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How much cash can you carry on a domestic flight? Do you always need to declare cash? What exactly counts as cash when boarding a domestic or international flight? Below we will discuss these and much more.
How much cash can you carry on a domestic flight?
Depending on the country you are traveling within and the laws set by the customs officials in the country, here is how much cash you can carry on a domestic flight in the following countries:
In the United States:
When you are traveling on a domestic flight within the United States, the amount of cash/ monetary instruments you can carry with you is unlimited. The catch is that you need to declare these monetary instruments and cash to the customs if the amount collectively amps to $10,000 USD or more.
Even if you are traveling as a group on a domestic flight in the U.S., you need to declare your money to the customs if the collective amount the members of your group are carrying is totaled to be $10,000 or more.
In the U.K.:
If you are entering the U.K. or the European Union, you can carry as many liquid assets, foreign currency, and domestic currency as you want to. However, if the amount is equal to € 10,000 or more worth in cash or securities or another form of monetary instrument, it must be declared at the European Customs.
However, these laws vary slightly depending on the country within the European Union. Therefore it is best advised to check with your destination’s customs directly.
In similarity to the U.S. and the U.K., Canada permits limitless import and export of money on domestic (and international) flights. As the apparent rule of thumb goes, the liquid assets, currency, etc., amounting to CAN$10,000 or more, must be declared at the Canadian customs.
On a domestic flight in India, the maximum amount of cash that you can carry with you is 2,00,000 INR. This amount is inclusive of liquid assets, currency, cheques, etc.
How much cash can you carry per family on a domestic flight?
It doesn’t really matter if you are traveling alone or with a group, say family, co-workers, or friends – the amount of cash or/and monetary instruments that you can carry on a flight without declaring is $10,000. This means that if all of the members of your family or group ‘collectively’ have $10,000 dollars or less of currency or monetary instruments, you can travel without declaration.
However, if you collectively have over $10,000 USD, either on a domestic flight or an international one, you will strictly need to declare it to the customs as a group. Next, you need to individually file a Members FinCEN Form 105. This allows the customs to make sure that no one is carrying over $10,000 individually.
Note: If you are a member of a family/ group and have submitted a joint or family declaration, you are not allowed to cause or coerce others in your group to carry monetary instruments (in any form) on your behalf.
Do traveler’s cheques count as cash on a domestic flight?
This might come off as weird, but when it comes to CBP, it considers a long list of things as cash that remotely resembles anything that’s green and looks like ‘real money.
For the answer, yes. Traveler’s cheque is certainly considered cash, both on a domestic flight and on an international one. Many people who are unaware of how cash and declaration go tend to end up winded in problems with the customs since they had been traveling with a cheque of over $10,000.
Furthering the discussion, here is a list of things other than coins and banknotes (both foreign and domestic) that are considered cash when you are flying:
- Gold coins
- Traveler’s check (as discussed)
- Securities or stocks in bearer form
- Promissory notes that are signed, but the payee has either not been mentioned or has been omitted from the note.
- Incomplete check
- Money orders
- Personal checks, cashiers checks, business checks
If you are considering twisting a ‘loophole’ and get around the process of a declaration by carrying money in any of these forms, we suggest that you don’t even think about it. If you are traveling with any or a combination of these, and the amount exceeds $10,000 USD, you must declare the same at the customs.
For example, if you are carrying banknotes worth $7000 USD and a business check worth $6000, then you must declare the collective amount of $13,000 USD at the customs at the airport.
Do you have to declare money when flying?
In all simplicity, declaration of money and monetary instruments is dependent on the country laws you are flying to or are a resident of (in terms of domestic flying). Declaration also significantly depends on the amount of cash/ monetary instruments you are collectively carrying with you, either individually or as a group.
For example, if you are from the U.S. and traveling on a domestic or international flight, carrying $10,000 USD or more, you will need to declare the same at the customs.
If you are in the U.K., the currency changes to euros/pounds, and the law deviate slightly, more of which you will know about below.
Why do you need to declare cash at customs?
Now, the pertinent question is, why do you need to declare cash and other monetary instruments at the customs if the amount exceeds a certain limit?
To avoid fraud and criminal activities from taking place, masked in terms of traveling.
