2 FAM 170
(Office of Origin: A/GIS/DIR)
2 FAM 171 GENERAL
2 FAM 171.1 Policy
U.S. embassies and missions issue post reports to function as official statements of local conditions and activities. Issuing posts ensure that their reports are complete and reflect the current environment of the post's country or area. The following sections in this subchapter specify procedures for the review and revision, preparation, and distribution of post reports.
2 FAM 171.2 Purpose
a. Post reports are official statements of local conditions and activities by U.S. embassies and missions. Post reports serve as a general information booklet on foreign government affairs and conditions in each post country. Foreign Service personnel use these reports to help determine their choice of assignments. Also, newly assigned employees and families use them to help orient themselves before arrival at a new post. The reports are also available to the public for their viewing on the Department of State Internet Web site.
b. A post report describes the local conditions, post administration, and life at each post. Specifically, each post report addresses local living information such as education programs, typical clothing, native food, housing arrangements, religious activities, local holidays and recreational opportunities; resident political and economic information such as public institutions, commerce, industry, and employment for spouses; and important regional travel information such as getting to the post, customs, and recommended reading on the area.
2 FAM 171.3 Responsibilities
2 FAM 171.3-1 Management Counselor or Officer
The management counselor or officer is responsible for:
(1) Maintaining a comprehensive post report online that covers each location where employees are assigned;
(2) Designating someone at each embassy (or consulate that handles its own post report) to edit and keep the reports up-to-date with relevant information in the online post report system;
(3) Clearing all material for the online post report before it is entered and posted into the system according to standard operating procedures established by A/GIS/GPS;
(4) Keeping the post report current by performing annual post report reviews; and
(5) Ensuring that post reports reflect agency policies such as equal employment opportunity and private-person status of spouses.
2 FAM 171.3-2 Department of State Washington Office
a. Regional bureaus must remind posts to perform their reviews of the post reports annually.
b. A/GIS/GPS does the following:
(1) manages the online post report program;
(2) Processes photos to incorporate them into the online post report;
(3) Determines and prepares the format;
(4) Maintains the post report Intranet and Internet Web site for general use by Department employees and the public; and
(5) Makes post reports available for incorporation into CD-ROM format for posts abroad and domestic offices upon special request.
2 FAM 171.4 Authorities
22 U.S.C. 3926, 22 U.S.C. 2656, and 22 U.S.C. 2651a give the Secretary of State general authority to issue regulations requiring post reports.
2 FAM 172 POST REPORT REVIEWS AND REVISIONS
2 FAM 172.1 Post Report Reviews
a. Every post must perform a comprehensive review on their post report within one year from the last revision date. The last revision date of each section is in the online post report system. The post decides if a minor revision, complete revision, or no revision is necessary. If no revision is necessary the post must notify A/GIS/GPS in writing that the post report has been reviewed and an update is not required at this time.
b. If they wish, posts may review their post report more frequently than annually.
2 FAM 172.2 Revisions
After posts perform their reviews and the updated material is cleared with the management counselor or officer, the updated information must be entered into the online post report system following the standard operating procedures established by A/GIS/GPS.
2 FAM 173 PREPARATION
2 FAM 173.1 General Guidelines
a. The post report provides information to Foreign Service personnel for help in choosing their new assignments. It assists employees and their families with decisions regarding such matters as appropriate clothing, furniture, and other personal effects to bring to post. It also gives guidance and procedures to follow in traveling to post, in accordance with the Fly America Act, etc., and upon first arrival at the post.
b. At posts having substantial AID missions with personnel recruited specifically for that post, the post report provides additional and extensive information about the post and the country in general.
c. 2 FAM Exhibit 174 provides guidance for maximum coverage of each subject. The intent of the exhibit is to limit the content of the report to relevant facts that would be useful to potential and imminent post personnel.
2 FAM 173.2 Content
a. Post reports are an objective outlook of service at post, with emphasis on what is challenging and interesting. Drafters should not include subjective comments on local customs, the policies of the host government, or the way it deals with its own citizens. (However, include information on local customs, which is pertinent to social behavior.)
b. Post report authors should do the following when drafting the report:
(1) Present inadequacies and hardships that exist at post in an objective and factual manner;
(2) Write narrative in plain language with short sentences and paragraphs. Avoid qualified sentences;
(3) Note any policies or procedures that are unique to other agencies at post or the Department. These differences may involve such issues as housing, use of official cars, or commissary privileges;
(4) Include pictures wherever available to help provide an accurate view of conditions;
(5) Write the report with post specific information, instead of generalities to the area; and
(6) Use special competencies of personnel at the post in preparing the report. For example, dependent social committees may be able to make valuable contributions to the report. Since post reports are also made available to other agencies and their personnel, their review of any draft portion concerning conditions that affect them is useful.
