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Passports

Citizens of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand need only a valid passport to enter Austria. No visa is required. Safeguard your passport in an inconspicuous, inaccessible place such as a money belt. If you lose it, visit the nearest consulate of your native country as soon as possible for a replacement. It's always a good idea to have a photocopy of your passport to expedite replacement.

Allow plenty of time before your trip to apply for a passport; processing normally takes 3 weeks but can take longer during busy periods (especially spring). And keep in mind that if you need a passport in a hurry, you'll pay a higher processing fee.

For residents of Australia: You can pick up an application from your local post office or any branch of Passports Australia, but you must schedule an interview at the passport office to present your application materials. Call the Australian Passport Information Service at tel. 131-232, or visit the government website at www.passports.gov.au.

For residents of Canada: Passport applications are available at travel agencies throughout Canada or from the central Passport Office, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, ON K1A 0G3 (tel. 800/567-6868; www.ppt.gc.ca).

For residents of Ireland: You can apply for a 10-year passport at the Passport Office, Setanta Centre, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 (tel. 01/671-1633; www.irlgov.ie). Those under age 18 and over 65 must apply for a 12€ 3-year passport. You can also apply at 1A South Mall, Cork (tel. 021/494-4700) or at most main post offices.

For residents of New Zealand: You can pick up a passport application at any New Zealand Passports Office or download it from the website. Contact the Passports Office (tel. 0800/225-050 in New Zealand or 04/474-8100; www.passports.govt.nz).

For residents of the United Kingdom: To pick up an application for a standard 10-year passport (5-year passport for children under 16), visit your nearest passport office, major post office, or travel agency, or contact the United Kingdom Passport Service (tel. 0870/521-0410; www.ukpa.gov.uk).

For residents of the United States: Whether you're applying in person or by mail, you can download passport applications from the U.S. Department of State website at http://travel.state.gov. To find your regional passport office, either check the U.S. Department of State website or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free number (tel. 877/487-2778) for automated information.

Customs

What You Can Bring into Austria -- Visitors who live outside Austria in general are not liable to pay duty on personal articles brought into the country temporarily for their own use, depending on the purpose and circumstances of each trip. Customs officials have great leeway here. Likewise, travelers 17 years of age and older may carry up to 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, or 250 grams of tobacco plus 1 liter of distilled liquor and either 2 liters of wine or 3 liters of beer duty-free.

What You Can Take Home from Austria -- Returning U.S. citizens who have been away for 48 hours or more are allowed to bring back, once every 30 days, $800 worth of merchandise duty-free. You'll be charged a flat rate of 10% duty on the next $1,000 worth of purchases. Be sure to have your receipts handy. On gifts, the duty-free limit is $200. For more specific guidance, contact the Customs & Border Protection (CBP) (tel. 877/287-8667; www.cbp.gov), and request the free pamphlet "Know Before You Go." For a clear summary of Canadian rules, request the booklet I Declare from Canada Border Services Agency (tel. 800/461-9999 in Canada, or 204/983-3500; www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca). If you're a citizen of the United Kingdom, contact HM Revenue Customs (tel. 0845/010-9000; www.hmrc.gov.uk). Australian citizens should contact the Australian Customs Service (tel. 1300/363263 in Australia; www.customs.gov.au). New Zealanders should contact New Zealand Customs Service (tel. 0800/428-786 or 04/473-6099; www.customs.govt.nz).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.