How much money do you have to declare on flight?

Traveling internationally can be an exciting adventure, but it’s important to be aware of the legal requirements and regulations when it comes to carrying money. One such requirement is the declaration of currency and monetary instruments when entering the United States. In this blog post, we will discuss the monetary reporting requirements, the process of filling out the Customs Declaration Form (CBP Form 6059B), the need to file the FinCEN Form 105, consequences of not declaring money, exceptions and special circumstances, tips for traveling with money, and the overall importance of adhering to these requirements.

Understanding the Monetary Reporting Requirements

Before diving into the process of declaration, let’s understand the basic monetary reporting requirements for international travelers. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations, any individual entering or leaving the United States is required to report if they are carrying currency or monetary instruments in a combined amount over $10,000. But what exactly is considered currency and monetary instruments? Currency refers to the traditional forms of money such as banknotes and coins. On the other hand, monetary instruments include traveler’s checks, money orders, negotiable instruments, and certain bearer instruments.

Filling out the Customs Declaration Form (CBP Form 6059B)

To comply with the monetary reporting requirements, travelers need to fill out the Customs Declaration Form, also known as CBP Form 6059B. This form serves the purpose of documenting the goods and items a traveler brought into the country, including currency and monetary instruments. It is important to fill out the form accurately and honestly to ensure compliance and avoid potential issues during the customs process.

Filing the FinCEN Form 105

In addition to the CBP Form 6059B, travelers who are carrying currency or monetary instruments exceeding $10,000 are required to file a report with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). This report is known as the FinCEN Form 105 and helps government authorities track money laundering and other illicit financial activities. The form can be filed electronically or by submitting a paper form to the appropriate authority.

Consequences of Not Declaring Money

Failing to declare currency or monetary instruments exceeding $10,000 can have serious consequences. Not only is it illegal, but it can result in legal penalties, including fines and even imprisonment. Additionally, there is a risk of seizure and forfeiture of the undeclared money. These consequences can have long-lasting impacts on future travel plans and immigration matters.

Exceptions and Special Circumstances

While the general rule is to declare amounts over $10,000, there are certain exceptions and special circumstances to be aware of. For non-residents and residents returning to the country, there are different rules and thresholds that apply. Additionally, if you are carrying monetary instruments in electronic or digital form, there may be specific requirements to follow. It’s also important to be aware of the regulations when traveling within the Schengen Area or other international destinations.

Tips for Traveling with Money

To have a smooth travel experience and ensure the safety of your money, it is essential to follow some practical tips. Consider opting for safe and secure ways to carry money, such as using prepaid travel cards or accessing funds through international bank accounts. It is also advisable to have a mix of payment options, including credit cards and a small amount of cash for emergencies. Properly planning and organizing your finances in advance can help you avoid any last-minute hassles.


In conclusion, declaring money on a flight is not just a legal requirement, but also an important step to ensure transparency and prevent illicit financial activities. By understanding the monetary reporting requirements, accurately filling out the Customs Declaration Form, and filing the FinCEN Form 105 when necessary, travelers can avoid legal penalties and complications during their international journeys. It is crucial to be well-informed and compliant with these regulations to have a hassle-free and enjoyable travel experience.


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