2 FAM 173.3 Format
a. The post report conforms to the "Standard Outline for Post Reports," found in 2 FAM Exhibit 174.
b. Submit text for every section found in 2 FAM Exhibit 174.
c. Submitted photographs should include:
(1) Exterior views, as appropriate, of the embassy, AID mission, and other missions;
(2) Typical housing;
(3) Educational, recreational, and other social-use facilities; and
(4) Scenes that are typical and representative of the country.
2 FAM 174 REPRODUCTION
2 FAM 174.1 Reproduction
A/GIS/GPS reproduces post reports in paper format or electronic CD-ROM format only when specifically requested by a post or Bureau.
2 FAM 174.2 Online Format
Complete versions of the post reports are available on the Department's unclassified Intranet for Department personnel. Text-only versions of the post reports are available on the State Department Internet website for public viewing.
2 FAM 175 THROUGH 179 UNASSIGNED
2 FAM Exhibit 174
POST REPORT STANDARD OUTLINE
NOTES TO POST REPORT AUTHORS
Ensure that the information written in the report is post-specific and not just general to the area or the country. For example, when writing on health concerns/services, state the specific post that has/have the concern/service, in addition to placing the concern/service in geographical regions of the country. By writing this way, the information in the report is the most useful to potential post personnel. Authors should reference other sections when discussing topics already covered in another part of the post report.
POST REPORT CONTENTS
Give a short description of the most interesting and challenging aspects of life and service at the post and in the area. Describe cultural and travel opportunities personnel will have at post. Briefly describe standards of living and climate conditions. Also, indicate any country-specific historical significance.
PART I - THE HOST COUNTRY
A. AREA, GEOGRAPHY, AND CLIMATE
Describe the physical nature of the country overall and at major posts including altitudes, topography, terrain, vegetation, seasons, temperatures (mean and extremes), humidity, access to water, rainfall, winds, dust, pests, and natural hazards. If geographical areas within the country differ, indicate where the differences occur. Also, indicate the effect of the climate, for example, as causing mildew or fostering unusual diseases, etc.
Include population totals, distribution throughout the country, languages and dialects, religion(s), ethnic-tribal-national groupings and communities, identifiable social and economic groupings, customs, habits, mores, and other characteristics. Where appropriate, the relationships connecting these items may be briefly explored (predominant or state religion vs. minority ones, etc.). Give some background into recent history, traditions, customs, and practices, which are significant in the country; explain the effects of these patterns concerning food, family, and other social relationships.
C. PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS
Describe briefly the governmental and social organization of the country. Comment on the following: the principal legislative, executive, and judicial organs; head of state functions; state/provincial government system, legal system and significant legislation; political parties; military systems, political organizations of the country and semi- or quasi-public, social, philanthropic, financial, or commercial organizations, such as Red Cross, Red Crescent, youth organizations, etc. Indicate any significant recent historical changes to the government and social organization of the country. However, do not name the current leaders.
D. ARTS, SCIENCE, AND EDUCATION
Mention the mainstream intellectual, educational, technological, and artistic life of the host country. Include significant theater and opera performances and venues; international attractions; public lectures; library resources; museums; and artistic freedoms in the country. Also indicate level of education such as literacy rate, percentage of secondary education, higher education opportunities, and teaching patterns.
E. COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
Describe national economic patterns, including recent historical developments and aspects, which may affect employees. Give a brief account of the following business information: major industries, chief imports and exports, and principal trading partners, regional economic orientation, such as participation in trading blocs; market characteristics, such as extent of barters, etc.; ability to generate and provide utilities such as electricity and water, special development programs underway, such as 5-year plans, dams, etc.; local attitudes toward property ownership and investment; labor organizations and labor-management relations; labor market and unemployment; availability of Western products; etc.
