Have you ever thought of placing cash inside of an envelope and sending it across the globe? There are places around the world where one will find strict economic controls on their people or have problems with crime. As such, sending money to friends and family becomes a dangerous and/or difficult process. For example, if your friend was in dire need of money and the only way of getting it to him was to place cash in a box and ship it to a specific location, would you? If you decide to do so, be careful.
- FedEx does not permit the shipping of “Money, including cash instruments, currency, coins, and other forms of money or cash equivalents” see here.
- UPS does not permit the shipping of “Bank bills, notes or currency (other than coin)” see here.
- DHL does not permit the shipping of “Cash (legal tender – bank notes, currency notes, coins) and travellers cheques” see here.
- USPS does not permit the shipping of “Money (coins, cash, currency, paper money and negotiable instruments equivalent to cash such as endorsed stocks, bonds and cash letters)” see here.
If U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) seizes your cash when transported through Express Consignments (i.e. FedEx, UPS, DHL) you will likely find that the alleged violations are of 19 U.S.C. §§ 1481, 1484 , and 19 C.F.R. Part 128. Further, Customs will reason that you misdescribed currency/monetary instruments in express consignment shipments (typically the shipper does not describe the contents as “currency” because none of the carriers permit shipping currency). If this occurs you will be facing administrative forfeiture proceedings. A seizure notice will be issued to the sender and recipient of the package. On that notice you will be told where the cash was seized, the date of seizure, the reason for the seizure, and a list of options to contest the forfeiture. It is best to consult an attorney experienced in Customs matters at that point as a poorly planned strategy may end up leaving your cash forfeited to the United States government.
For more information about this blog post, please contact Abady Law Firm, P.C. and speak with our customs attorney at (800) 549-5099 who can provide the necessary guidance on currency, money seizures at borders, airports, and through the mail.