PHILADELPHIA – The most important advice U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offers passengers traveling to and from the United States is to provide truthful declarations to CBP officers when inspected. A woman heading to Lebanon learned this simple rule when CBP officers seized more than $15,000 in unreported currency Wednesday at Philadelphia International Airport.
CBP officers encountered the woman, who is a Lebanese citizen and lawful permanent resident of the U.S. as she boarded a Germany-bound flight. Officers explained federal currency reporting requirements to the woman and she acknowledged the law, then reported that she possessed $10,000.
Officers examined her carry-on baggage and discovered $15,385. Officers seized $15,085 and returned $300 to the woman for humanitarian purposes. Officers released her to continue her travel.
It is legal to carry large sums of currency into or out of the United States. However, federal law requires that travelers who possess $10,000 or more in currency or other monetary instruments must report it all to a CBP officer at the airport, seaport, or land border crossing when entering or leaving the country. Read more about currency reporting requirements.
“Customs and Border Protection remains committed to enforcing our nation’s laws, including federal currency reporting laws, and travelers must understand that they face serious consequences for violating currency reporting requirements,” said Casey Durst, Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “The easiest way for travelers to comply with federal currency reporting requirements is to truthfully declare all currency they possess to a CBP officer. It’s that simple.”
Consequences for violating U.S. currency reporting laws are severe; penalties may include seizure of most or all of the traveler’s currency, and potential criminal charges.
All travelers, both U.S. citizens and foreign visitors, are encouraged to Know Before You Go to help ease their international arrivals inspection, and to visit CBP’s Travel website to learn more about rules governing travel to and from the U.S.
CBP uses a variety of techniques to intercept narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products, and to assure that global tourism remains safe and strong. On a typical day, CBP seizes an average of about $290,000 in unreported or illicit currency along our nation’s borders. Learn more about what CBP accomplishes during "A Typical Day."
CBP's border security mission is led at our nation’s 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.