Emphasize automotive matters encountered by U.S. Government employees such as, the following: automobile usage; regulations, registration and licensing; shipping personal car vs. officially available or commercially available transport, condition of roads most frequently used and traffic patterns; advantages of some makes vs. others, or of certain types of accessories (tropical radiator, export kit, etc.); grade, types, cost of available fuel, and whether embassy employees receive a discount price; maintenance; spare parts and common safety equipment needed; restrictions on purchasing arid resale; and insurance requirements with ideas concerning desirable types and extent of coverage and available carriers. Indicate whether rental vehicles are available in the post city.
Identify which car dealers have established markets and service, which models are readily serviced, and which models would have difficulty being repaired. List any car recommendations and if four-wheel-drive and high ground clearance is necessary.
Describe the local transportation including: taxi, commuter, intracity and intercity transport (i.e., pedicab, automobile, train, omnibus, railroad). If mass transportation varies greatly among post cities, indicate separate conditions at each site. Give comparative costs, adequacy, and tipping customs among the various forms of transportation. Also discuss local practices regarding paint or color of official vehicles (fire and police departments, etc.). Discuss if taxis and buses are safe and reliable. Describe the road conditions outside the city and on highways.
Describe railroad, roadway and air transport between countries and within country, all-weather motor-vehicle roads, left-hand vs. right-hand driving pattern, road conditions, etc.
(1) Telephones and Telecommunications
Give characteristics including adequacy and availability of telephone and cable locally. Describe any significant service legislation. Indicate approximate rates and costs for both internal and external usage and whether U.S. telephones will operate in the country.
Give characteristics including adequacy and availability of wireless services. List major carriers. Describe any significant service legislation. Indicate approximate rates and costs for both internal and external usage and whether U.S. telephones will operate in the country.
Describe Internet services at post including service providers, Internet connection speeds, and costs. Briefly indicate Internet use habits in the country.
(3) Mail and Pouch
Provide rates, schedules, etc., on postal and pouch facilities and services. Indicate, if Air Force or Army Post Office (APO) or Fleet Post Office (FPO) privileges are available and approximate transit time for mail and parcel post of various classifications by surface and air. Give the most desirable form and method for international mail (for example, international mail, APO mail, or pouch), the proper form for addressing correspondence, and any other pertinent information. Provide; addresses where letters and packages can be sent. If APO or FPO privileges are not available discuss how reliable and expensive the local mail service is. Describe the availability of private carriers, e.g., United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (FedEx), and applicable local customs, regulations, and duties if any.
(4) Radio and TV
Describe, if appropriate, characteristics of radio and television broadcasting received locally. Indicate the following: whether programming is in black and white or in color; sources, quality, and variety of coverage; types of programming; number of hours available each week; and number of channels used regularly. Also cover local availability of sets and repair, and the costs. Indicate if U.S. equipment can be tuned at post. Mention if cable or satellite television is available and describe what is available.
(5) Newspapers, Magazines, Books, and Technical Journals
Gives availability of local periodicals or international editions of U.S. or worldwide periodicals and English-language books and bookstores. Comment an advisability of subscribing to U.S. periodicals and book clubs via regular mail. Give an idea of how expensive publications and subscriptions are. Indicate if local law favors free press. Also, describe if post has a library or reference material.
H. HEALTH AND MEDICINE
(1) Medical Facilities
Explain the type and extent of medical facilities provided as a feature of post administration. Indicate degree of medical services available at each major and minor subpost. Mention if post has an in-house blood donor program. Identify and describe other medical facilities considered adequate by Western standards, including facilities of other U.S. Government agencies which are accessible to U.S. Government personnel and dependents. Indicate nature of facility (clinic, pharmacy, laboratory, institutional infirmary, hospital, facilities for handicapped dependents, etc.) and location. Indicate the capacity of facilities, the extent of medical care available (first aid, general practice, surgery, etc.), and the range of medical specialization (dentists, ophthalmologists, obstetricians, etc.). Discuss the adequacy of these locally available facilities and services, and suggest alternative facilities in other countries, if pertinent.
(2) Community Health
Include any health and public sanitation programs of interest to U.S. Government personnel. Discuss immunizations for post personnel and dependents. For example, identify any active efforts to control health hazards and indicate degree of success. Discuss the following: the extent of sewage; disposal and treatment facilities and activities (indicate costs if on private-commercial basis only); pest and vermin control effectiveness; facilities for water purification; food container sterilization; food and beverage adulteration; and standard control measures, etc. Describe programs either underway or completed that deal with any public health problem.
