HOUSTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in the Houston region, which includes Dallas and San Antonio, seized more than $1 million in unreported currency since October 1, 2013.
The latest currency seizure occurred March 31, when a U.S. couple traveling to China failed to report that they were transporting more than $20,000 out of the country. CBP officers asked the couple if they were carrying $10,000 or more in currency; however, the couple said they had $8,000.
During the couple’s examination, CBP officers discovered more than $12,000 concealed in the liner of their carry-on luggage. This amount brought their currency total to more than $20,000 resulting in the seizure of the entire amount.
Travelers can avoid seizure by declaring currency when the amount reaches $10,000. International travelers carrying more than $10,000 into or out of the United States must report the amount they are transporting or risk the currency’s seizure.
“There is absolutely no limit to the amount of currency a traveler can bring into or take out of the United States,” said Jud Murdock II, Houston CBP Director of Field Operations. “The only requirement is to declare amounts that reach or exceed $10,000.”
Travelers make currency declarations by completing FinCEN Form 105 and giving it to a CBP officer. Currency is not limited to U.S. dollars and coins but all negotiable monetary instruments including Traveler’s Checks, money orders and securities. A complete list of negotiable monetary instruments is available on FinCEN Form 105.
Agency wide, CBP officers seized nearly $40 million since October 1, 2013. Last fiscal year, unreported currency seizures reached more than $106 million.