What Should I Do During a Trip Abroad?
The most important way to avoid problems during your trip is through respect: show respect for the country and the local population, as well as for its legislation and traditions.
In many countries, trafficking as well as using and possessing narcotics is severely criminalized.
Respect local legislation and customs: certain completely legal actions in Spain may be illegal in other countries and may even be subject to a custodial sentence.

Risks related to trafficking, possession and consumption of narcotics are particularly important. Breaking local laws on narcotics issues frequently leads to difficult situations and even dramatic situations of arrest, trial and imprisonment abroad.

Upon being arrested abroad, no-one, not even the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in the country involved can prevent the offender being subject to the local law. In the event of arrest and sentencing, the offender will have to serve out the sentence handed down for the crime committed.

Four out of five Spaniards imprisoned abroad have been sentenced for drug-related offences.

It is very important to take into account that in some countries there is no distinction between the consumption and trafficking of narcotics and that these offences may be punished with life imprisonment or even a death sentence.

In some countries, certain substances that are legal in Spain, including alcohol and certain medications, are considered to be narcotics, and hence their consumption, possession and trafficking are banned and punished. For this reason, it is important to consult the Travel Recommendations for each country you are going to visit, as well as to travel with the corresponding medical prescription for your medication.

Never accept packages from a stranger; they may contain narcotics or some other type of banned substance or product. In the event of a conflict with border or customs authorities, both national and foreign, you will be held liable.

It is necessary to take special care when transporting certain products; in many countries it is an offence to traffic artistic goods or items of cultural, historic or archaeological heritage, as well as some products of animal or plant origin. Ensure that the product has been legally acquired or obtained and that it has all the permits necessary for its export.

Treat national symbols with respect, as well as the local authorities. In certain legal systems, sentences are handed down, sometimes very harsh sentences, for conduct considered to show a lack of respect for flags, emblems and authorities.

Respect for local customs also includes paying special attention to dress. Particular sensitivity should be paid in relation to religious beliefs, since certain attitudes may lead to misunderstanding or uncomfortable situations.

Certain sexual practices are considered criminal offences in some countries. There may be particularly harsh sentences for the abuse of minors, human trafficking and procuring certain services.

If, despite all, you find yourself in an emergency situation that threatens your life or physical integrity, consult the section What to do in an emergency.

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