(3) Preventive Measures
Discuss the nature of serious, prevalent, endemic diseases and hazards in the host country generally and at specific posts. These include: snakes; animal-borne diseases; insect‑borne diseases; contagious diseases commonly experienced or likely to occur in epidemic form; and problems caused by climatic or topographic extremes such as heat, humidity, altitude, etc.
Indicate preventative measures to guard against possible dangers, such as: the need to boil milk or water; whether water or milk is potable; special treatment or handling of meat and fresh vegetables; recommended immunizations; drugs and sundry items to bring or that can be obtained locally; and any special medical or therapeutic treatment which should be taken prior to arrival for specific physical conditions or ailments (give consideration to the special needs of children, pregnant women, etc.).
I. EMPLOYMENT FOR SPOUSES AND DEPENDENTS
Describe spouse or dependent employment opportunities at the post. If they are necessary, discuss qualification requirements, preemployment tests, medical and security requirements, and any action to take regarding an appointment before departure for post. Describe, in general, other employment opportunities at the post including employment in the local economy. Mention if family members can obtain working visas, permits, and if there are age limitations. Indicate advance notice needed by post when applying for employment outside the United States. Also, list any site-specific information.
PART II - NAME OF POST CITY (E, CG, etc.)
A. POST CITY
Include description of city, where located, and its main features (capital city, etc.). Describe the post climate, services offered, and residential life. Provide references where personnel may find more information on the post city.
Describe the security level at the post and post city. Indicate any safety procedures established by posts and any security measures or up-grades developed by the post. Also describe the level of security and crime in the post city for residents.
C. THE POST AND ITS ADMINISTRATION
Provide an explanation of any significant U.S. mission aid (e.g., embassy, U.S. AID mission, etc.). Include a brief historical resume of the aid plus predecessor mission, arid the tie-in with other U.S. missions (such as diplomatic, military, etc.). Also, give location of office(s), detailed addresses, how the telephone number is listed, how post is reached upon arrival if traveler is not met, transportation from "dock," adequacy of local transport, etc. If employee enters country at an unusual arrival point, discuss what arrangements are made at port of entry or points en route and what transportation is available. Discuss any visa issues that personnel should be aware of.
Give a brief, general introduction of the administration at post. Include information on the organizational structure of various agencies and the titles of the principal officials. Describe administrative functions with which the employee should be initially familiar. Include information on the community liaison office, if one is established at post. Do not include material already described in other sections of the post report, but give some details of methods of payment for various categories of employees, housing placement, medical support, duty hours, the administrative workweek, arrangements for greeting new employees at airport or port of entry, and orientation at mission.
(1) Temporary Quarters
Describe if and when temporary housing is used. Give names of available hotels, boarding houses, pensions, and transient quarters. Give costs of room and meals. Explain if a staff house is operated.
(2) Permanent Housing
Describe nature, adequacy, arid availability of permanent housing, whether provided by U.S. Government or local authorities or available through private leases. Mention the type of housing available, whether houses or apartments and availability of storage space. Do not indicate home address for any housing. Do indicate method of assignments (i.e., assignment by housing coordinator). Discuss the availability and costs of extras such as guard, elevator, janitor service, the necessity of sharing quarters, and any other conditions of the local housing market. Describe the ambassador's and/or DCM's housing. Indicate, when possible, the average wait for permanent quarters. To the extent possible, indicate special needs housing.
List any furniture and furnishings provided. Explain if furniture, appliances, and other household equipment should be brought to post to supplement what is supplied. If furniture and furnishings are not provided, describe the most suitable types that employees should bring with them (for example, "rattan most suitable; hardwood will do" and "soft, Temperate-Zone wood is prey to termites," etc.). Specify the following: undue influences of climate; special precautions to be taken; any items which must be brought in order to set up housekeeping; whether readymade curtains/drapes or only curtain/drape material is best to import; size and type of standard window; and whether items common to other areas are unnecessary or unusable (for example, large rugs are unsuitable because of high temperature, or because available houses have unusually small rooms).
