Policy: 201.J International Travel


Statement of Policy:

International Air Travel

International air travelers can refer to Policy 201.A Air Travel for most policies and procedures related to booking airfare for UW business; however, below are a few key points that apply only to international travel.

  • Fly America Act and Open Skies Agreement: In accordance with the Fly America Act of 1974, commercial air travel and movement of cargo on federally funded grants must comply with the requirement that U.S. flag air carriers be used to the maximum extent possible when traveling between the U.S. and a foreign country or between foreign countries. The Open Skies Agreement, however, allows for the use of foreign air carriers under certain circumstances.  All travelers must comply with the Fly America Act unless exceptions in the Open Skies Agreement pertain.

  • Recommended Booking Method:  While Concur is the preferred vendor for booking airfare online, Fox World Travel recommends that travelers and travel arrangers contact a Fox World Travel agent directly when booking foreign travel due to the complexity of the routes.  An agent can be reached at (866) 230-8787 or UWAgents@gofox.com.  Concur can still be used for simple routes (i.e. Chicago to London).

  • Registering Equipment prior to traveling: U.S. Customs requires that all equipment and personal effects of an unusual nature are registered prior to export. Further information and the Certificates of Registration can be found on the International Travel Carryon Guide.

International Lodging

International travelers can refer to Policy 201.H Lodging for most policies and procedures related to lodging; however, for travel outside of the United States, separate dollar maximums apply.  Lodging maximums for specific locations and dates can be found at http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/perdiemCalc.cfm.  The applicable rate, which includes taxes, can be found in the “Maximum Lodging” column.

Note:
Alaska and Hawaii are considered domestic locations and are not covered under the international per diem rates.

International Meals and Water

International travelers can refer to Policy 201.I Meals for most policies and procedures related to meals in foreign locations; however, below are a few key points that apply only to international travel.

  • Meal Maximums: For foreign travel, including US possessions (e.g. Puerto Rico), separate dollar maximums apply for meals.  The daily meal maximum for specific locations and dates can be found at http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/perdiemCalc.cfm.  The daily maximum is located in the “Local Meals” column.  When claiming individual meals, calculate the maximum allowed based on the percentages below:

    The daily maximums are prorated as follows:

    Breakfast: 20%

    Lunch: 30%

    Dinner: 50%


    Example: While travelling to Banff, Canada, the daily meal maximum is $86 in the chart below. Using the above percentages, a traveler is allowed $17.20 for breakfast, $25.80 for lunch and $43.00 for dinner.

    mealchart

Note: Alaska and Hawaii are considered domestic locations and are not covered under the international per diem rates.

  • Water: Travelers may be reimbursed for the purchase of bottled water while traveling internationally. The maximum reimbursement is limited to $7.50 per day.

International Phone Calls

Travelers on international business trips may be reimbursed for personal phone calls up to $10 per day.

Additional Documentation Requirements

Foreign Currency: When a payment is made using a foreign currency, the receipt must be converted to US Dollars.  Documentation supporting the exchange rate used must be attached to the expense report or other payment mechanism.
Foreign Language: Vendor documentation printed in a foreign language must be translated to English before submitting for reimbursement or reconciliation.  A tool that may be helpful for doing so is Google Translate.

Travel Insurance

MEDEX is an optional program provided at no cost to State of Wisconsin employees while traveling in the course and scope of their employment.  Employees in work status while involved in educational pursuits abroad are automatically enrolled in a special medical evacuation and repatriation program through the MEDEX Program; however, it is important to note that MEDEX is NOT health insurance; it provides coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation only.

Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) program is also available to faculty and staff who are involved in educational programs abroad on a voluntary basis. This provides an excellent option for staff that are not sure how their personal insurance will respond abroad, or who don't want to risk paying for medical care and submitting for reimbursement after their return. CISI will make direct payments to providers. Individuals should contact their primary health insurer with questions regarding how the coverage works while in travel status. Remember that employees injured in the course and scope of their employment may be eligible for benefits under Worker's Compensation, regardless of the location of the worksite.

Please contact Risk Management for further information.


Contacts:
Travelers and departmental staff should contact their respective Divisional Business Office for policy or procedural questions.

Divisional Business Offices may e-mail uwtravel@bussvc.wisc.edu with questions.