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



EMBASSY/CONSULATE ADDRESSES

Diplomatic representation in US:
Ambassador: Jorge Dezcallar
Embassy: 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
Telephone: [1] (202) 452-0100, 728-2340
FAX: [1] (202) 833-5670

Consulate(s) General are in:
Los Angeles
5055 Wilshire Bl., Suite 960,
Los Angeles, CA 90036.
(213) 938-0158

San Francisco
1405 Sutter St.,
San Francisco, CA 94123.
(415) 922-2995

Miami
Gables International Plaza, 2655 Le Jeune Rd., Suite 203,
Coral Gables, FL 33134.
(305) 446-5511

Chicago
180 N. Michigan Av., Suite 1500,
Chicago, IL 60601.
(312) 782-4588

New Orleans
2102 World Trade Ctr, 2 Canal St.,
New Orleans, LA 70130.
(504) 525-4951

Boston
545 Boylston St., Suite 803,
Boston, MA 02116.
(617) 536-2506

New York
150 E. 58th St., 30 and 31 Floor,
New York, NY 10155.
(212) 355-4080

San Juan
Edificio Mercantil Pz., Suite 1101,
Hato Rey, Puerto Rico 00918.
(787) 758-6090, FAX (787) 763-0190

Houston
1800 Bering Dr., Suite 660,
Houston, TX 77057.
(713) 783-6200

US Diplomatic Representation:
Ambassador: -Alan Solomont
Embassy: Serrano 75, 28006 Madrid
Mailing Address: APO AE 09642
Telephone: 91587-2200
Fax: 91587-2303

Consulate(s) General: Barcelona
Consulate(s): Bilbao

Embassy and Consulate Web Sites for Spain
Spanish Embassy in Washington DC
U.S. Embassy in Madrid Spain




FOREIGN RELATIONS

After the return of democracy following the death of General Franco in 1975, Spain's foreign policy priorities were to break out of the diplomatic isolation of the Franco years and expand diplomatic relations, enter the European Community, and define security relations with the West. Spain assumed the EU presidency in January 2010 and finished its term in June 2010. As a member of NATO since 1982, Spain has established itself as a major participant in multilateral international security activities. Spain's EU membership represents an important part of its foreign policy. Even on many international issues beyond Western Europe, Spain prefers to coordinate its efforts with its EU partners through the European political cooperation mechanism.

With the normalization of diplomatic relations with Israel and Albania in 1986, Spain virtually completed the process of universalizing its diplomatic relations. It does not have diplomatic relations with North Korea.

Spain has maintained its special identification with Latin America. Its policy emphasizes the concept of Hispanidad, a mixture of linguistic, religious, ethnic, cultural, and historical ties binding Spanish-speaking America to Spain. Spain has been an effective example of transition from authoritarianism to democracy, as shown in the many trips that Spain's King and Prime Ministers have made to the region. Spain maintains economic and technical cooperation programs and cultural exchanges with Latin America, both bilaterally and within the EU.

Spain also continues to focus attention on North Africa, especially on Morocco, a source of much of Spain's large influx of legal and illegal immigrants over the past 10 years. This concern is dictated by geographic proximity and long historical contacts and more recently by immigration trends, as well as by the two Spanish enclave cities of Ceuta and Melilla on the northern coast of Africa. While Spain's departure from its former colony of Western Sahara ended direct Spanish participation in Morocco, it maintains an interest in the peaceful resolution of the conflict brought about there by decolonization. These issues were highlighted by a crisis in 2002, when Spanish forces evicted a small contingent of Moroccans from a tiny islet off Morocco's coast following that nation's attempt to assert sovereignty over the island.

Meanwhile, Spain has gradually begun to broaden its contacts with Sub-Saharan Africa. It has a particular interest in its former colony of Equatorial Guinea, where it maintains a large aid program.

In relations with the Arab world, Spain has sought to promote European-Mediterranean dialogue. Spain strongly supports the EU's Union for the Mediterranean (formerly called the Barcelona Process) to expand dialogue and trade between Europe and the nations of North Africa and the Middle East, including Israel. Barcelona will serve as the headquarters of the new Union for the Mediterranean proposed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007.

Spain has been successful in managing its relations with its three European neighbors, France, Andorra, and Portugal. The accession of Spain and Portugal to the EU has helped ease some of their periodic trade frictions by putting these into an EU context. Franco-Spanish bilateral cooperation is enhanced by joint action against Basque ETA terrorism. Ties with the United Kingdom are generally good, although the question of Gibraltar remains a sensitive issue.

U.S.-SPANISH RELATIONS
Spain and the United States have a long history of official relations and are closely associated in many fields. In addition to U.S. and Spanish cooperation in NATO, defense and security relations between the two countries are regulated by the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement signed on September 26, 1953 and the 1989 Agreement on Defense Cooperation, revised in 2003. Under this agreement, Spain authorized the United States to use certain facilities at Spanish military installations.

The two countries also cooperate in several other important areas. The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Spanish National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA) jointly operate the Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex in support of Earth orbital and solar system exploration missions. The Madrid Complex is one of the three largest tracking and data acquisition complexes comprising NASA's Deep Space Network.

