Most of us are unlikely to be carrying enough travel cash on our holidays to warrant an official declaration, but do we know what the limits are? Failing to declare when you are carrying large sums of travel money could get you in some serious hot water with both UK and foreign authorities. In this article, we will explain what you need to know about travelling with cash in Europe.
Taking travel money in and out of Great Britain
Any cash amount above £10,000 must be declared to UK customs if you’re carrying it between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and a country outside the UK.
Also note, passengers entering or leaving the European Union carrying an amount equal to or above €10,000 (euros), or its equivalent in a different currency must declare it at Customs.
Types of cash you must declare
You must declare:
- notes and coins
- bearer bonds
- travellers’ cheques
- cheques (including travellers’ cheques) that are signed but not made out to a person or organisation
Travelling as a family or group
If you’re travelling as a family or group with more than £10,000 in total (even if individuals are carrying less than that) you still need to make a declaration.
Why do we have to declare cash?
By declaring your cash, not only will you be complying with the UK and European law, but you will be contributing to fighting money laundering and terrorism financing, as well as other similar crimes.
Declaring your travel cash (if above £10,000 ) also prevents you from having your money retained or seized, or from being subject to a penalty, which may happen in the event of a failure to declare or false declaration.
In the UK for example, If you do not declare cash that you should have, all the cash you are carrying can be seized by a Border Force officer. You may have to pay a penalty of up to £5,000 to get it back. This can be taken from the cash before the rest is returned.
Even if you’ve got a fantastic reason for travelling with cash, always check the rules and find out how much cash you can travel with to your destination country before you travel.
Information that may help
Making a declaration in the UK
The earliest you can make a declaration is 72 hours before you plan to travel.
Declare online for:
- cash you’re carrying between Great Britain and any other country
- cash you’re carrying between Northern Ireland and a non-EU country
- cash you’re carrying from Great Britain to Northern Ireland
Buying your travel money
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The information in this article was correct at the time of publish, please always check the latest government information for the destinations you are travelling to and from.