Violators include U.S.-, Ghana-, and Pakistan-Bound Travelers
STERLING, Va., — U.S. federal law is clear in regards to international travelers reporting to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers all currency and other monetary instruments they possess during a CBP arrival or departure inspection.
Travelers may carry as much currency as they wish into and out of the United States. None of the currency or monetary instruments is taxed. For travelers who possess $10,000 or more in currency or monetary instruments, they just take a few minutes to complete a U.S. Treasury Department financial form and continue on their journey.
Yet, travelers continue to violate this federal reporting requirement, include three groups of travelers who recently ceded a combined $124,694 in unreported currency to CBP officers at Washington Dulles International Airport.
Consequences for violating U.S. currency laws are severe: from loss of all unreported currency to potential criminal charges, as illustrated by the following three cases:
- CBP officers seized $83,093 from a Ghanaian man destined to Ghana February 8;
- CBP officers seized $23,082 from a Brazilian couple who arrived from Colombia February 8; and
- CBP officers seized $18,519 from a U.S. citizen of Pakistan birth destined to Pakistan February 7.
Travelers escaped criminal charges in all three cases.
“Customs and Border Protection urges travelers to be completely honest during CBP inspections, and in particular, comply with a federal currency reporting regulation that is quite clear and simple,” said Daniel Mattina, CBP Area Port Director for the Area Port of Washington Dulles. “The best way for travelers to hold onto their currency is to fully comply with our nation’s currency reporting laws.”
In each case, CBP officers afforded the travelers multiple opportunities to truthfully report all currency, and discovered additional currency during baggage examinations.
CBP officers returned currency in the amount of $93, $234 and $519, respectively, to the travelers for humanitarian purposes, and released the travelers.
“CBP officers not only ensure that inbound travelers and cargo comply with U.S. laws and regulations, but they also conduct outbound examinations to safeguard the revenue of the U.S. These inspections protect against unreported exportations of bulk U.S. currency, which often can be proceeds from alleged illicit activity,” said Casey Owen Durst, Director, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore “These significant currency seizures are a direct reflection of our continuing commitment to enforcing federal currency reporting requirements.”
Travelers are encouraged to visit CBP’s Travel website to learn more about the CBP admissions process and rules governing travel to and from the U.S.
CBP’s Office of Field Operations
Almost a million times each day, CBP officers welcome international travelers into the U.S. In screening both foreign visitors and returning U.S. citizens, CBP uses a variety of techniques to intercept narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products, and to assure that global tourism remains safe and strong.
On a typical day, CBP seizes $289,609 in undeclared or illicit currency along our nation’s borders. Learn more about what CBP did during "A Typical Day" in 2016.
CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders.
Learn more about CBP at CBP.gov.