Wednesday, August 10, 2016

How To Carry More Than $10,000 Cash Across the Border Without Having to Report It

There is apparently a loophole that allows this to be done.

In 2011, amid a crackdown on international money laundering, the U.S. Treasury Department tried to close a loophole that authorities said allows drug cartels to move bulk cash across borders on gift and other prepaid cards, reports Reuters.

The department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network proposed that money stored on these cards count toward a U.S. requirement to report cross-border movement of cash of $10,000 or more.

But FinCEN later withdrew its proposed rule after pushback from the prepaid card industry, according to law enforcement sources, says Reuters.

The move has not been previously reported.

In response to questions from Reuters, FinCEN spokesman Stephen Hudak said the rule was being reworked and would be resubmitted, possibly by 2017.

"It's not dead," Hudak said.

"Implementing onerous requirements on reloadable prepaid cards could disproportionately harm vulnerable consumers, who rely on these products as their sole means of access to the financial services system,” said Brad Fauss, President and CEO of the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association.

In March 2013, two years after FinCEN proposed amending the Bank Secrecy Act with the new rule, industry representatives met with officials from FinCEN and the Department of Homeland Security at the Office of Management and Budget, which reviews regulations, according to a record of the meeting topic, date and attendees published on a White House website.



  1. You can also just carry gold coins. A one ounce American Eagle (currently worth about $1,340) has a face value of $50, which is all they look at. That means you can take 200 of those coins across the border. You do the math. Boom.

    1. Gold and silver are not cash anyhow. You can move as many precious metals across border into canada as u want.

    2. there are some countries that require you to declare gold on entry or exit and will tax you on their value (eg India, Vietnam) but most do not.

      You can take millions of dollars worth of gold - the only problems are

      1. if the gold is very heavy you will have to check it in with your luggage which poses some risks

      2. if any piece of gold is too heavy (eg a 1 kg bar) you might be prevented from taking it as carry on due to its potential use as a weapon

      3. inevitably carry on is scanned, going into some countries would therefore raise the possibility of the scanner operator spotting it and calling friends outside

      going as a family - take smaller bars - say 10oz - and spread them between members

      remember that some countries trade in gold that is not 9999 - so you have to calculate what your gold is worth in their system (eg Thailand) and then ensure you haggle to get what it's worth - not what their weighing of it says it's worth - they will insist on their pricing but you stand your ground - they know what it's worth and will try and convince you that they can only pay the published rate per weight in their country - stand your ground - even if it takes a half hour or more longer - keep focused on what it is worth on the days gold market and settle only when they offer you a close rate

    3. Melt the gold into eiffel tower paper weights and then travel with it.

  2. I know it's looked down upon in this little corner of the interwebs, but Bitcoin was designed for this particular problem. If all you are doing is crossing the border, the price fluctuation shouldn't be much of an issue.

  3. Restrictions for bringing cash across the border? Now they want to even restrict prepaid cards. How's that "free trade" agreement working for you? Free trade for whom?