At Your Own Risk
You’ve heard the horror stories.
Caught transporting illegal drugs from country to country, thrown in jail, alone and afraid with no guarantees of release in the near future.
But you have no intentions of hiding illegal drugs in the bottoms of your shoes and sneaking them across any borders, so you have no fears of that ever happening to you. You’re in the clear, right?
If you’re reading this blog because you’re considering relocating your gold supply to another country for safe-keeping, you may want to do a bit of research.
Flying your gold in and out of the United States is legal.
However, like everything else regarding air travel, packing some gold coins in your carry-on and taking them to some other nation is not a simple task.
The best advice one could probably give in regards to transporting precious metals to other countries would be to hire an armored security service to do it for you.
If you insist on taking it yourself, though, there are some things you need to be aware of.
When you travel to a foreign country, you have to fill out a couple of forms and go through customs and immigration.
There is no getting around it, and it is an ordeal. If you’re carrying large sums of money—especially in the form of precious metals—it is an even bigger ordeal.
According to Mark Nestmann, there are two sets of rules to consider:
Rules from the Treasury Department and rules from the Census Bureau.
The former, he says, “don’t appear to apply to gold and silver bullion…” The Census Bureau rules are what you need to look out for.
According to these rules, travelers in the possession of more than $2,500 in certain commodities (gold and silver bullion included) must make a declaration of said commodities.
Failing to do so will probably result in the confiscation of your bullion, heavy fines, and possibly even prison time.
In the past, international travelers were asked to fill out a “Shipper’s Export Declaration” if they were traveling with more than $2,500 in certain commodities, but today things are a little different. You must now make your declaration electronically via an EEI (Electronic Export Information).
More information about the EEI and transporting commodities overseas can be found at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.
One article suggests contact with the nearest U.S. Customs and Border Protection office long before date of departure.
That way you can find out firsthand what the law is and what you need to do to avoid seizure, fines, and possible arrest.
All that said, I strongly recommend hiring an armored security service like Brinks to transport your precious metals for you.
Search the Internet yourself, and read the articles about unsuspecting travelers who decided to pack their gold in their carry-ons only to be pulled aside at security, strip searched, and thrown into a Mexican jail.
Maybe your experience wouldn’t be that extreme, but your gold is very likely to be confiscated. In my opinion, that is enough reason just to hire someone.