Montenegro is reknown for its wonderful nature, gorgeous sea, great roads, fantastic hosts with comfortable apparments, and friendly, relaxed folk. The only dark lining looms about so called “Beli Karton”, and in its absence internet promises Euro 200 fine imposed by border police on unsuspecting tourists leaving Montenegro when crossing its border (usually by train).
“Beli karton” is translated into English as “Whilte cardboard” from the range of slavic languages (Montenegrin, Serbian, Croatian, Ukrainan, Russian). The “Whilte cardboard” means no “Whilte”, nor “cardboard”. It used to be a document proving the fact of a foreigner registration in Montenegro /Serbia and payment of tourist tax to local budget. Usually it was responsinility of Montenegrian hotels to obtain a “Beli Karton” for its client.
I planned to visit Montenegro in February 2016 and was curious about “Beli Karton”.
My friends in Montenegro said, there is no need to buy “Whilte cardboard” anymore, as it was abolished in 2015.
I had some doubts myself, as nowdays of a bla-bla-car and mount-biking, variety of tourists may not even notice entering another country.
As Montenegro is the most popular tourist destination, there is no visa requirement to stay up to 90 days within 180 days (for instance, for tourists from UK, Germany, Russia, Ukraine). There are exceptions for business travelers, diplomatic personnel, etc. There are 8 tourists on each working person in Montenegro, And Montenegro, in line with official statistic, in 2015.
There are plenty tourist – destination countries with very lax foreign tourist registration rules (USA, Portugal, France for instance). There are countries with obligatory population movement registration (Russia Federation, Belorussia, Ukraine), with fewer visiting tourists, perhaps non-coincidently.
Well, let us find out about foreign tourist registration in Montenegro.
A smart person would firstly check tax code of Montenegro, and, o yes, would find effective tourist tax and its rate, which varies depending on type and location of rented premises.As of on May 2016 the tax rate varies around Euro 1.0 pr day per adult person depending on accommodation place and luxary of accomodation.
Secondly, clever person would be interested in checking registration law of Montenegro. The logic is – the tourist tax, as well as land-lords’ income tax shall be taxed based on person registration data.
There is specific law on registration of residents and foreigners in Montenegro. A foreigner (tourist in particular) shall register and pay tax within 24 hours upon arrival to Montenegro, wether electronically, or personally by visiting a police office or by hotel, land-lord on tourist’ behalf (in this case within 12 hours upon foreign tourist arrival to premise). Foreign tourists are to register on the basis of a tourist’ passport, identifying address of accommodation and the landlord (the name, surname or landlord and address of accommodation). There are specific provisions in the law, as well as substantial penalties for Montenegro business (both, legal entities and individuals) for failure to comply. Whereas foreign tourists are subject to less severe penalty (equal to 1 minimum salary, which is around Euro 160 by the end of 2015), and there are exceptions, as always. Please do not try these exceptions without legal help.
Aniway, for more detailed information it is wise to reffer to the law, effective on the date of refferral/ request.
After some internet search I made practical test, when I visited Montengro this winter.
Indeed, registration and tourist tax are in place in Montenegro. In fact, registration of foreigners and tourist tax remained in place on similar conditions. My landlord informed his name and accommodation address together with application of my foreign passport to local tourist agenciy, so that a passport scan copy of passport and accommodation details were registerd electronically. The whole procedure took a couple of minutes, in result I obtained pinc-coloured paper titled “Nalog Platioca”, which I tried to apply to railway customs officials and border police on crossing Montenegro – Serbia border upon my way back. To my regret, no-one was interested in this paper after checking my passport using hand – held portative device. I do think, there is electronic registration system of residents and non-residents in place, authority might have all necessary information about person and period of stay, accommodation data, and tax paid.
So, as for me, a smart person would be in “BELI KARTON” BRIGADE, and the reasons are:
– Law provides conditions for obligatory registration and tourist tax payment for foreign tourists upon arrival to Montenegro.
– Financially sound. For instance, amount of tourist tax for 2 weeks stay in Montenegro would be around Euro 14 vs. possibility to be fined min penalty Euro 160 per one infringing law foreign adult tourist.
– Altruism – understanding that it is helpful for local community, …which is good for self-estim of ordinary, well-informed person.