Includes information on business customs, travel advisory, visa requirements, currency, language, health, local time, business hours and holidays, acceptable business etiquette, dress, business cards, gifts, temporary entry of materials and personal belongings,etc.
Business meetings occur at any time of the business day, which usually starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m.  Government ministries and offices are open Monday through Friday during these hours.  Business meetings can be formal or informal.

English is generally understood by business professionals in most communities in Kosovo, but not always by the general public.  Depending on one’s audience, saying a few words in Albanian or Serbian or knowing a few greetings or phrases in other local languages, such as Turkish, will impress locals who nearly universally admire the United States.  Most Kosovo Albanians over the age of 35 speak Serbian; however, unless you know your interlocutors well, it is preferable to use English or Albanian.  Kosovo Serbs who operate businesses are generally fluent in English, but rarely in Albanian.  Many Kosovo nationals – Albanians more so than Serbs – have studied in the United States.

Kosovo nationals of all ethnic backgrounds are hospitable to foreigners, especially westerners.  Invitations to lunch, dinner, receptions, even religious family customs and other official and/or private family hospitalities are normally offered and should be accepted if possible.  Be prepared for small talk dominating much of the discussion and do not be concerned if your interlocutor does not immediately get down to business.  If offered, be prepared to accept coffee, tea, or other beverages, which are signs of respect for the host.

Dress at meetings should be business attire, but a formal suit is not expected.  It is preferable to print business cards with one side in English and the other side in Albanian and/or Serbian.  It is advisable, but not necessary, to have a temporary local or international mobile phone, which can be obtained locally.  While not expected, giving gifts depends on the closeness of the relationship.  If it is known that your local contact will provide you with a gift, be prepared to offer one in exchange.  Emphasis is not placed on the value of the item, but on the thought.

Travel Advisory

Consult the State Department Consular Information Sheet for Kosovo
 

Visa Requirements

To enter Kosovo, U.S. citizens need a passport that will be valid at least six months upon entry.  No visa is required, but visitors may be asked to produce documentation to demonstrate the purpose of their visit.  Visitors authorized entry into Kosovo are permitted to stay up to 90 days within a six month period.  Persons who wish to prolong their stay beyond 90 days will need to register at the Office for Registration of Foreigners, located in the Main Police Headquarters in Pristina.  Any cash carried in the amount of $10,000 or more should be declared. Prior to traveling to Kosovo, U.S. business travelers are strongly encouraged to obtain general and country-specific travel information from the U.S. Department of State's website.

U.S. companies that require travel of foreign business persons to the United States should be advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process.  Visa applicants should go to the following links: 

State Department Visa Website
United States Embassy in Pristina, Kosovo
United States Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia

Currency

Kosovo has adopted the euro as its currency.  Serbia’s dinar is also used in the northern part of the country.  Visa and MasterCard are increasingly accepted, and ATMs are available throughout Kosovo.  Travelers’ checks are not routinely accepted.

Telecommunications/Electric

Kosovo has both fixed line and mobile telephony services, which are in the process of being modernized and updated.  Telephone charges are the lowest in the region.  U.S. calling cards are not accepted in Kosovo.  Most major U.S. cell phone carriers work in Kosovo, including AT&T, Verizon, TMobile, and Nexttel (through Kosovo Telecom only).  Please note that roaming charges will apply.  There are charges on all calls made from and received on cellular phones.
Kosovo’s Internet service is provided by two privately-owned companies, Kujtesa and IPKO, and through the public provider Kosovo Telecom.  According to a March 2018 report by the telecom regulator, 87.8 percent of households have internet at home.  Free Wi-Fi is common in Pristina's cafes, restaurants, and hotels.  Like elsewhere in Europe, appliances in Kosovo run on 220 volts.  Plug adapters and power converters are needed for U.S. appliances.

Transportation

The most convenient way to travel to and from Kosovo is through its modern international airport, located in Slatina, 20 minutes from the capital Pristina.  Road transportation options for business travelers are limited to car rentals or private taxi.
International rental firms, including Enterprise, Europcar, and Hertz, operate in Kosovo.  Local travel company MCM offers similar services, with locations at the airport and downtown Pristina.  Another local firm, Limo Prishtina, offers car rentals with or without a driver, and also acts as a travel agent.  A considerable number of private taxis are available.

Language

Albanian and Serbian are the official languages in Kosovo.  English is widely spoken and understood, but it is advisable to use an interpreter.

Health

Kosovo’s public health and medical facilities are in poor condition.  The quality of the numerous private clinics varies.  Many locals and internationals travel to Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, and Turkey for more complex health-care services and medical treatment.  In 2015, the American Hospital opened in Kosovo, offering state-of-the-art technology and equipment, as well as more advanced procedures than typically offered locally. 
For additional medical information, visit the U.S. Embassy Pristina’s website.

Local Time, Business Hours and Holidays

Kosovo is six hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time.  Kosovo local time is GMT plus one hour.  The Government of Kosovo’s official working hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Banking hours depend on the bank and the location, although most are open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and closed on public holidays.  Some banks are open on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

U.S. Embassy Pristina hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  The Embassy closes for U.S. and Kosovo holidays.  The list of public holidays for U.S. Embassy Pristina is available at: https://xk.usembassy.gov/holiday-calendar/.

Kosovo adheres to the western calendar.  Two major Muslim holidays are observed based on the lunar calendar: Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha marks the conclusion of the pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca.  The exact dates of these holidays are determined by the government and religious leaders in advance of their observance.  Catholic and Orthodox Christian holidays are also observed.

Public-sector officials and private-industry representatives often take vacation from July to September.  The week between New Year’s and Orthodox Christmas is also a popular time to take leave.
The list of Kosovo’s national holidays is available on the Ministry of Public Administration website.

Temporary Entry of Materials or Personal Belongings

Most standard business equipment for individual use may be brought into Kosovo temporarily without incurring customs duties.  Exhibition materials may be imported for temporary use, but a tax-based bank guarantee must be paid.  Upon departure, the guarantee is reimbursed to the importer.  If the items are sold in Kosovo, customs duties will be applied.
Exhibition organizers generally designate a local freight forwarder and a clearing agent for specific events in order to assist foreign exhibitors with entry procedures.

Travel Related Web Resources

State Department Visa Website
United States Embassy in Pristina, Kosovo
United States Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia  
Kosovo Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Kosovo National Holidays




 

Prepared by the International Trade Administration. With its network of more than 100 offices across the United States and in more than 75 markets, the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Kosovo Business Travel and Etiquette