An agreement on cultural and educational cooperation was signed on June 7, 1989. A new element, support by both the public and private sectors, gave a different dimension to the programs carried out by the joint committee for cultural and educational cooperation. These joint committee activities complement the binational Fulbright program for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and visiting professors, which is among the largest in the world and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008. Besides assisting in these exchange endeavors, the U.S. Embassy also conducts a program of educational, professional, and cultural exchanges, as well as hosting high-level official visits between officials from Spain and the United States.

Spain and the U.S. are strong allies in the fight against terrorism.
Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--Alan Solomont
Deputy Chief of Mission--Arnold Chacon
Counselor for Management Affairs--Kim Deblauw
Counselor for Agricultural Affairs--Robert Hanson
Counselor for Commercial Affairs--Ellen Lenny-Pessagno
Counselor for Consular Affairs--Christine Fagan, Acting
Counselor for Economic Affairs--Stephen Liston
Counselor for Political Affairs--Elaine Samson
Counselor for Public Affairs--Thomas Genton

The U.S. Embassy is located at Serrano, 75, 28006 Madrid (tel. 34-91-587-2200; fax 34-91-587-2303). Consulate General, Barcelona, Paseo Reina Elisenda 23, Barcelona 08034 (tel. 34-93-280-2227; fax 34-93-205-5206).


TRAVEL ADVISORIES

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


TRAVEL TIPS

Driving U.S Driving Permit accepted
Currency (EUR) Euro
Electrical 230 Volts
Telephones Country Code 34, City Code Madrid 911+6D, Barcelona 931+6D, Avila 920+6D



Time: Mainland Spain/Balearics: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).

The Canary Islands: GMT (GMT + 1 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).

Electricity: 220 or 225 volts AC, 50Hz. Generally, round two-pin plugs and screw-type lamp fittings are in use.

Telephone: IDD is available. Country code: 34. Outgoing international code: 00. Emergency calls: 112. Area codes are incorporated within a nine digit number. The following are a selection of codes for major centres: Madrid 91, Alicante 96, Balearic Islands 971, Barcelona 93, Benidorm 96, Bilbao 94, Granada 958, Las Palmas 928, Málaga and Torremolinos 95, Santander 942, Seville 95, Tenerife 922 and Valencia 96.

Climate: Spain’s climate varies from temperate in the north to dry and hot in the south. The best months are from April to October, although mid-summer (July to August) can be excessively hot throughout the country except the coastal regions. Madrid is best in late spring or autumn. The central plateau can be bitterly cold in winter.

Required clothing: Light- to mediumweights and rainwear, according to the season.

Shopping: In Spain the shopper can find items of high quality at a fair price, not only in the cities, but in the small towns as well. In Madrid the Rastro Market is recommended, particularly on Sundays. Half of the market takes place in the open air and half in more permanent galleries, and it has a character all of its own. Catalonian textiles are internationally famous and there are mills throughout the region. Spanish leather goods are prized throughout the world, offering high-fashion originals at reasonable prices. Of note are the suede coats and jackets. In general, all leather goods, particularly those from Andalucía, combine excellent craftmanship with high-quality design. Fine, handcrafted wooden furniture is one of the outstanding products; Valencia is especially important in this field, and has a yearly international furniture fair. Alicante is an important centre for toy manufacturing. Shoe manufacturing is also of an especially high quality; the production centres are in Alicante and the Balearics. Fine rugs and carpets are made in Cáceres, Granada and Murcia. The numerous excellent sherries, wines and spirits produced in Spain make good souvenirs to take home. Shopping hours: Mon-Sat 0900-1300 and 1630-2000. However, most commercial stores and malls stay open from 1000-2200.

Tipping:
Service charges and taxes are usually included in hotel bills, however in addition, a tip should be left for the chambermaid and porters should be tipped per bag. It is also customary to leave a tip for the waiter. Restaurants often include service in the bill so a tip is discretionary. In cafes and bars it is 10 to 15 per cent. Tip taxis 10 to 15 per cent when metered.

Single European currency (Euro): The Euro is now the official currency of 12 EU member states (including Spain). The first Euro coins and notes were introduced in January 2002; the Spanish Peseta was still in circulation until 28 February 2002, when it was completely replaced by the Euro. Euro (€) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.

Currency exchange: Money can be changed in any bank, and at most travel agencies, major hotels and airports. National Girobank Postcheques may be used to withdraw cash from UK accounts at main Spanish post offices.

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


CUSTOMS/DUTIES

Tobacco.....200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos or 250 grams of tobacco

Liquor........1 litre if over 22 proof or 2 litres up to 22 proof or 2 litres wine

Perfume.....250ml eau de toilette and 50g of perfume

Cameras....Reasonable for personal use

Gifts...........Up to the value of approximately Pta6200

Currency....Must be declared upon arrival

Visitors arriving from EU countries with duty-paid goods:

Tobacco....800 cigarettes or 200 cigars or 400 cigarillos or 1000 grams of tobacco
Liquor.......90 litres of wine (including up to 60 litres of sparkling wine); 10 litres of spirits; 20 litres of intermediate products (such as fortified wine); 110 litres of beer
Note: If arriving from elsewhere: double above amounts.



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