Embassy/Consulate Addresses | Foreign Relations | Travel Advisories | Travel Tips | Customs/Duties



EMBASSY/CONSULATE ADDRESSES

Diplomatic Representation in US:
Ambassador: Albert Jónsson
Embassy: 1156 15th Street NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20005
Telephone: [1] (202) 265-6653 through 6655
FAX: [1] (202) 265-6656

Consulate(s) General are in:
New York
800 3rd Av., 36 Floor,
New York, NY 10022.
(212) 593-2700, FAX (212) 593-6269

US Diplomatic Representation:
Ambassador: Luis E. Arreaga
Embassy: Laufasvegur 21, Box 40, Reykjavik
Mailing Address: US Embassy, PSC 1003, Box 40, Reykjavik; FPO AE 09728-0340
Telephone: [354] 562-9100
Fax: [354] 562-9123

Embassy and Consulate Web Sites for Iceland

Embassy of Iceland- Washington, D.C.
Embassy of Iceland in Bonn, Germany
U.S Embassy Web Site in Iceland


FOREIGN RELATIONS

U.S.-ICELAND RELATIONS

The United States was the first country to recognize Iceland's independence in 1944 following Danish rule, union with Denmark under a common king, and German and British occupation during World War II. Iceland is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) but has no standing military of its own. The United States and Iceland signed a bilateral defense agreement in 1951; it remains in force, although U.S. military forces are no longer permanently stationed in Iceland.

The U.S.-Icelandic relationship is founded on cooperation and mutual support. The two countries share a commitment to individual freedom, human rights, and democracy. U.S. policy aims to maintain close, cooperative relations with Iceland, both as a NATO ally and as a friend interested in the shared objectives of enhancing world peace; respect for human rights; economic development; arms control; and law enforcement cooperation, including the fight against terrorism, narcotics, and human trafficking. The United States and Iceland work together on a wide range of issues from enhancing peace and stability in Afghanistan, to harnessing new green energy sources, to ensuring peaceful cooperation in the Arctic.

U.S. Assistance to Iceland

The 1951 bilateral defense agreement stipulated that the U.S. would make arrangements for Iceland's defense on behalf of NATO and provided for basing rights for U.S. forces in Iceland. In 2006 the U.S. announced it would continue to provide for Iceland's defense but without permanently basing forces in the country. That year, Naval Air Station Keflavik closed and the two countries signed a technical agreement on base closure issues (e.g., facilities return, environmental cleanup, residual value) and a "joint understanding" on future bilateral security cooperation (focusing on defending Iceland and the North Atlantic region against emerging threats such as terrorism and trafficking). The United States also worked with local officials to mitigate the impact of job losses at the Air Station, notably by encouraging U.S. investment in industry and tourism development in the Keflavik area. Cooperative activities in the context of the new agreements have included joint search and rescue, disaster surveillance, and maritime interdiction training with U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard units; and U.S. deployments to support the NATO air surveillance mission in Iceland.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States seeks to strengthen bilateral economic and trade relations. Most of Iceland's exports go to the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, followed by the United States and Japan. The U.S. is the largest foreign investor in Iceland, primarily in the aluminum sector. The United States and Iceland signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in 2009.

Iceland's Membership in International Organizations

Iceland's ties with other Nordic states, the United States, and other NATO member states are particularly close. Iceland and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, NATO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Arctic Council, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Iceland is Luis E. Arreaga; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Iceland maintains an embassy in the United States at the House of Sweden, 2900 K Street, NW, #509, Washington, DC 20007-1704 [tel. (202) 265-6653].

More information about Iceland is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Iceland Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Iceland Page
U.S. Embassy: Iceland
History of U.S. Relations With Iceland
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Travel and Business Information




TRAVEL ADVISORIES

To obtain the latest Travel Advisory Information for Iceland check the U.S. State Department Consular Information Sheet.


TRAVEL TIPS

Driving U.S Driving Permit accepted
Currency (ISK) Icelandic Krona
Electrical 220 Volts
Telephones Country Code 345



Time: GMT.

Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plug fittings are normally two-pin with round section pins 4mm in diameter with centres 2cm apart. Lamp fittings are screw-type. Almost all the power is generated by thermal hydroelectric stations.

Telephone: Full IDD service is available. Country code: 354. Outgoing international code: 00. There are no longer any area codes; all lines now have a seven-digit number. For Reykjavík, old six-digit numbers are now preceded by 5, while old five-digit numbers are preceded by 55.

Climate: Iceland’s climate is tempered by the Gulf Stream. Summers are mild and winters rather cold. The colourful Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) appear from the end of August. From the end of May to the beginning of August, there are nearly 24 hours of perpetual daylight in Reykjavík, while in the northern part of the country the sun barely sets at all. Winds can be strong and gusty at times and there is the occasional dust storm in the interior. Snow is not as common as the name of the country would seem to suggest, and in any case does not lie for long in Reykjavík; it is only in northern Iceland that skiing conditions are reasonably certain. However, the weather is very changeable at all times of the year, and in Reykjavík there may be rain, sunshine, drizzle and snow in the same day. The air is clean and free of pollution.

Required clothing: Lightweights in warmer months, with extra woollens for walking and the cooler evenings. Medium- to heavyweights are advised in winter. Waterproofing is recommended throughout the year.

Food & Drink: Icelandic food in general is based on fish and lamb, as well as owing much to Scandinavian and European influences. The salmon of Iceland is a great delicacy, served in many forms, one of the most popular being gravlax, a form of marination. Fishing is Iceland’s most important export, accounting for some 80 per cent of the country’s gross national product. There is also a heavy emphasis on vegetables grown in greenhouses heated by the natural steam from geysers. Specialities include hangikjot (smoked lamb), hardfiskur (dried fish), skyr (curds) and Icelandic sild (herring marinated in various flavours). There have been some welcome additions to the selection of eating places in Reykjavík and there is now a small but attractive choice of restaurants to cater for all pockets with new tourist menus.
Bars have table and/or counter service, and will serve coffee as well as alcohol. Beer was prohibited in Iceland for 75 years and was finally legalised in March 1989. Alcohol is generally expensive (a large beer costs approximately US$8, a small one US$4.70). In coffee shops you pay for the first cup; you help yourself to subsequent cups. There is a wide selection of European spirits and wines. Brennivin (a potent variation of aquavit made from potatoes) is a local drink.

Shopping: Fluffy, earth-coloured Lopi wool blankets and coats, jackets, hats and handknits are synonymous with Iceland. Several local potters handthrow earthenware containers in natural colours. Crushed lava is a common addition to highly glazed ceramic pieces, which are popular as souvenirs. The duty-free shop at Keflavik Airport sells all of these products, as does the Icelandic Tourist Bureau souvenir shop in Reyjkavík. Shopping hours: Mon-Fri 1000-1800, Sat 1000-1400, with variations from shop to shop. Shopping malls are open Mon-Thurs 1000-1830, Fri 1000-1900, Sat 1000-1600 and Sun 1300-1600.

Tipping: Service charges are included in most bills and extra tips are not expected.

Currency: Icelandic Krona (Ikr) = 100 aurar. Notes are in denominations of Ikr5000, 2000, 1000 and 500. Coins are in denominations of IKr100, 50, 10, 5 and 1.

Credit & debit cards: Visa, Eurocard, MasterCard, Diners Club and American Express are widely accepted. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Travellers cheques: Widely used. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars.


CUSTOMS/DUTIES

Tobacco....200 cigarettes 250 grams of tobacco

Liquor.......1 litre of spirits or 1 litre of wine (under 21% proof) or 6 litres of beer

Perfume....Reasonable for personal use

Cameras....No restrictions

Film...........Reasonable for personal use

Gifts...........Duty free allowance $100.00

Currency....Must be declared on arrival

Note: All fishing equipment must be disinfected and a certificate of disinfection issued by an official veterinary authority should be presented on arrival.

Prohibited Items: Drugs, firearms and uncooked meat



Back to Top