(4) Utilities and Equipment
Give availability of the following: running water (hot and cold); baths and toilets; lighting accessories; available fuels; heating accessories; cooking facilities; refrigeration; telephone; electric power (voltage, frequency, dependability, types of wall plugs and whether power surge regulators are required); any transformer requirements; source (for example, if provided by posts); appliances available locally or which must be imported; any special equipment and appliance items that should be brought along; equipment and appliances normally usable in other areas of the world which cannot be used at this post (for example, automatic dishwashers, electric dryers, air-conditioners, microwave ovens, etc.).
Describe by comparison with typical U.S. experiences, the availability, variety, seasonal limitations, etc., of basic and baby foods. Indicate the necessity, if any, to import foods, and the desirability of maintaining individual gardens. Mention if frozen microwave food is available and the cost of such food. Identify the following: foods that should be brought along at time of initial entry, presence of commissaries and/or PXs, group-purchasing arrangements, rationing, and United States Government cafeterias (whether available to all personnel or only certain groups), etc. Indicate cost of joining cooperative commissary, if available.
Provide an overview of the local tastes, standards, and costs of clothing. Identify the following: customary and seasonal attire, including specific requirements, taboos, or especially unsuitable items, and locally procurable items.
Describe typical clothing for work and recreation. Indicate necessity for formalwear and climate specific clothing that would be recommended. Also, indicate suitable shoes for post and whether they should be purchased in the United States or abroad. If significant changes in climate exist between seasons indicate the changes in clothing required.
Describe typical clothing for work and recreation, emphasizing the level of formal attire required and any cultural specifications women should adhere to. Indicate necessity for formal wear and climate specific clothing that would be recommended. Also, indicate suitable shoes for post and whether they should be purchased in the United States or abroad. If significant changes in climate exist between seasons indicate the changes in clothing required.
Describe typical clothing for school and recreation. Provide information on the availability of children's and baby clothing. Indicate climate specific clothing that would be recommended. Also, indicate suitable shoes for post and whether they should be purchased in the United States or abroad. If significant changes in climate exist between seasons indicate the changes in clothing required.
(4) Office Attire
Describe typical clothing for work and formal entertaining. Indicate necessity for formal wear including requirements by various categories of employees, particularly for a female ambassador or any female senior officer.
G. SUPPLIES AND SERVICES
Provide brief description of the availability of basic supplies and services at post.
List the availability of the following: toiletries, cosmetics, feminine personal supplies, tobacco items, home medicines, drugs, common household needs, pet care and accessories, and any other conveniences commonly used for housekeeping, household repairs, entertaining, etc. Discuss availability of English language products. Indicate availability of a variety of brand name items to choose from. Indicate if local prices of items are comparable to the U.S. prices. Mention if post has a detailed list of recommended consumer products that should be brought to post. Also, discuss availability of products at the local commissary.
(2) Basic Services
Explain the availability and adequacy of tailors, dressmakers, shoe repair, drycleaners, laundries, beauty and barbershops, radio and automobile repair, and other service facilities and community services. Describe cost comparison of services to the United States.
(3) Domestic Help
Give availability of the following: cooks, drivers, maids, babysitters, and other service personnel; special needs for, or customary use by, all categories and levels of U.S. Government personnel; advisability of hiring host country or third-country national; typical local wages and maintenance expenses; local customs and laws that must be respected with respect to servants; and employer's liability, host government social security, and taxes. If they exist, describe services that help provide and organize domestic help.
H. RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES
Discuss the typical religious practices of the host country and the predominant religions present. Indicate available places of worship for various faiths common in the United States. Describe the congregations and the languages of services (especially those in English). If U.S. Military Chaplains conduct services at the post, discuss their availability.
(1) Dependent Education
Describe the predominant dependent education practices at post for school-age dependents at all levels whether at post or away from post.
(a) At Post
Identify existing and projected schools and indicate the following: accessibility; level(s); age groups accepted; languages of instruction; curriculums; availability of and any requirements for transportation; number of children attending; existence of boarding facilities; tuition and related costs; description of facilities (athletic, etc.); source of enrollment (for example, U.S. nationals only, internal community generally, host country students, etc.); explanation of extracurricular activities and school calendar (holidays, etc.); and grading system, accreditation, etc. Include some comment on the adequacy of the overall educational situation and individual facilities (laboratories, libraries, etc.).
(b) Away From Post
Identify accessible and desirable educational facilities away from post. Give the following information: distance from post; available mode of travel (including necessary transfer points en route); whether boarding facilities are available for boys or girls or both; approximate costs involved, school calendar, and whether an educational allowance is provided; provisions for holiday periods; and any other applicable information.
