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Many Canadians, at certain stages in life, contemplate living abroad. Maybe you are already doing so. Though it is getting easier and easier to access your money electronically from anywhere in the world, it is still important to know how much cash you can bring with you. This is especially true if you are planning on living in a country which doesn't have the most up-to-date technology, or not enough ATMs. It's also especially true if you fear the consequences of the ceaseless move from paper currency to electronic payments. Either way, you need to know how to bring cash on your travels. This article will tell you:
What you have to declare
How to Declare
What happens if you don't declare
Why are these rules in place
If you are exiting Canada with more than CAN$10,000 - or if you are returning home with the same amount - then you need to declare it. For the purposes of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), this money must be declared or if it is the form of "monetary instruments." Monetary instruments include:
'bearer negotiable instruments' (promissory notes, bills of exchange, treasury bills, bank notes, cheques);
'bearer investment securities' including
bank notes, bonds, debentures;
forwards, futures, stock options, swaps;
and any similar 'instruments'.
Electronic transfers of any kind of more than $10,000 are reported by your financial institution to the government of Canada in order to comply with the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, so you only have to worry about reporting the above yourself.
Bringing cash and monetary instruments to or from the United States.
The United States has the equivalent rule as Canada: currency and monetary instruments being moved into or out of the country valued at more than USD$10,000 must be declared. Since the US and Canadian dollars are rarely the same.
Mexico uses the same standard as the United States: if you are carrying or shipping anything above the equivalent of USD$10,000 you must declare it.
If you are travelling to Cuba for tourism or business purposes, you can bring in up to $2,000 Cuban Pesods, without having to declare it.
There are strict rules about bringing money out of Cuba: You cannot take Cuban Convertible Pesos out of Cuba at all, and you can only take out up to $2,000 Cuban Pesos. (However, banks outside of Cuba cannot sell Cuban Pesos so they will not exchange your money.)
The United Kingdom
You have to declare any cash you are bringing into the UK - on your person or shipping separately - in excess of €10,000. Please note that you cannot use your family members to increase your personal limit; the limit applies to individuals and to families.
In the UK, cash means:
currency and coins;
cheques of all types.
The limit is the same across the EU, so the limit for France is the same as the UK: 10,000 euros. However, in France, the limit is tallied per-adult, so you could theoretically bring in more than 10,000 euros undeclared if you are travelling with another adult. (We do not recommend this.)
The Dominican Republic
You must declare the cash you are bringing into the Dominican Republic, but there is no limit on how much you can bring in. You may be forced to convert a minimum of USD$100 to Dominican Pesos upon arrival, though this rule is rarely enforced.
When you are leaving, you can only bring out the same or less than what you declared and brought in, provided it is under USD$10,000. You are not allowed to bring out more than USD$10,000.
You cannot import or import or export Dominican Pesos, however, so all money must be in another currency. If you have Dominican Pesos left over and you have failed to convert them prior to departure, you can get about 30% of the value back at the airport before departing.
Upon entering China you must declare any cash in excess of the equivalent of USD$5,000, or 20,000 Yuan, but you can bring in an unlimited amount.
You cannot normally bring out more than you brought in, without a permit. Further, if you are bringing out between USD$5,000 and $10,000 you will require a permit. If you are bringing out more than USD$10,000 you will require a special "warrant" from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. The warrant may cap you at USD$50,000.
As with the EU countries above, you must declare any money you are bringing into Italy above 10,000 euros.
As with the EU countries above, you must declare any money you are bringing into Germany over 10,000 euros.
You can bring as much or as little foreign cash with you to the Bahamas and take it out again.
However, you are not allowed to exit with more than B$200, as the currency is restricted.