Montenegro - Country Commercial Guide
Business Travel

Includes information on business customs, travel advisory, visa requirements, and other aspects of international travel. 

Last published date: 2021-10-06

Business Customs

After regaining its independence in 2006, the Government of Montenegro began a program of comprehensive economic reforms.  Economic liberalization, privatization, legislative and fiscal reforms, along with various programs intended to develop small and medium enterprises, are transforming the former Yugoslav socialist Montenegrin economy into an entrepreneurial, market-oriented system. Changes in the existing economic structure and the adoption of international standards are essential as Montenegro’s full integration into the modern economic system.

More than 20 crucial business laws have been adopted with the goal of removing barriers for doing business and attracting foreign investors; nevertheless, Montenegro retains some aspects of its bureaucratic, patronage-based system, which hinders its further development.

Business managers in Montenegro are generally familiar with Western-style market economic philosophy, customs, and business practices.  Management is typically concentrated at the level of the managing director who is the key decision - maker in non-controversial processes; however, mid-level managers often do not feel empowered to take independent action on more controversial matters or where there are unclear lines of authority, or multiple stakeholders. Business relationships in Montenegro traditionally have been founded on prior experience, with significant time and energy invested in developing trust among the parties.

Travel Advisory

Please see Montenegro’s Consular Specific Information, available at:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html

Visa Requirements

Holders of travel documents containing a valid Schengen visa, a valid visa of the United States of America, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, or a permission to stay in these countries, may enter and stay, or pass through the territory of Montenegro up to 30 days, and not longer than the expiry of visa, if the period of validity of the visa is less than 30 days.

Holders of travel documents issued by the European Union Member States or the United States of America, Kingdom of Norway, Republic of Ireland, Swiss Confederation, Canada, Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand and Japan based on the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951) or Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons (1954), as well as Travel Documents for Foreigners may enter, pass through the territory of and stay in Montenegro up to 30 days without a visa.

Mere possession of a visa does not grant the entry to Montenegro. Other legal requirements for granting a foreigner the entry and stay to Montenegro must also be met according to the Law on Foreigners (“Official Gazette of Montenegro”, no. 56/14 , 28/15 and 16/16.

Visa regime between Montenegro and other countries is regulated by the Decree on visa regime (“Official Gazette of Montenegro”, No. 35/16).

Visa in itself does not offer a grant of permission to work in Montenegro. Person who intends to work in Montenegro must obtain a temporary residence permit for the purpose of employment or seasonal work, on the grounds of previously issued work permit.

The U.S. Embassy in Podgorica is able to process non-immigrant visas in its Consular Section. However, the post does not process immigrant visas. For citizens of Montenegro, immigrant visas are processed by the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.

U.S. companies that required travel of foreign business persons to the United States are advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process. Visa applications should go to the following link: State Department Visa Website

Other useful links:

American Embassy Podgorica, Consular Section: https://me.usembassy.gov/visas/

American Embassy Belgrade, Consular Section: https://rs.usembassy.gov/visas/  

Currency

The Euro has been officially used in Montenegro since 2002. Montenegro is one of a few countries that do not belong to the Euro zone but use the Euro as its official currency without any formal agreement with the European Central Bank.

Credit cards and bank cards are used in most shops and restaurants.

Telecommunications/Electronics

The principal service providers in the Montenegrin telecommunications market are German-based T-Mobile subsidiary T-Com (a fixed line and GSM operator), Telenor (the first GSM mobile service provider in the country), and M-tel (the third mobile operator and fixed line operator).  In 2008, the Government of Montenegro passed a Telecommunications Law to provide a clear regulatory framework for Montenegro’s telecommunications sector. In accordance with the Telecommunications Law, the Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services was established in December 2008 as an independent regulatory agency for the telecommunications sector.  This agency is responsible for promoting competition and access to networks, issuing licenses to operators, and regulating tariffs in accordance with the law.

The telecommunications sector in Montenegro is 100 percent privately owned.  In 2005, Magyar Telekom, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, acquired 76.53 percent of T-Com Montenegro, becoming its majority owner until 2017, when Hrvatski Telekom (51% of which is owned by Deutsche Telekom) purchased all of Magyar Telekom’s shares in Montenegrin Telekom.  The total number of fixed telephone users in the country is around 191,620, while internet users number roughly 450,000.  The three mobile operators’ signals cover almost 99% of Montenegro’s inhabited territory. At the end of 2020, mobile operators in Montenegro have around 1,069,592 users (Telenor 31.3 percent, T - Mobile 34 percent, and M - tel 34.7 percent).  The market penetration rate for mobile telephone users in Montenegro (number of cell phone users per one hundred inhabitants) reached 174.2 percent in 2020.

Montenegro’s country code is + 382 and was assigned in 2006.

Transportation

Montenegro has two international airports with IATA Airport Codes: Podgorica Airport –TGD and Tivat Airport –TIV, which offer regular connections to Europe.

Podgorica Airport (IATA: TGD; ICAO: LYPG) is an international airport located in Golubovci, approximately eight miles (12 kilometers) south of Podgorica.  Podgorica Airport is the main aviation hub in Montenegro.  It has eight departure and two arrival gates, and can handle up to one million passengers per year.  Given the country’s small size, there are no regular passenger flights within Montenegro.  Domestic flights have been reduced to charter flights and helicopter service.

There are daily scheduled flights to Belgrade, as well as to various European destinations.  During the summer season, there are charter flights and air connections to various major destinations.  A number of low-cost airlines have launched operations in Montenegro, including RyanAir, EasyJet and WizzAir.  Note: Some private jet services, as well as the Montenegrin charter airline, also use the Podgorica airport.  There are no direct flights to the U.S., but connections through Central and Western Europe are plentiful.

