With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for people travelling with cash.
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If you are travelling to or from the EU by air, road, rail or sea with €10 000 or more in cash you must declare it to the customs authorities. This obligation is not designed to make your life difficult but to prevent money laundering, the financing of terrorism and other financial crimes. If you are travelling in a group, the €10 000 limit applies to each person individually.
Cash includes not only banknotes and coins in circulation all over the world but also cheques, promissory notes, money orders and traveller’s cheques. It does not include currency out of circulation, antique coins, bullion coins and casino chips. Gold, precious metals and precious stones are not considered cash yet, but they will be soon.
The Cash Control Regulation, which is currently being revised, states that people who do not declare their cash may have it confiscated and receive a substantial fine. Customs authorities can carry out individual checks and checks on baggage and vehicles. All this may inconvenience law-abiding citizens, but it is done to prevent crime. You must fill in an EU Cash Declaration Form on entering and leaving the EU, in the official language of the country concerned. There are some non-EU language versions to help you understand the form if you are not from the EU.
Your personal information will be available to the intelligence agencies that monitor financial transactions, but it will be kept confidential to protect your security when carrying cash. Be aware that individual EU countries may have their own cash control rules and limits for travelling within the EU.
- EPRS publication ‘Controls of cash movements’, 2016, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/593780/EPRS_BRI%282016%29593780_EN.pdf
- European Commission, website ‘Cash Controls’, https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/individuals/cash-controls_en
- The Cash Control Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1889/2005)