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Calls for international travellers to declare excess cash

International travellers into and out of Australia are being reminded of the need to declare any cash they are carrying in excess of AUD $10,000 or more, to help make travel at airports smoother.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Border Force (ABF) are continuing to observe international travellers with undeclared currency – particularly at Sydney International Airport.

Under Australian law travellers can carry an unlimited amount of cash into and out of Australia – however, amounts of $10,000 or more Australian dollars (or foreign currency equivalent) must be declared first by completing an online form.

Travellers can download the Cross-Border Movement – Physical Currency form from AUSTRAC’s website, or get a copy prior to their overseas departure at any international airport or seaport.

Completed forms can then be handed to an ABF officer, located at all international departure points, before leaving the country.

AFP acting Sydney Airport Police Commander Simone O’Mahony said once a form has been completed travellers can carry unlimited amounts of cash.

“These laws exist to stop money laundering by organised crime syndicates, or to prevent the offshore funding of terrorist groups – and we need your help to make these work. All it takes is to fill out the simple form online and you can save yourself and your family stress and a potential fine at the airport,” Detective acting Superintendent O’Mahony said.

ABF Regional Commander NSW Tim Fitzgerald said undeclared currency can be the result of many factors such as a misunderstanding by travellers or mistrust in financial institutions.

“ABF officers assist travellers at international airports to do the right thing and declare sums over $10,000, however if the cash is not declared our officers have various means of detecting cash using x-ray, detector dogs and physical inspections,” Commander Fitzgerald said.

Acting AUSTRAC National Manager Intelligence, Lynne Walker, said declaring currency over the threshold amount is a legal obligation.

“Navigating through an airport can be an overwhelming experience. As part of your travel preparation, remember that if you’re carrying $10,000 or more it needs to be declared. Doing this ahead of time will save you the stress of filling out a form at the airport,” Ms Walker said.

Further information for travellers can be found on AUSTRAC’s website.

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