Gold Across International Borders

“Kathleen, are there any restrictions in taking gold with me on a trip out of the United States?”

–C. Edward W., United States

Not at the moment. The United States and most every other country require you to declare “negotiable instruments” if you’re carrying more than US$10,000 worth (for some countries, the minimum allowed before declaration is less). The United States requires that you make the declaration when entering and when leaving. The particulars of how and when to make the declaration vary country to country.

Depending who you ask, “negotiable instruments” include cash, bearer bonds, checks made out to cash, maybe stocks and bonds that aren’t bearer instruments, and yes, gold and other precious metals, depending on their form. Certainly gold bars would need to be declared.

However, most advisors I’ve checked with agree that gold coins need not be declared for their gold value, but, rather, for their face value. That said, you should check with customs in the country where you’re planning to travel to be sure of the rules. Customs everywhere in the world can and will confiscate undeclared cash and any other undeclared “negotiable instruments.”


“Kathleen, this past Sunday’s article is one of the best you’ve written in sometime. Not just the content, but the flow of your thoughts was mesmerizing.

“I’m envious of the US$1 per garment dry cleaning.”

–Scott H., United States

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