Cross-border PM

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canpa's picture
canpa
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Cross-border PM

Greetings, All

I am a US citizen, living currently in Canada but planning to relocate to US within the next year (family/personal reasons).  I have amassed a small but substantial amount of leafs (leaves?) and junk which I plan to bring back with me.  I value my privacy, if you know what I mean.  Any suggestions as to how I might keep my privacy as intact as possible, given requirements to declare?  eg, I understand that leafs are legal tender in Canada, therefore each might be declared at face value vs weight value. 

Thank you for you response(s).  

Off-line response is ok.....

Cheers.

bluestone's picture
bluestone
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Posts: 263
Re: Cross-border PM

Canpa

Don't know the exact answer.  I live about three hours from Canada in upstate NY.  I believe that if you are going from the US to Canada you can carry up to $10,000 worth of PM with no declaration necessary.  I think they have to be 24 carat or you will be taxed.  I know the leafs are 24 K.  Sorry, not sure about the other way around.  Have you considered leaving some of your leafs in Canada?  I was considering driving up to Canada to do so?

Brian

canpa's picture
canpa
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Re: Cross-border PM

Brian

It hadn't occured to me to possibly leave some or all in Canada and retrieve them at a later date....!

Thanks.

John

 

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SteveW
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Re: Cross-border PM

There is no privacy crossing the border these days and the worst thing you could do is to declare the legal tender value which is about 1/25 of bullion value, since that could lead to confiscation. There should be no problem taking well in excess of $10,000 so long as it is declared.

The border agents are nosy. Last month I went to Las Vegas using the bus to cross the line for a cheap US flight. I declared less than $10,000 and the border agent asked how much. I said I did not want the whole bus to know so he said "I respect your privacy, write it down on this piece of paper". OK but there was no real reason for him to know exactly how much less than $10,000 I had for my poker trip.

bluestone's picture
bluestone
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Re: Cross-border PM

Steve

Why would declaring the legal tender value to the bullion lead to confiscation? 

 

Brian

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SteveW
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Re: Cross-border PM
bluestone wrote:

Steve

Why would declaring the legal tender value to the bullion lead to confiscation?

Brian

OK, you hit US customs and immigration with say 40 Maples. I've got CAD $2000 in gold you say. What is it? Oh, 40 maples are worth almost US $50,000. I'm afraid I'm going to have to confiscate your gold for makng a false declaration and just stay in that back room while we bring in the FBI to interview you about the terrorist activities you were planning to support with your gold.

 

 

 

Ken C's picture
Ken C
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Re: Cross-border PM

Here is a link to the PDF of the form that must be filled out whenever crossing the border and carrying cash exceeding $10,000.

http://www.fincen.gov/forms/files/fin105_cmir.pdf

 

Here are a couple of statements from the instructions with the form.

Who must fill out the form:

(1) Each person who physically transports, mails, or ships, or causes to be physically
transported, mailed, or shipped currency or other monetary instruments in an aggregate
amount exceeding $10,000 at one time from the United States to any place outside the
United States or into the United States from any place outside the United States,

Definition of currency:

Currency The coin and paper money of the United States or any other country that is (1)
designated as legal tender and that (2) circulates and (3) is customarily accepted as a medium
of exchange in the country of issuance.

It seems to me that US gold eagles with a face value of $50 (US) meet the criteria of the definition of currency. They are legal tender. I suppose that "circulates" and "medium of exchange"  may be disputed by the border people. I suspect that a court case would be the only way to resolve the issue of whether one has to claim a gold eagle should be valued at $50 US or some other number for the purposes of this form.

It would be useful if someone knew of a court case that addressed this issue.

 

Ken

 

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Ken C
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Re: Cross-border PM
Ken C wrote:

Here is a link to the PDF of the form that must be filled out whenever crossing the border and carrying cash exceeding $10,000.

http://www.fincen.gov/forms/files/fin105_cmir.pdf

 

Here are a couple of statements from the instructions with the form.

Who must fill out the form:

(1) Each person who physically transports, mails, or ships, or causes to be physically
transported, mailed, or shipped currency or other monetary instruments in an aggregate
amount exceeding $10,000 at one time from the United States to any place outside the
United States or into the United States from any place outside the United States,

Definition of currency:

Currency The coin and paper money of the United States or any other country that is (1)
designated as legal tender and that (2) circulates and (3) is customarily accepted as a medium
of exchange in the country of issuance.

It seems to me that US gold eagles with a face value of $50 (US) meet the criteria of the definition of currency. They are legal tender. I suppose that "circulates" and "medium of exchange"  may be disputed by the border people. I suspect that a court case would be the only way to resolve the issue of whether one has to claim a gold eagle should be valued at $50 US or some other number for the purposes of this form.

It would be useful if someone knew of a court case that addressed this issue.

 

Ken

 

 

I am commenting on my own post since I thought of this some time after I made the earlier post.

It occurs to me that if you are not transporting currency or monetary instrments then the reporting requirement does not apply to you.

A  bar of gold or a silver round is not currency or monetary instrument so transporting such should not require reporting.

Am I reading this correctly? What do you all think?

 

Ken

 

bluestone's picture
bluestone
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Posts: 263
Re: Cross-border PM

Ken  don't know the answer to this one.    Even if it is not necessary to declare today, doesn't mean the rules couldn't be changed tommorrow.  Transporting something like gold bars or something of similar value would give me the creeps anyway, whether or not I'm crossing a border.  I think that there is some argument for vaulted gold with a reputable company.  

SteveW - thanks for the explanation.  I guess the best way to respond is "I've got about 40 maple leafs which have a legal tender value of $2000 but they have a bullion value of $50,000 USD".  

Brian

V's picture
V
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Joined: Dec 14 2009
Posts: 849
Re: Cross-border PM

There is a saying in India " If the snake is asleep don't wake it up "

There is a saying here " It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission"

V

canpa's picture
canpa
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Joined: Sep 21 2008
Posts: 9
Re: Cross-border PM

I sure appreciate all this dialog and thinking here.  

So, following this line of thinking, if leafs ARE legal tender (and I'm not 100% certain of this but I think I read in one of my sources that they are), what if I say, "I'm arriving in the US with $2000 of cash."  ?  

I crossed the border about a year ago and was asked, "How much money are you carrying"  Reply: "$1800."  Next question: "Why so much?"  My answer (and it was true...), "I'm getting married in 2 weeks and prefer to have cash to pay for unexpected expenses."  End of conversation.  

I anticipate fielding this type of questioning more easily than if I declare $50,000 in gold.  Even if I am "permitted"  to bring it across after filling out the form, I prefer to limit the fact that I have PMs to only those who "need to know."  Does USCBP need to know gold or can I declare cash?  How about my junk- is that a coin collection/old coins?  

Thanks for the thoughts- I recognize that this will be mostly your/my opinions.  I appreciate links, (like the one Ken C sent....).

John

bluestone's picture
bluestone
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Posts: 263
Re: Cross-border PM

John.  I get what V is saying, but I tend to take the approach of full disclosure.  As I recall the last time I crossed the border they asked me if I was carrying over $10,000.  I had about 200 bucks on me.  I simply replied no and they  let me pass by.  

canpa's picture
canpa
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 21 2008
Posts: 9
Re: Cross-border PM

bluestone,

I tend that way, too.  I'm just resistant to disclosing how much PM I'm returning to the US with....(it will be over $10K)

Phooey!

(But thanks for the input.)

John

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