Compliance/Financial Considerations

If you intend to do any of the following in Mongolia, 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 Mongolia, 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 Mongolia. 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 Mongolia at 37 out of 100 (93rd 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 MONGOLIA 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 Mongolia 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.   

Geopolitical risk is considered moderate for Mongolia. The current administration is adequately stable. Mongolia is a parliamentary republic and has a president and prime minister. Although the president has a largely ceremonial role, he retains a few key political powers, including the ability to veto any decisions made by Parliament. The current president is Khaltmaagiin Battulga. Elections for parliament and president are held every four years; however, presidential elections are held a year after parliamentary elections. In the last parliamentary election cycle in June 2016, the then-opposition Mongolian People's Party (MPP) won a landslide victory, amid an uncertain economic situation as international demand for the country's wealth of natural resources declined. The former finance minister, Jargaltulga Erdenebat, was elected as prime minister in July 2016; however, Mongolian lawmakers voted to dismiss the prime minister and his cabinet in September 2017 for alleged incompetence and corruption. Khurelsukh Ukhnaa, the deputy prime minister from the ruling MPP, took office after a confirmation vote in Parliament in October 2017. Thus far, no prime minister has completed a four-year term since 2004. The 2012 and 2016 elections passed relatively peacefully. This was in contrast to the elections in 2008, when a number of violent demonstrations in the capital followed the announcement of the election results on 30 June. The violence left several people dead and resulted in the imposition of a four-day state of emergency. 

The capabilities and responsiveness of security services in Mongolia are generally adequate in cities and popular tourist regions, but poor in rural and less developed areas of the country (risk is moderate). Mongolia has a number of different security forces, though the National Police Agency is likely to be the most relevant for foreign nationals and local staff. Police officers are typically unable to speak foreign languages. There have been allegations of systemic physical abuse by Mongolian police against detained suspects, as well reports of a general unawareness that foreign nationals taken into police custody have the right to request consular service. Foreign nationals should avoid contact with all military security forces when possible, and instead liaise with regular police officers or their diplomatic mission. 

For most foreign nationals, the threat of kidnapping in Mongolia is generally minimal; kidnappers are more likely to target locals. The most common types of abduction in Mongolia include bride kidnapping, basic opportunistic kidnap-for-ransom, and high net worth individual kidnap-for-ransom.  Victims could face the threat of injury or death during confinement.


Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, then you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Furthermore, some laws are prosecutable in the United States, even if violated abroad. 

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. 

Customs: Mongolian customs authorities strictly enforce laws regulating the import and export of firearms, ammunition, precious metals, and antiquities. Importation of firearms or ammunition requires prior government approval. All precious metals should be declared on arrival. Exporting antiquities requires a special customs clearance certificate issued by an authorized antique dealer at the time of purchase.

LGBTI Travelers: Mongolia’s criminal code prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, language, race, age, gender, social status, professional position, religion, education, or medical status. There are no laws or legal provisions that criminalize being LGBTI or that specifically target the LGBTI community. However, NGOs continue to report that LGBTI individuals faced violence and discrimination both in public and at home based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. There were also reports that LGBTI persons faced greater discrimination and fear in rural areas than in Ulaanbaatar. The Government of Mongolia does not recognize same-sex spouses for visa and residency purposes.