Immigration Corner | Declaring cash when travelling to the UK
Dear Mr Bassie,
I intend to visit the United Kingdom (UK) and I would like to know what I need to declare, in particular, how much cash I am permitted to travel with.
Please note that on entering a United Kingdom port or airport, a person’s passport or identity card will be checked to make sure that he/she is allowed to enter into the country and that the document is valid for the entire stay. A person may also need a visa to go into or travel through the United Kingdom, depending on their nationality.
What persons can take with them will depend on where they are travelling from and they must declare to customs: anything over their duty-free allowance; banned or restricted goods in the United Kingdom, for example, meat and dairy products from most non-European Union countries; goods that are being taken in to sell; and more than €10,000 (or its equivalent) in cash, if persons are coming from outside the European Union (EU).
Please note that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, persons will need to declare cash of £10,000 or more or the equivalent in another currency, up to 72 hours before arriving in the UK.
With respect to travelling in the EU, if persons take cash to the United Kingdom from another EU country, they will not need to declare it. However, persons may need to declare cash that they take in to other EU countries. It is advisable that those persons check with the authorities in the country that they are travelling to.
Persons who are travelling outside the EU must declare cash of €10,000 or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if they take it between the UK and any non-EU country. Please note that cash includes:
• Notes and coins
• Bankers’ drafts
• Cheques of any kind (including travellers’ cheques)
If persons are travelling as a family, you need to declare cash over €10,000. To declare cash, persons should:
1. Download and fill in form C9011 or get a copy at the port or airport.
2. Make a copy - if the form is filled in at the port or airport, it automatically makes a carbon copy.
3. Leave a copy in the drop-box at the port or airport and keep the other to show custom officers.
Persons should be aware that they could face a penalty of up to £5,000 if they do not declare their cash or give incorrect information.
In addition, persons declared cash can be seized by customs officers if they have reasonable grounds to suspect a crime. The customs officers can keep the cash for 48 hours - after that they will need a court order. Please note that persons and their baggage may be checked for anything that must be declared.
Just for completeness, it should be noted that there will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Those persons and their families can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK.
I hope this helps.
John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org