Visiting Abkhazia is as easy as shelling pears – Russians don’t even need a foreign passport for this: at the border it is enough to present an internal passport, and, of course, no marks are put on it. The picture is slightly clouded only by border formalities – representatives of the relevant Abkhaz services, to put it mildly, are not fast – and for those who go to Abkhazia without a transfer from a hotel or personal vehicle, there is also the need to overcome a 2-kilometer pedestrian bridge on their own two feet. As for mandatory insurance and resort fees, tour operators take care of these concerns.
Rules for entering Abkhazia
The Republic of Abkhazia is an independent state. The state border between the Russian Federation and Abkhazia runs along the Psou River, where the border and customs services of both states are located. The border post is open around the clock. To travel to Abkhazia, you must go to the city of Adler (air, railway, road). The distance from the city of Adler to the border with Abkhazia on the Psou River is 10 km (about 10 minutes on the way).
To cross the border on Psou, there are two bridges – pedestrian and vehicle. Border formalities can take quite a long time, up to several hours. Passengers without their own vehicles and not traveling with a boarding house transfer cross the border on a pedestrian bridge. The length of the transition in this case will be about 2 km – from the Cossack Market to the border post. On this site you can use the services of private loaders for the transportation of luggage.
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To cross the border on Psou, there are two bridges – pedestrian and vehicle. Border formalities can take quite a long time, up to several hours.
On the Russian-Abkhazian border on the Psou River, citizens of the Russian Federation, Belarus and Kazakhstan have a visa-free regime with the passage of general customs and passport control. Citizens of other countries to enter Abkhazia must have a visa, which can be confirmed online, and then, on its basis, receive the actual visa at the Psou checkpoint from 9:00 to 18:00, or within 3 days upon arrival at the Consular service of the republic.
Citizens of Belarus and Kazakhstan do not need a visa to Abkhazia for a trip not exceeding 14 days.
Military personnel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, as well as federal executive bodies in which military service is provided, with the exception of persons undergoing military service on conscription, leave the Russian Federation with the permission of the command issued in the manner established by the Government of the Russian Federation (Article 19 Chapter III of the Federal Law N 114-FZ of 15.08.96). Documents for military personnel are an identity card (general, admiral, officer, ensign of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation); a military ID of a serviceman with a travel or vacation certificate (indicating the place of arrival – Abkhazia).
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Required documents for children
When leaving Russia for Abkhazia, children under 14 must have a birth certificate with an insert or stamp of Russian citizenship or a passport. (At the same time, for children over the age of 6 years, passports must have photographs affixed with official seals of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation).
When leaving Russia for Abkhazia, children from 14 to 18 years old must have a general internal passport or a foreign passport.
For children under 18 traveling from Russia to Abkhazia with at least one of their parents, a power of attorney from the other parent is not required. In this case, the child must have a birth certificate with him (even if he is over 14 years old and has his own foreign or internal passport). In this case, a birth certificate will be required to establish the relationship of the child with the accompanying person (parent).
Children under 18 years of age leaving the Russian Federation unaccompanied by both parents (adoptive parents, guardians or trustees) must have, in addition to their passport, a notarized consent of the named persons to leave the Russian Federation, indicating the date of departure and the state they intend to visit (Article 20 Ch..III Federal Law No. 114-FZ of 15.08.96). Such consent is not required in the actual absence of the second parent, which is confirmed by documents: a mother’s book (book of a single mother), a death certificate, a document on the deprivation of parental rights, a statement from the second parent about the abandonment of the child, a document from the court, indicating that the location of the second parent cannot be determined.
- What documents are needed to travel to Abkhazia with a child
Crossing the border by car
To cross the border by car, you must have a driver’s license and a registration certificate (and when crossing the border in someone else’s car – and a general power of attorney for it, in which a separate clause allows you to travel abroad of the Russian Federation). After crossing the border, car owners are required to put their vehicle on temporary registration at the traffic police department of Abkhazia and pay a fee of 150 RUB for cars or 300 RUB for trucks (valid for 30 days). As with any “land” border, these formalities can take from 20 minutes to two hours and depend on the density of the flow of people and vehicles at the post.
Those arriving in Abkhazia by private car are also required to insure it on the territory of Abkhazia. The easiest way to do this is at the border at the insurance point of GSK Abkhazgosstrakh. Cars are insured for 3 days for 200 RUB, for 30 days for 500 RUB and for 183 days for 2000 RUB. Payment in the event of an accident will be no more than 15,000 RUB.
Since August 2006, the RA Law No. 1408-с-XIV dated 12.07.2006 “On Compulsory Accident Insurance of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons Arriving on the Territory of the Republic of Abkhazia” has been put into effect in Abkhazia.
The objects of insurance are the life, health and working capacity of foreign citizens. The insurer is the state insurance company Abkhazgosstrakh. Compulsory insurance is carried out when crossing the State Border of Abkhazia on the Psou River on automobile and motor transport bridges. In this case, an insurance contract is concluded between the insured and the insurer.
If a tourist buys a tour package from an Abkhaz tour operator, insurance is usually included in the price of the trip.
The amount of insurance coverage under compulsory accident insurance contracts is 30,000 RUB. After paying the insurance premium, the policyholder receives an insurance policy. According to the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Abkhazia dated July 28, 2006 No. 189, a foreign citizen who arrived on vacation in Abkhazia for a period of 1 day is obliged to pay an insurance premium for the day of stay in the amount of 15 RUB. The amount of the insurance premium for tourists who arrived in Abkhazia for a period of up to 3 days inclusive – 30 RUB, for a period of up to 30 days inclusive – 250 RUB, for a period of up to 183 days inclusive – 750 RUB.
Children under the age of 6 are not subject to compulsory insurance; this category of persons is covered by the insurance policy of one of the parents without increasing the insurance premium.
Foreign citizens residing in Abkhazia for a total of more than 183 days in a calendar year are exempted from paying the insurance premium; working in Abkhazia under employment contracts; who are on business trips in foreign diplomatic missions, consular offices, international organizations.
According to the Law of the Republic of Abkhazia on the resort fee No. 1421-s-XIV of July 25, 2006, foreign citizens arriving in Abkhazia for a period of more than 3 days for the purpose of recreation are required to pay a one-time resort fee of 30 RUB at the place of stay. The following are exempted from paying the resort fee: children under the age of 14, disabled people of the 1st and 2nd groups and the person accompanying them; persons whose stay in Abkhazia is not related to recreation (subject to documentary confirmation of the purpose of the stay).
Resort tax, as a rule, is included in the cost of a tour or hotel accommodation.