Travelers departing from the United States or arriving to the United States are under the mistaken impression that it is illegal to carry large amounts of money into or out of the country. This is not true. It is legal to transport any amount of currency or other monetary instruments into or out of the United States.
However, if you transport, attempt to transport, or cause to be transported (including by mail or other means) currency or other monetary instruments in an aggregate amount exceeding $10,000 (or its foreign equivalent) at one time from the United States to any foreign place, or into the United States from any foreign place, you must file a report with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”).
There are no duties, fees, or penalties for transporting more than $10,00.00 in monetary instruments as long as it is reported. This report is called the Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments, FinCEN Form 105.
You may also receive an opportunity to declare your currency when handed CBP Form 6059B from your airline stewardess. As seen in the photographs below, section 13 of the form requests information regarding the amount of currency you are transporting.
At the time of seizure you should have been given a Custody Receipt for Seized Property and Evidence form. Make sure the receipt correctly represents the total amount of currency you were transporting. Further, you will receive a Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures number (“FPF”) to which you will be able to track your case. At the same time, CBP should provide you with money for humanitarian purposes (e.g., food, lodging, car service).
Thereafter, you will be issued a Notice of Seizure and Information to Claimants Form CAFRA within sixty (60) days of the initial seizure from the closest FPF office.
In the Notice of Seizure you will be given four (4) options in the Election of Proceedings Form:
1) file a petition with customs within 30 days of the issuance date on seizure notice; 2) file an offer in compromise 3) abandon the property; or 4) take the matter directly for court action (you need to fill out the seized asset claim form).
You must act quickly to file a claim for the return of your money as time is of the essence. We can assist immediately and recommend filing a petition in most cases.
Fill out the form on our contact page with your FPF case number and we will get in touch with you regarding your claim