What Happens When You Declare Money At Customs

What happens when you declare money at customs


International traveling is fun. However, in order to maintain such fun and make travel more purposeful, such international travel should follow the legal rules and proceedings of the land that the international traveler is visiting and the land that the international traveler belongs to. While talking about legal rules and laws, let us try to understand the rules regarding carrying money while traveling internationally. The following article gives you the complete information of what happens when you declare money at customs and what are the rules and regulations to be followed while declaring money at customs.


What Happens When You Declare Money At Customs?

International traveller need to mandatory undergo customs check while travelling through international passages and flights. They often are searched well and are asked various questions including a question regarding the money that they are carrying. Every country and their corresponding customs department have their set of rules and procedures regarding declaring money at customs. It is important to understand what happens when we declare money at the customs department of such country.


The rules for declaring money at customs in the United States of America include

  • There is no restriction in terms of the amount which an individual can mail, take out of, or bring back into the United States of America according to the US Customs and Border Protection Agency
  • However amount more than USD 10,000 (in any form – sent via Mail to another country, while traveling out of the USA, or brought back into the USA) should be first reported and declared correctly using the appropriate Currency Reporting Form to the Customs Agency of USA.
  • According to The U.S. Customs office, the ‘amount’ as mentioned in the above statements includes cash, stocks, bonds, money orders, personal or cashier's checks, coins, and cash.
  • The individuals carrying USD 10000 or more in any of the above-mentioned form need to declare the Cash to USA Customs Department using FinCEN Form 105 (a document issued by the Department of Treasury) and also carry a copy of the same form in order to be ready for the queries made by the customs officials.
  • In case any individual fails to report such money appropriately, it is considered to be a violation of the Currency and Foreign Transaction Reporting Act of the USA.
  • In case such declaration and reporting are not using the appropriate form, the authorities have the right to take back such money from the individual which might require several months to be refunded or returned back to the individual again, in case the authorities decide to return such money at all.
  • After the individual answers ‘yes’ when asked by the customs officials if carrying money worth more than USD 10,000, the customs officials then start searching all the personal belongings and luggage carried by the individual.
    • In case the amount mentioned in the currency declaration form tallies with what is being carried by the individual, then the individual is allowed to continue with regular business.
    • In case the amount mentioned in the currency declaration form does not tally with what is being carried by the individual, all such money would be immediately seized by the Customs Officials.
  • Once seized, the US Customs Department would issue a formal seizure notice to the individual.
  • In case the individual intends to get the amount returned from the customs department, the individual needs to hire a customs attorney and prove the legitimate source of such amount along with the intended use of such amount.
  • If any individual doesn't declare money at the airport, there are several ways in which the customs officials can trace the amount or detect such amount such as hi-tech body scanners which can detect even papers and currency if the customs officials want.

Such rules of limiting currency, while traveling to or from the USA, apply to an individual as well as a family or a group (in totality) as mentioned under the US Custom Laws. Declaration of amounts more than USD 10000 at customs is also mandatory while mailing money outside the country or receiving such amount in the USA from some other country.

It is advisable to follow the rule of land to stay safe following the English proverb “When in Rome, behave like the Romans”. Thus it is always advisable to declare the amount correctly and appropriately to the Customs Official. By this article, you are clear about what happens when you declare money at customs. In case, the individuals have any doubt regarding what to declare and how to declare, they should get thoroughly aware and informed by checking it out with the US Embassy, even before traveling to the USA or with the customs department while in the USA. The officials would surely help you stay lawful and legal while visiting the country.

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