Compliance/Financial Considerations

If you intend to do any of the following in Bahrain, please contact Risk Services at or 642-5141:

  • Hire a local to work for you as an employee
  • Purchase or lease office or research space
  • Purchase or lease an automobile
  • Establish a long-term (over 90 days) or ongoing project
  • Conduct a clinical trial 


Foreign activities may trigger many U.S. laws, including:

  • Import Controls
  • Export Controls
  • Tax Reporting
  • Foreign Bank Account Reporting
  • Country Embargoes and Targeted Sanctions
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Anti-Boycott Laws 

Import Controls. UC employees must adhere to U.S. import requirements, and may need to enlist the services of a customs broker, especially for shipments arriving by sea and subject to the Importer Security Filing 71730, also known as ISF 10+2. 

Export Controls. Export controls may apply to advanced software and technology, research data, and other sensitive assets. UC’s Export Compliance FAQ contains useful information and can be found here.  Go here for the University of California plan for compliance with federal export controls. If you plan on taking or sending potentially export-controlled materials to Bahrain, consult the campus Research Administration Compliance Office at 642-0120. 

Tax Reporting. The University and its employees may be taxed in foreign countries. The United States does not have a tax treaty with Bahrain. For more information about double taxation issues, contact the Controller’s Office at:

Foreign Bank Account Reporting. The U.S. Treasury Department requires U.S. citizens with a financial interest in or signatory authority over a financial account in a foreign country, where accounts exceed $10,000 at any point during a calendar year, to report such accounts on a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FinCen Report 114). Those needing to complete the form should contact the Controller’s Office at or 643-9803 for assistance. An IRS 1040 Schedule B form (Part III–Foreign Accounts and Trusts) must be filed by the signatory for any foreign bank account, regardless of the account balance. 

Country Embargoes and Targeted Sanctions. In general, collaborations between University personnel and scholars at foreign institutions or organizations do not require export licenses unless they involve export-controlled or -restricted research or involve scholars in sanctioned countries. Before engaging in an international collaboration, the University needs to determine whether export licenses are required and to verify that the foreign collaborator is not blocked or sanctioned. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is responsible for enforcing all U.S. embargoes and sanctions. Depending on each country’s embargo or sanction program, activities may be prohibited without specific authorization or license. UC’s International Collaborations webpage contains additional information on this topic.   

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is intended to stop bribery. It prohibits offering to pay, paying, promising to pay, or authorizing the payment of money or anything of value to a foreign official. The term “foreign official” generally includes any employee or contractor of a foreign government, and may include individuals employed by foreign universities. It is also unlawful to make a payment to a third party knowing that all or part of the payment will go to a foreign official. For more information, review the federal government’s Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. If you need further clarification, contact the UC Berkeley Office of Legal Affairs at 642-7122.  Transparency International’s 2018 survey of perceived public sector corruption rated Bahrain at 36 out of 100 (99th out of 180 countries reviewed, i.e. somewhat corrupt).

Anti-Boycott Laws.  The U.S. Department of Commerce is responsible for oversight of laws prohibiting individuals and entities from participating in boycotts not approved or sanctioned by the U.S. government. The Export Administration Act requires that requests to participate in such boycotts or to conduct activities in any of the boycotting countries be formally reported to the Department of Commerce and/or IRS.

For other compliance-related issues, refer to UC’s International Compliance webpage.   


Foreign Bank Accounts. Employees wishing to open a foreign bank account should contact the Controller’s Office at or 643-9803. Requests to open accounts must be made through the Office of the President’s Banking and Treasury Services Group by the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee. 

Real Estate Agreements. Only employees with delegated authority to sign contracts on behalf of The Regents may enter into agreements, leases, or other contracts.  Foreign affiliates or operations must submit to the Real Estate Services Office property management agreements, personal property leases, or contracts with a term longer than one year or in an amount greater than $25,000 per year. The campus then seeks approval from the University president or designee. For more information, consult the Guidelines for the Establishment and Operation of Foreign Affiliate Organizations and Foreign Operations


The US State Department's page on BAHRAIN may be found HERE.

Personal Safety


Note: this page contains basic risk information. For more details, please contact the Risk Services Office at

If you are traveling to Bahrain on University-related business, please sign up for the University’s travel insurance program by going here. For more information on the travel insurance program, please go here.

Because everyone’s health is unique, we suggest seeking the advice of a medical professional before traveling internationally. Members of the campus community interested in protecting their health while abroad may schedule an appointment with the University Health Services International Travel Clinic

Protests rarely occur in the Bahrain and seldom devolve into violence. Most demonstrations are related to labor disputes and political developments, such as election campaigns. Protests are most common on Nassau Island and occasionally cause minor transportation delays.

Criminal activity is most prevalent in urban areas, particularly on New Province and Grand Bahama, where the majority of locals live.

Nonviolent crime poses a moderate threat to foreign nationals and locals and is widespread throughout the islands. Thieves typically target purses, bags, wallets, smartphones, and other electronic devices. These opportunistic crimes can occur anywhere, but especially at major tourist attractions, remote beaches, crowded shopping centers, and outside of bars and nightclubs. Foreign nationals are typically targeted by criminals due to their perceived wealth.  

Crimes against foreign nationals and locals are more likely to escalate if the victim attempts to resist. 

Overall, the threat of violent crime in the Bahrain is moderate; foreign nationals are sometimes targeted by criminals. Violent crime, including armed robbery and sexual assault poses the greatest threat on New Province and Grand Bahama islands. Criminals in the Bahrain do not hesitate to use force if a victim resists; do not resist.

Gender-based violence and/or discrimination poses a moderate threat to foreign nationals and locals in the Bahrain. Women walking alone at any time are sometimes verbally harassed; the threat of a physical attack is moderate, as sexual assault is known to occur.  

Anti-LGBT violence does not systemically occur in the Bahrain. 


Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. 

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. Embassy officials can more readily visit you while you are still being detained at a police station than after you have been transferred to a prison. 

Drug Usage: Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs are severe, including long jail sentences and heavy fines. You can be arrested for public drunkenness and disorderly behavior.

Driving under the Influence: Penalties include imprisonment and/or heavy fines. Any sign of alcohol consumption may be taken as evidence of driving under the influence.

Using vulgar language or hand gestures can result in heavy fines or criminal charges.

It is illegal to photograph certain buildings in Bahrain.

Carry a form of identification with you at all times, such as a passport, local ID card (CPR card), or driver’s license.

LGBTI Travelers: While the law does not criminalize consensual same-sex sexual activity between people over 21, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender activities are not accepted socially.