Is Cash Allowed on International Airline Travel?

Cash is king, but a lot of it could set off customs protocol.
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Before jetting to your next destination, check whether the cash you're carrying is going to fly with customs. Every country has its own set of requirements. You may be able to bring as much as you want, but expect to declare amounts above a certain threshold. If customs officials discover you have undeclared cash on you, they could confiscate that hefty stash.

U.S. Policy

Where travel into or out of the United States is concerned, there are no limits to how much cash you can take on an international flight. However, the government does think it has the right to know if you're carrying a lot of money elsewhere. Their idea of a lot is $10,000. If you've got more than that, you'll have to fill out a "Report of International Transportation of Currency and Monetary Instruments" form, or FinCEN 105.

Family Matters

If you happen to be traveling with family, you'll also fill out a joint customs declaration form CBP Form 6059-B. The sum total of your in-flight cash holdings counts toward the cash minimum. So, if your brother is traveling with $800, your grandmother has $1,000, and you have $9,000, you'll have to declare the total as a group on the FinCEN 105.

EU Countries

Check before your flight to see what the cash rules are for where you're going. In the European Union, you must declare amounts of 10,000 Euros or more or the equivalent in other currencies. You must use the correct EU cash declaration form for each member state you visit and fill out the form in that country's language.

Country-Specific Rules

Governments can impose their own sets of rules on cash. In the Ukraine, for example, you must declare all cash when you get there no matter the amount. That's all they'll demand for anything less than $10,000 in cash or $50,000 in travelers' checks. If it's more, you'll need a special license to stay in the Ukraine. Leaving with cash is another matter. You can't take out more than $1,000, or, at most, the same amount you declared when you arrived.

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