North Macedonia - Country Commercial Guide
Business Travel
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Business Customs 

North Macedonia’s business customs are similar to Western business customs.  Shaking hands is the standard form of greeting and introduction, albeit due to the COVID-19 pandemic people might reserve handshakes for those closest to them.  People have developed new hands-free greetings that do not require physical contact.  Business cards are exchanged without much protocol.  Business attire for professionals in North Macedonia is like that in the United States.  Establishing a good business relationship in North Macedonia requires the creation of trust.  Meetings over coffee, lunch, and dinner are important for getting acquainted and developing trust. 

Traditional businesses hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m..  Parliament passed changes to the labor law in early 2022 to make Sunday a non-working day, resulting in widespread business closures on Sundays. 

Travel Advisory 

Prior to travel, U.S. citizens should check the U.S. Embassy Skopje website and the State Department’s Travel. State.gov site for the latest travel warnings and advisories.  Travelers may also contact the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Skopje. 

Phone: + 389-2-310-2000 
Email: consularskopje@state.gov 
Fax: + 389-2-310-2299 

Protests have occasionally devolved into localized violent incidents.  Public protests, demonstrations, and strikes occur sporadically in North Macedonia, often resulting in traffic disruptions, particularly near the center of Skopje.  You should avoid demonstration areas and exercise caution if traveling near demonstrations. 

Violent crime against U.S. citizens is rare.  Theft and other petty street crimes do occur, particularly in areas where tourists and foreigners congregate.  Do not leave anything of value in plain view in unattended vehicles.  ATM use is generally safe; however, take standard safety precautions and be aware of your surroundings. 

Visa requirements 

U.S. citizens need a valid U.S. passport for travel to North Macedonia.  Visas are not required for tourist or business trips of less than 90 days within a six-month period.  You must have a visa to work, study, or stay longer than 90 days, and North Macedonia’s Border Police strictly enforce the 90-day limit. 

U.S. Companies that require travel of foreign businesspersons to the United States are advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process. Visa applicants should go to the following link(s):  State Department Visa Website 

Currency 

The denar (MKD) is the official currency of North Macedonia; euros, U.S. dollars and other foreign currencies are not accepted as payment outside of tourist areas.  You can change money at banks or official exchange offices.  ATMs are widespread in Skopje and major towns.  Almost all ATMs accept international bank cards and have an English language option. 

Credit cards are readily accepted in hotels, larger stores, and restaurants; you may need denar for purchases in smaller establishments. 

Travelers checks are not used in North Macedonia. 

Telecommunications/Electronics 

Fixed telephone lines are available in all towns.  Visitors may rent a cell phone on arrival.  GSM phones will work in North Macedonia.  There is cell phone coverage in all populated areas and in most unpopulated areas as well. 

Fixed lines are provided by the dominant telecommunication service provider - Makedonski Telekom, and a range of other VoIP providers of telephony services.  There are two cell phone service providers:  Makedonski Telekom (owned by Magyar/ Deutsche Telekom and the Government of North Macedonia) and A1 (owned by the Telekom Austria Group).  Both telecom service providers use 3G and 4G mobile telecommunications technology. 

North Macedonia’s international calling code is +389 when dialing North Macedonia from outside the country.  The international call prefix for calls from North Macedonia to other countries is 00.  Most hotels offer Wi-Fi.  Public Wi-Fi hotspots in urban areas are also available, especially in coffee shops and restaurants. 

There are several Internet access service companies that provide telecommunications services including data communications access and telephone connection.  

Electricity in North Macedonia is 230 V, with a frequency of 50 Hz.  European plug types C and F are used. 

Transportation 

There is no direct commercial air service between the United States and North Macedonia. 

North Macedonia has two commercial airports in Skopje and Ohrid.  Turkish company TAV operates both airports on contract:  https://airmundo.com/en/countries/north-macedonia/. 

Between November and February, thick smog can limit visibility at Skopje’s airport, causing flight delays, diversions, and cancellations.  The Skopje airport website provides flight information, including delays and cancellations due to weather conditions. 

Several airlines fly to North Macedonia.  Please check the airport at http://skp.airports.com.mk/en-EN/flights/page/airlines for the most current list.  As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in North Macedonia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of North Macedonia’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.   

Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page

Roads 

Some major highways are in good repair, but many secondary urban and rural roads are poorly maintained and poorly lit.  Driving safely in North Macedonia requires excellent defensive driving skills.  Secondary mountain roads can be narrow, poorly marked, and lack guardrails, and can quickly become dangerous in inclement weather.  Horse-drawn carts, livestock, dead animals, rocks, or other objects are sometimes found in the roadway.  In case of emergency, drivers may contact the police at 192, the ambulance service at 194, and roadside assistance at 196, or the unified emergency help line number 112.  Driving at night in rural mountainous areas is not advised due to poor or nonexistent lighting. 

