Taking cash in and out of Great Britain
You must declare cash of £10,000 or more to UK customs if you’re carrying it between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and a country outside the UK.
If you’re travelling as a family or group with more than £10,000 in total (even if individuals are carrying less than that) you still need to make a declaration.
If you’re travelling to Northern Ireland and carrying more than €10,000 (or equivalent) you must follow the rules for taking cash into Northern Ireland.
The earliest you can make a declaration is 72 hours before you plan to travel.
Taking cash in and out of Northern Ireland
You must declare cash of €10,000 or more if you carry it between Northern Ireland and any non-EU country.
You must also declare cash of €10,000 or more if you’re arriving in Northern Ireland from Great Britain. You do not need to declare any amount of cash when travelling the other way, from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.
If you’re travelling as a family or group with more than €10,000 in total (even if individuals are carrying less than that) you still need to make a declaration.
Customs authorities may ask you to fill in a cash disclosure form if you send cash by freight, post or parcel between Northern Ireland and any non-EU country. This includes if you send cash from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
Types of cash you must declare
You must declare:
- notes and coins
- bearer bonds
- travellers’ cheques
- cheques (including travellers’ cheques) that are signed but not made out to a person or organisation
If you are carrying cash in or out of Northern Ireland, you must also declare:
- money orders
- gold coins, bullion or nuggets
- prepaid cards
What you’ll need to make a declaration
You’ll need to give details of:
- who’s carrying the cash, the owner of it and the recipient of it - including passport or ID document number, and address
- your journey - with any countries you pass through in transit, including flight numbers or ferry routes
- the amount and type of cash being carried
- the source of the cash - the country it came from and how it was generated (for example, through earnings or selling something)
- what the cash will be used for
How to declare cash
If you’re leaving the UK, you must declare cash before you leave the country.
If you’re coming to the UK you can declare cash before you travel or as soon as you arrive in the UK.
Declare cash before you travel
Declare online for:
If you cannot use the online service you can make your declaration over the phone.
Declare cash when you arrive in the UK
At UK customs, follow ‘goods to declare’ or ‘red channel’ signs, and tell a Border Force officer you want to declare cash. You may have to use a courtesy phone.
They may give you a paper form to fill in or take your declaration themselves.
If there is no way to make a declaration at the port or airport when you arrive, call 0300 322 9434 and make your declaration over the phone.
If you do not declare cash that you should have, all the cash you are carrying can be seized by a Border Force officer. You may have to pay a penalty of up to £5,000 to get it back. This can be taken from the cash before the rest is returned.
Any cash can be seized if customs authorities have reasonable grounds to suspect a crime. They can keep the cash for 48 hours - after that they need a court order.
How to appeal a penalty
You can write to the Fraud Investigation Service if you disagree with a penalty. You must state why you disagree with the decision you’ve been given.
You have 30 days to appeal from the date of the penalty notice.