(2) Special Needs Education
Indicate any available special educational facilities for special needs children. Identify any institutions that have programs and instruction for handicapped children, or learning disabled students. Also address special programs for gifted students. Provide contact information if available.
(3) Higher Education Opportunities
Indicate any opportunities for adult education including university schooling and local trade organizations. Include colleges and accreditation for college-age dependents; and any opportunities especially related to the culture of the host country. Identify any adult-education institutions available to personnel and explain the degree programs offered, and other pertinent related information, such as admission delays and waiting list, if applicable. Include such items as: private tutoring; instruction in the arts (music, dance, etc.); special training in crafts, hobbies, sports, and other skills (horsemanship, gardening, power-equipment handling, etc.). Also, discuss availability of classes in English and other languages.
J. RECREATION AND SOCIAL LIFE
Discuss general recreational activities that are predominant at post. Indicate if differences in seasons effect recreational activities and suggest equipment individuals should bring to post.
Indicate the availability of participation or instruction in various group and individual sports. List national or major sports which are popular in host country and indicate the competitive tournaments, athletic associations, explorer societies, etc., especially those that are open to U.S. Government employees. Specify the availability of any necessary equipment and the comparative costs. Also describe professional sports and popular spectator sports post personnel typically frequent. Discuss availability of good indoor facilities for various sports. Discuss fishing and hunting at post. Mention any restrictions on attire, and use of animals in hunting. (See PART III; paragraph C concerning guns and ammunition.)
(2) Touring and Outdoor Activities
Give, names, types of attractions, and such other data as population, distance from post(s), etc. Explain whether these attractions offer change of scene, relief from climate, or other features of special interest. Include travel time, means of travel, approximate cost of travel, and accommodations and costs, if available. Give the name of the rest and recuperation post, if one has been designated. Give the full range of readily accessible recreational advantages. Comment on hunting, fishing, camping, boating, mountain climbing, ocean or lake swimming, sightseeing, snow and water skiing, visiting museums, botanical gardens, zoological and park preserves, playgrounds, and any other organized activities.
Discuss the types of available entertainment facilities. Address the following; stage and film theaters (mention what movies are shown, in what languages, and if they are safe); concerts; opera; recitals; in-person audience opportunities at broadcasting stations; pageants; nightclubs (give a description); festivals; fairs; public, Department of State, and other ceremonies; and special guidelines concerning photography, etiquette requirements, etc., which U.S. personnel/visitors should observe in connection with these activities. Indicate cost of typical activities in comparison to the United States.
(4) Social Activities
Briefly address common social activities for post personnel.
(a) Among Americans
Describe post-sponsored and other social and nonofficial contact in the U.S. community. Include dependent social committees, American clubs and societies, U.S. sponsored social and fraternal organizations, and the facilities offered for their use. Describe local restaurants, including fast food establishments, and give costs. Indicate what is available in this area for all levels and groups of U.S. Government personnel, including both adults and children. Discuss organized dances, historical archeological societies, local branches or committees of literary or other study organizations, civic associations, and Scouting groups.
(b) International Contacts
Discuss opportunities for meeting host country nationals and nationals of other friendly countries. Describe international clubs popular in the area and indicate group-sponsored activities. Mention all avenues for contributing voluntary time, skills, and effort to charitable and other activities designed to aid the host country and advance U.S. relations with the nationals of that country.
K. OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS
(1) Nature of Functions
Describe briefly what is expected of personnel at the various official and semiofficial functions at post, including those of the U.S. Military. Describe dress, social conduct correspondence, and protocol (involving appropriate-level officials) applicable at post. Clarify these factors for all levels of State personnel and dependents (adult and children). Indicate where official entertaining is done.
(2) Standards of Social Conduct
Describe briefly the extent to which State personnel and their dependents are expected to take part in various social affairs. All U.S. Government employees and their family members are, of course, expected to observe appropriate standards of behavior and courteous conduct in their official and personal lives. They should conduct themselves in accordance with the American values of justice and democracy, obey local laws and regulations, avoid any action that could be interpreted as taking advantage of any special status they enjoy, and assist in maintaining and strengthening the good relations that now exist between the United States and the host country. U.S. personnel should remember that they are guests in a foreign country and official U.S. representatives.