Many people try exporting ‘dirty money to a foreign country through flights. Therefore the CBP makes doubly sure that no heinous monetary activities take place and serves the following purposes through the declaration of money:
- Detect and refrain from money laundering and terrorist financing activities
- Dig into the prosecution of offenses associated
- Facilitate investigation against the threat posed by organized crime
- Fulfill obligations towards staying aware and fighting transnational crime.
Since you need to declare cash at the customs at least 72 hours before the scheduled departure time of your flight, it gives the customs enough time to track if the money is legit or not.
What happens if you don’t declare cash at the customs?
Okay, so let’s say that you are traveling with cash over $10,000 on a domestic flight, and you could not bring it in you to care to declare it to the CBP. What happens next?
Your treasured money can be seized. If you unknowingly (and most obviously, ignorantly) carried a huge amount of cash or monetary instrument (equivalent to cash) with you without declaration, there are very high chances of it getting seized.
You can, however, seek legal counsel and may have some hope of getting your money back; the process, however, shall be very lengthy and exhausting.
Alternatives to the penalty include a hefty fine of up to $500,000 if you fail to report your monetary instruments exceeding the set limit.
How much cash can you carry on an international flight?
Different countries have slightly different rules, however the core principle of how much cash you can carry on an international flight. If you are carrying a considerable amount of cash with you, check with your destination’s customs. They will update you whether you need to declare the monetary instruments you are carrying or not.
In the U.S.
As mentioned before, there is no limit to carrying cash (both import and export), either as banknotes or otherwise, if you are traveling on a domestic flight within the U.S, as long as you follow the regulations. However, the same applies if you are an international traveler, importing money from a foreign place.
Here is the catch: Irrespective of where you are coming from, if your destination is the U.S., you must declare all monetary instruments exceeding $10,000.
For example, if you are internationally flying from the U.K. to the U.S. and you are carrying 9000 Euros with you, they will convert into over $10,000 US dollars. Thus, regardless of what currency you are importing into the U.S., if the amount post-conversion into U.S. dollars exceeds $10,000, you must declare it at the customs.
In the U.K.
About taking cash in and out of Great Britain, there is no set limit to how much cash you can carry. But, you certainly need to declare any monetary amount of £10,000 or more.
This declaration has to be made to the U.K. customs authorities if you are carrying it between Great Britain, which includes England, Scotland, and Wales, and another country.
You must declare cash of £10,000 or more if you carry it from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. If you are importing or exporting cash and other monetary instruments between Northern Ireland and a non-European country, you will need to declare it if it is equal to or over €10,000. However, there is no limit to how much cash you can carry.
On an international trip between Northern Ireland and any European country, not only is there no limit to carrying cash, but you also do not need to declare any amount of cash that you are carrying.
If you are traveling with cash from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, you do not need to sign a cash disclosure form or declare your cash at the customs for any amount.
The Canadian Government makes it abundantly clear that there is no limit to cash that you can import and export out of the country. Although, whichever currencies and monetary instruments such as stocks, bonds, bank drafts, etc., are being carried, if they are valued at Can$10,000 or more, they must be declared by the traveler.
The currency includes both Canadian and foreign currency, which, when converted, exceed $10,000 Canadian Dollars.
When entering Canada from a foreign location, if you happen to carry Can$10,000 or more with you, you must report it on the CBSA Declaration Card (if you have one in your possession) or an Automated Border Clearance kiosk or a Primary Inspection Kiosk. Alternatively, this declaration can also be made verbally to an appointed border services officer.
Meanwhile, if you are leaving Canada for a foreign destination with Can$10,000 or more, a declaration for the same is required. This can be done at the CBSA office within the airport, right before passing through the obligatory security checks.
The amount of foreign currency/ monetary instruments you can import to India as an international traveler from another country is limitless.
However, the import regulations state that you need to declare the money you are carrying if it exceeds $5000 USD in cash/ equivalent. You also need to declare if the amount exceeds $10,000 in forms such as traveler’s check, business check, etc.
When traveling from India to a foreign destination, Indian Customs allows 25,000 INR to be carried as cash by an individual. Note that this amount is the maximum amount to be carried by individuals and not collectively.
For instance, a group of 4 can collectively carry 1,00,000 INR if each person carries a maximum of 25,000 INR.
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