Countries throughout the world are pretty stringent with the funds coming in and going out of the country. In an attempt to curb money laundering, people have been stamped with a rather inconvenient amount of paperwork that they should file before they can leave. Although this is just another form of keeping track of your financial information—which may be used for any nefarious purpose really—it pays to keep up with these forms and legalities. Failure to comply with these regulations risks having all of your money confiscated and might even land you in jail. So let’s discuss the documents required when you are passing through any country border with gold or cash, and what your options are.
If you’re carrying over $10,000 across US borders, you need to declare that you’re carrying an excessive amount of money to the customs authorities in the US. There is a form that you must fill out and certain tax payments that must be made before you’re allowed to cross borders. I decided to write this blog to make sure that no one, who’s carrying cash over $10,000, has to go through some really pointless and tedious bureaucratic BS for no reason.
What Are The Documentation Requirements?
Each country has a different set of documentation requirements which you’ll need to fill out before you can carry any amount of money across borders. So I’ll speak of a few examples to help you understand the process.
The United States
Whether you’re coming into or leaving the United States, you need to fill out the customs declaration form 6059-B citing how much money you’re carrying with you. It’s important that you remember that this form requires you to fill out how much money you’re carrying as a group (if you’re travelling with family). If your group is carrying $10,000 or more altogether then this must be declared. It doesn’t matter if two people carry $4,000 and another $3,000—it’ll still be treated as $11,000 as a whole for the group.
The form asks people to identify who they’re travelling with and what the relation between you and the others is. If you don’t answer these questions honestly, it qualifies as intentional misrepresentation on the form which is liable for legal action. Whether you agree with it or not they will punish you.
The European Union
People who are leaving or coming to any member state of the European Union are required to declare their total cash holdings if they’re carrying more than €10,000. This rule applies the same way between member states as it does to non-member states and in the same way as it’s applied in the United States. If your entire group carries over €10,000, you as a collective will need to submit the same form identifying the members of your group and the amount of cash you’re carrying. Countries in the European Union have two separate forms which you must fill, one for personal property (Form 0350) and one for cash/funds (Form 0401). The EU is rather strict about this one consideration, and can fine you up to €1,000,000 if you don’t comply with these regulations. You should remember that any foreign currency you’re carrying with you will also be checked, the foreign currency that amounts to €10,000 must also be declared.
The Australian government requires travellers to declare both cash and non-cash form of money if you’re travelling to and from Australia. You need to fill out the Cross-Border Movement – Physical Currency form and submit this to the customs authorities in the country as you enter or leave Australia. If you’re carrying foreign or local currency over AUD 10,000, then you are legally required to declare the amount.
There’s an additional consideration when carrying funds across Australian borders, where you have to declare “bearer negotiable instruments”. You don’t have to necessarily declare these when you enter Australia, unless a law enforcement official asks you to do so. BNIs (Bearer negotiable instruments) include checks, bills of exchange, promissory notes, traveller’s checks, bearer bonds, money orders and postal orders. The total values of BNIs must exceed AUD 10,000 for anyone to ask you to declare them. In case you are, you should fill out the Cross-Border Movement – BNI form.
What About Gold Bullion?
Gold bullion isn’t cash, but it falls under the heading of a BNI. All countries around the world treat all valuables, including gold bullions, as assets with significant monetary value. You’re also required to declare the value of the gold you’re carrying with you across borders on probably all countries around the world. There are only a few countries that don’t require you to declare your assets, like Switzerland, Singapore and Hong Kong.
In most cases, you don’t need to pay any duties on your gold but some countries, like India, charge a duty on any gold brought into the country. This is where storing your gold in a free trade zone comes in handy and how you can store your gold to carry it around wherever you like. Panama, for example, is one of the most open economies in the world—what with having control over the Panama Canal and all. The regulations in Panama allow you to move around your gold without having to pay duties taking it in and out of the country.
My associates at the Fort Kobbe depository offer you high-quality precious metal storage services and logistics to keep your gold safe from any financial screenings. Considering their location in Panama, moving your gold to and from Panama helps you avoid many of the duties and taxes that you must pay while moving your gold around.
Please contact our office HERE to set up an appointment with Fort Kobbe to help answer all of your questions about cross border gold storage.
You might not have to pay duties on any cash you carry across borders, but there’s a lot at stake if you’re bringing in gold into a country for the first time. It pays to park your jewelry and precious metal investments in a depository, like the Fort Kobbe Depository, to save up on the duties you might have to pay. Gold bullion makes for great investments and offers great tax benefits when made a part of your SDIRA portfolios, but it’s always great to minimize your tax burdens which you can easily achieve by passing through an FTZ, like Panama.
I hope you got value from this article: Documentation Requirements Crossing Borders With Gold & Cash. You have choices and they need to be taken care of before you cross a border, any border.
Here are a few articles about Fort Kobbe and why investing here in Panama is the best solution for your precious metals safety!
About The Author
Mikkel Thorup is the host of The Expat Money Show podcast and Director of Content at Escape Artist. He is also the author of #1 Best-Selling book Expat Secrets on Amazon. He has spent nearly 20 years in continual travel around the world, visiting more than 100 countries including Colombia, North Korea, Zimbabwe, and Iran. His goal is to help people just like you to generate additional streams of income, eliminate your tax bill, and take advantage of offshore structures so you can travel the world freely and never have to worry about money again. For more information on his legal (but creative) tax strategies for Expats watch this free video.
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