Also discuss: whether procedures such as the use of calling cards and courtesy calls are followed at post; the local availability of cards; which local events are must affairs; types of functions (official and semi-official) to be expected (frequency, occasions, etc.); and the type of dress acceptable. Indicate typical social circles and if religion plays a major role in social activities.
L. SPECIAL INFORMATION
Include in this section information that does not fit in the other sections of the post report but which should be highlighted.
Include information on the post orientation program here. If a program exists, briefly describe the program for orienting newcomers to host country and program activities.
PART III - NOTES FOR TRAVELERS
A. GETTING TO THE POST
Give information of special interest about travel and transportation while en route to post. Describe flight information on getting to post and the process once personnel have arrived at the airport. (For example, will personnel be met at the airport; if not, how should one get to post?) Discuss the following: particular items of baggage which should or should not be brought along (for example, clothing, etc.) in accompanying baggage; and information about conditions en route (weather, currency needs, stopovers, etc.) Indicate whether it is best for personnel to arrange travel plans to avoid arriving during local holidays.
B. CUSTOMS, DUTIES, AND PASSAGE
(1) Customs and Duties
Give information on local entry and exit regulations. Describe any requirements for categories of employees, such as staff employees, holders of diplomatic passports, etc. Where necessary, comment on transit through neighboring countries. Cite the following: regulations on unaccompanied baggage with reference to special charges, quotas, waivers, or exemption; and special restrictions on automobiles, such as age, engine size and type (e.g., diesel), color, model, value, origin, weight, etc. Indicate any restrictions on mail service, such as prohibited items of food, liquor, etc. Describe restrictions on import and export of currency, traveler's checks, or other instruments. Where necessary, indicate any differences between initial and subsequent entries in connection with travel of persons or transportation of baggage.
Identify any special requirements, rules, regulations, etc., which apply to the passage of persons and their personal accompanying baggage and/or vehicle on the various kinds of occasions when personnel must cross the frontier, including visas, passports, pictures, inoculations, health requirements, political tests, and authorized license plates on automobiles.
Give quarantine requirements for pets. Identify the following: the particular document(s) which pets must have to enter the country, method of transportation into the country, regulations concerning housing in hotels or apartments, host country regulations on pets (including horses and exotic pets if applicable), and the availability of kennels. Cite any restrictions due to the Conference on International Trade and Endangered Species (CITES). Indicate what information the post requires before the arrival of the pet.
C. FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION
The importation of firearms is dependent ultimately upon the host country's laws and restrictions. Describe the host country limitations and list firearms the chief of mission (and allowed by host country) has determined may or may not be shipped to post. Include calibers of pistols and rifles and gauges of shotguns with barrels 1.8 inches or longer. Since conditions related to importing firearms may often change following publication of a post report, include a proviso that the employee must consult with the regional bureau concerned, or with the past administrative office, and with the regional security officer, before making a final decision to ship any arms (see 14 FAM 611.6-2 for employee responsibilities).
D. CURRENCY, BANKING, AND WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
Describe the following: currency in use, the rate of exchange, and whether it is a floating rate of exchange; other types of currency which are acceptable; and types of currency that should be brought along. Indicate if American banks are established in the host country and where. Mention use of credit cards and personal checks in the country. Describe the system of weights and measures (for example, metric system), particularly any special system which is used at post.
E. TAKES, EXCHANGE, AND SALE OF PROPERTY
Restrictions: Describe the local requirements or exemptions which the newcomer may encounter, such as automobile or hunting licensing, compulsory insurance, automobile use (road) tax, registrations and taxes on the resale of automobiles or other property, etc. Summarize the post's regulations and the importation and sale of personal property, including automobiles. Indicate any specific regulations the embassy imposes.
Facilities: Describe the nature and adequacy of local banking and exchange facilities. Discuss the use of checking and draft procedures, purchase and acceptability of traveler's checks, and any other financing tips.
F. RECOMMENDED READING
List important reference works, films, etc., in which newcomers may find more information about the host country or places of interest within it. Include books, articles in periodicals and journals, monographs, host country government materials, Web sites, other U.S. Government agency materials, etc. Topics should include history, politics and government, economics, travel and works in the native language. Care should be exercised that the items listed be authoritative and not be a source of embarrassment, politically or otherwise.
G. LOCAL HOLIDAYS
List dates of host country and U.S. holidays on which local facilities are closed.