Rent a Car Agencies: 

AVIS Rent a Car 
Tel: 389-2-256-1847 

EUROPCAR 
Tel: 389-70-205-546 

HERTZ 
Tel: 389-70-217-881 

Public Transportation 

Public transportation such as buses and trains is available and inexpensive, but may be unreliable, dilapidated, and may not meet U.S. safety standards. 

North Macedonia has a limited rail network that is not typically used by visitors.  North Macedonia’s railroad system is connected to Serbia and Kosovo to the north and to Greece in the south.  A railway link with Bulgaria is under construction.  Train travel, while inexpensive, is not advisable in North Macedonia. 

Taxis are widely available in Skopje and are generally inexpensive and reliable.  Passengers should always wear seat belts.  Use legitimate, metered taxis to avoid conflicts about the fare. 

Walking 

Always take care while on foot.  Pedestrians should be very cautious when crossing the street, even when using crosswalks, as local drivers often do not slow down or stop for pedestrians, and vehicles often park on sidewalks, causing pedestrians to walk in traffic lanes. 

Language 

Many of North Macedonia’s citizens speak foreign languages in addition to Macedonian or Albanian.  English is the predominant foreign language, followed by German and French.  Although many companies in North Macedonia have English speakers among their managers, U.S. business representatives should be prepared to do business through locally hired interpreters. 

Health 

We recommend purchasing comprehensive insurance that covers overseas medical expenses and medical evacuation costs before travelling.  Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.  U.S. embassies do not pay medical bills and U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Many physicians in North Macedonia are trained to a high standard, and some well-equipped private clinics are available, especially in Skopje.  However, most public hospitals and clinics are not well equipped nor are they maintained at U.S. or Western European standards.  Basic medical supplies are usually available, but specialized treatment may not be obtainable.  Travelers with previously diagnosed medical conditions may wish to consult their physician before travel.  Health risks associated with air pollution exist, especially during the winter months, and tick-borne diseases are prevalent in the spring and summer. 

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s info line at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) or via the CDC’s internet site.  Visitors should obtain routine immunizations recommended by the CDC prior to entering the country. 

For travel health notices during the COVID-19 pandemic, please check the CDC’s Travel page via https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/north-macedonia?s_cid=ncezid-dgmq-travel-single-001 

Local time, business hours, and holidays 

Time: GMT + 1 hour 

EST +6 hours 

The country observes daylight savings time from the last Sunday in March through the last Sunday in October. 

Business Hours: 08:30 – 16:30 

 

2022 Holidays

January 1 

New Year’s Day 

January 7 

Orthodox Christmas 

April 24 

Orthodox Easter Monday 

May 1 

May 2 

Labor Day 

Ramadan Bajram (Eid al-Fitr) 

May 24 

Saints Cyril and Methodius Day  

August 2 

Ilinden Uprising Day 

September 8 

Independence Day 

October 11 

People’s Uprising Against Fascism 

October 23 

Revolutionary Struggle Day 

December 8 

Saint Clement of Ohrid Day 

 

If a holiday falls on a weekend, the government will generally issue a decision shortly before the holiday declaring the preceding Friday or following Monday an official holiday.  In some cases, the government may declare an extended holiday. 

The following holidays in 2022 may be observed by citizens of North Macedonia of a particular religion or ethnicity:  

January 6 - Orthodox Christmas Eve (Orthodox) 

January 19 - Epiphany (Orthodox) 

April 22 - Friday before Orthodox Easter (Orthodox) 

June 5 - Friday before Duhovden (Orthodox) 

August 28 - Dormition of the Virgin (Orthodox) 

April 18 - Easter Monday (Catholic)  

November 1- All Saints Holiday (Catholic)  

July 10 - Eid al-Adha (Muslim) 

Begins October 4 and ends in the evening of October 5 - Yom Kippur (Jewish)  

January 27 - Saint Sava (members of the Serbian community) 

April 8 - International Day of the Roma (Roma community) 

May 23 - National Day of the Vlachs (Vlach community) 

September 28 - International Day of the Bosniaks (Bosniak community) 

November 22 - Day of the Albanian Alphabet (Albanian community) 

December 21 - Day of the Turkish Language (Turkish community) 

Consistent with European practice, business activity in North Macedonia slows during late July and August, when many people take extended summer holidays. 

Temporary Entry of Materials and Personal Belongings 

For information on customs regulations for departing from and arriving in North Macedonia, please refer to the Customs Administration of the Republic of North Macedonia