Tivat Airport (IATA: TIV; ICAO: LYTV) is an international airport located two miles (four kilometers) from the center of Tivat, Montenegro, on Kotor Bay.  There are daily flights from Tivat to Belgrade throughout the year, while all other flights are heavily concentrated in the summer period.  Tivat airport is mainly used by incoming charter flights to coastal resorts, as it is only seven kilometers from Kotor and 20 kilometers from Budva.  The main passenger terminal underwent an extension and refurbishment in 2006, and the airport is expected to be expanded and equipped for night landings in the near future.

Montenegro can be entered by vehicle from a number of directions.  The quality of the roads, however, varies.  Most roads are two-lane roadways and are generally not up to European standards.  In recent years, roads connecting Podgorica and coastal towns have improved significantly with the completion of the Sozina tunnel, which shortened the journey from Podgorica to Bar and made the trip safer.

The road north, from Podgorica to Kolasin through the Moraca Canyon to Serbia is considered one of the most dangerous roads in Europe, especially during the winter.  Montenegro is currently planning major overhauls to its road and rail networks. In 2014, the GoM selected Chinese company China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) to construct a 41-kilometer section of the national highway, which will connect Podgorica with the north of the country and the Serbian border.  Its construction will cost around USD 1billion.  This section of the so-called Bar-Boljare highway is one of five total tranches that the government plans to tender over the coming years.  In addition, the GoM is planning to develop the Adriatic-Ionian Highway (the so-called “East-West” Corridor), which will include approximately 105 kilometers that will connect Croatia, Montenegro and Albania.

The Montenegrin part of the Belgrade-Bar railway is the backbone of the Montenegrin railway system.  It opened in 1979, and, at the time, was a state-of-the art railway, with features such as the Mala Rijeka viaduct (the highest railway viaduct in the world) and the 6.2 kilometer long Sozina tunnel.  About one-third of the Montenegrin portion of the railway is in tunnels or on the viaduct.  The Podgorica–Niksic railway has been used for freight traffic, primarily bauxite from the Niksic mine to the Podgorica aluminum plant.  Passenger traffic started in October 2012.  The Podgorica- Shkoder (Albania) railway, which extends to Tirana, has been used exclusively for freight traffic.  There have been long- standing plans to reconstruct the railway and re-introduce passenger traffic.  The Montenegrin Railway Company is still state-owned.

Bar is the major seaport in Montenegro.  It is capable of handling about five million tons of cargo, and is a port for ferries to Bari and Ancona, Italy.  Kotor, Tivat, and Zelenika are smaller ports.

Montenegro’s rivers are generally not navigable, except for tourist activities such as rafting on the Tara River.

Language

The predominant language in Montenegro is Montenegrin, a dialect of Serbo-Croatian.  Fortunately, many business people speak foreign languages, mostly English and Italian, with some German and French.  In the southern parts of Montenegro, close to the Albanian border and in a few northern cities close to the Kosovo border (Rozaje, Gusinje, Plav), many people are fluent in Albanian.

Health

Medical facilities are available but can be limited in terms of specific services. Several new private medical clinics have opened up in the last few years.

No specific immunization for travel is needed. Concerning COVID 19 pandemic measures, travelers should verify national entry regulations which are subject to change. To get relevant and up-to-date information, travelers may visit  https://www.covidodgovor.me/me/putovanjaFruits and vegetables are usually of good quality and precautions related to the washing of raw fresh fruits and vegetables are similar to those which would normally be practiced in the U.S.

In the case of an adult medical emergency, please go to the Clinical Center in Podgorica.  The first private hospital (the Codra Hospital) opened in Montenegro in 2006.  A significant number of private ambulances in different medical fields are operating in Montenegro.  Users should expect to pay at the time of service.

Contact information:

Clinical Center of Montenegro

81000 Podgorica, Krusevac bb

Phone: +382 20 412 412

 

Codra Hospital

81000 Podgorica, Radosava Burica bb

Phone: +382 20 648 334

 

Local Time, Business Hours and Holidays

Local time is GMT+01:00 or generally 6 hours ahead of East Coast Time; usual business hours for the government are from 07:00 to 15:00, Monday to Friday. 

Holidays in 2021 (including U.S.)

DATE

DAY

HOLIDAY

Jan. 1

Friday

New Year’s Day

Jan. 2

Saturday

New Year’s Day

Jan. 6

Wednesday

Orthodox Christmas

Jan. 7

Thursday

Orthodox Christmas

Jan. 8

Friday

Orthodox Christmas

Jan. 18

Monday

Martin Luther King’s Birthday

Feb. 15

Monday

President’s Day

April 30

Friday

Orthodox Good Friday

May 3

Monday

Orthodox Easter Monday/May Day

May 21

Friday

Independence Day

May 22

Saturday

Independence Day

May 31

Monday

Memorial Day

July5

Monday

Independence Day (Observed)

July 13

Tuesday

Statehood Day

July 14

Wednesday

Statehood Day

Sept. 6

Monday

Labor Day

Oct. 11

Monday

Columbus Day

Nov. 11

Thursday

Veterans Day

Nov. 25

Thursday

Thanksgiving Day

Dec. 24

Friday

Christmas Day  (Observed)

The following holidays may also be observed by Montenegrin citizens who practice the following faiths:

  • December 25 Christmas (Catholic)
  • Easter (Catholic)
  • Ramadan Bairam (Muslim)
  • Yom Kippur (Jewish)
  • Rosh Hashanah (Jewish)

Temporary Entry of Materials or Personal Belongings

There are no restrictions or duties to be paid on the temporary entry of materials and personal belongings. However, items that are temporarily imported have to be reported to custom officials at the point of entry by filling out a designated form.