destination outside of Moldova (Rep.).
Currency Import regulations:
Residents and non-residents: local currency (Moldova Leu-MDL) up to MDL 2,500.- without declaration. Foreign currencies: no limit. Non-residents must declare amount imported upon entry.
Currency Export regulations:
Residents and non-residents: local currency (Moldova Leu-MDL) up to MDL 2,500.- without declaration. Foreign currencies: up to USD 5,000.- or equivalent for residents and up to the amount declared on arrival for non-residents. For sums up to USD 50,000.- or equivalent, written permission from the National Bank of Moldova or other authorized bank is required.
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The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
On entering Moldova, you must complete a form containing certain information about your state of health (relevant to the COVID pandemic) and confirming that you will self-isolate for 14 days unless exempt from doing so. You will be exempt from self-isolation if you present a negative result from a PCR test conducted less than 72 hours before your scheduled date and time of arrival. The test result must be in English, Romanian, Russian or French. A number of further exemptions exist, as set out below.
You should contact your travel operator and air carrier for more information before travelling to Moldova.
You should check for updates on border crossings with Ukraine and Romania on the Moldovan Border Police website.
If you are travelling to Moldova from the UK, you are required to present a negative PCR test result and you will not have to self-isolate. Exemptions to submitting a test result (and self-isolating) apply to the following categories:
Persons who are in self-isolation may stop self-isolating after day 10 if they take the PCR test upon arrival and the result is negative.
To enter the Transnistrian region you need to submit a form to the local authorities for prior approval at least 24 hours before your planned arrival date. If you present a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours before entering the Transnistrian region, or take a test upon arrival and the result is negative, you will not be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Upon arrival to Moldova, you must fill out an epidemiological form. This form is to be submitted to immigration officials.
Visas are no longer required to enter Moldova if your stay is under 90 days. For all other types of travel, contact the Embassy of the Republic of Moldova in London. See below for information on entry into Moldova.
The Moldovan authorities strictly enforce penalties (including deportation) against foreign visitors who overstay the terms of their visas. As a visitor you are allowed to spend no more than 90 days in any six months period in Moldova. At any official point of entry, your arrival date will be registered automatically. Please see below for details of entry through Transnistria.
Residence and/or work permits are required for stays over 90 days. Immigration, residence, and work permits usually need to be extended annually, but can be issued for up to five years. Alternatively, you must regularise your stay by applying for a residence or work visa.
Your passport should be valid for at least six months and have at least one unused page.
If you’re entering into Transnistria overland from Ukraine (for example by bus or rail) be aware that the Transnistrian border guard will not place entry stamps into passports, but you will receive a registration document. Keep this document until your departure and present it at the border. The service is free of charge.
If you cross the border by road, there are 6 check points with immigration controls, where you can receive a registration document.
If you cross the border by rail, there are no ‘immigration controls’ and your passport won’t be stamped. In this case, within 3 days, you should go to the Bureau for Migration and Asylum in Chisinau (124 Stefan cel Mare Boulevard) to register your stay.
Alternatively, you could go to the local offices of the Bureau for Migration and Asylum located in: Hîrbovăț in Anenii Noi; Hajumus in Căușeni; Pîrîta in Dubăsari, Criuleni in Criuleni, Rezina in Rezina and Sărătăuac în Florești.
To register your stay you must present the following documents:
Failure to register may result in fines and difficulties when leaving Moldova.
If you enter Moldova overland from Ukraine do so at one of the internationally recognised border crossing points between Moldova (excluding the Transnistria segment) and Ukraine in the north and south of the country.
There are no ‘immigration controls’ in place on the internal boundary between Transnistria and Moldova proper and entry stamps won’t be placed into passports. But on entering Transnistria you will be required to fill in 2 copies of a migration card, one of which should be retained and produced on exit. You may also be questioned on the aim of your visit, duration and where you will stay.
UK ETDs are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Moldova.
Be alert to the risk of street crime and petty theft, particularly in Chisinau, and for pickpockets and bag snatchers in crowded areas. Take precautions when using ATMs, there have been instances of credit card and ATM fraud see Money
Streets, pavements, and other public paths are not well maintained or illuminated including in Chisinau and other cities. It’s useful to carry a small torch after dark, as street lighting is poor.
Keep your valuables and passport in hotel safes and carry a copy of your passport with you.
Although most visitors experience no difficulties, some visitors of Asian or Afro-Caribbean descent have reported being stared at, verbally abused, assaulted, denied entrance into some clubs and restaurants, or harassed by police.
The Transnistria region is not under Moldovan government control and seeks independence.
There are many checkpoints along roads leading into and out of Transnistria. You should avoid taking photographs of checkpoints, military facilities, and security forces or other sights of strategic importance, including buildings used by the de facto authorities and power plants. If you’re caught taking photographs of such installations or personnel you may face arrest or detention.
You should exercise caution if you travel to Transnistria and avoid getting into difficulty with the Transnistrian authorities. If you do get into trouble, try to contact the British Embassy in Chisinau at an early stage. The embassy will do its best to provide consular help where needed. But in practice this will be very limited.
See the Entry requirements section for further details on entry into Transnistria.
The situation in Ukraine and other areas outside Donetsk and Luhansk is generally calm, including in the Odessa Oblast which borders Transnistria. However, events in Ukraine are fast moving and you are strongly advised to check the Ukraine travel advice.
You can drive in Moldova with a valid UK driving licence.
To drive a vehicle into Moldova you will need the following documents:
The vehicle will need to be declared to the customs authority at the point of entry into Moldova. Vehicles can be brought into Moldova without payment of import taxes for a maximum of 90 cumulative days in a 365-day period, from the date of first entry. Contact the Moldovan Embassy in London if you have more detailed questions about bringing a vehicle in to the country. The British Embassy is unable to offer help to individuals attempting to bring vehicles into Moldova without the correct documentation.
Avoid driving outside urban areas, particularly at night. Driving standards are poor and roads are of variable quality. There are a high number of traffic accidents, including fatalities. You should comply with all local speed limits. There is a zero tolerance policy on drink driving.
From 1 November until 31 March, drivers are obliged to travel with headlights on at all times. Winter tyres should also be fitted to road vehicles during this period. Failure to do so could result in a fine.
Official looking taxis can be unlicensed. Do not share a taxi with strangers or flag down unofficial taxis. You should negotiate a price before getting into a taxi. Where possible ask your hotel to get a taxi for you, or to give you the telephone number of a reputable company.
The Department of Traffic Police has published the following helpline:
42, Vasile Alecsandri street, Chisinau, Moldova Telephone: 00 373 (22) 255-920 Fax: 00 373 (22) 255-200 email: [email protected] email: [email protected] (Moldovan officials speak Romanian, Russian and limited English)
Foreign-registered cars driven by foreign nationals are allowed into Transnistria upon payment of a vignette (a form of road pricing). The fee depends upon the duration of the stay. Civil liability insurance is mandatory, except for categories such as cars registered in certain CIS states, diplomatic vehicles or vehicles registered to NGOs.