Declaring more than 10,000 USD in cash

skyway

Registered
Joined
May 28, 2018
Messages
39
Likes
8
Hi,

Just wondering what are the consequences, if any, of carrying 20,000 dollars in cash into Argentina? I assume the sensible approach is to officially declare it and not take any chances with a non declaration? What actually happens when you declare it? Are questions asked regarding the purpose of the money etc.? Is there any possibility that some of it could be seized as the total exceeds 10k?

Thanks.
 

lunar

Registered
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
Messages
641
Likes
426
Traveling with large amounts of cash even within the country creates many interesting possible outcomes for you.

Convinced the woman obtained the money through an illegal drug deal, detectives seized the cash. The woman signed a property receipt for the money, police say. Police did not arrest the woman or charge her with a crime.
 

Edu R

Registered
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
54
Likes
34
Hi,

Just wondering what are the consequences, if any, of carrying 20,000 dollars in cash into Argentina? I assume the sensible approach is to officially declare it and not take any chances with a non declaration? What actually happens when you declare it? Are questions asked regarding the purpose of the money etc.? Is there any possibility that some of it could be seized as the total exceeds 10k?

Thanks.

I have to admit I had never even considered the possibility but I looked into the legislation and yes, you're supposed to declare anything over USD 10,000.

Unlike the US, the 10,000 is a per person limit, not per group (and the US considers whatever they want a "group", as long as they believe the money itself has a single origin and is over the limit), so if you're traveling with someone else and each can bring USD 9,999 then you can technically not file. Minors under 16 have a 5000 USD limit.

FYI the 10,000 includes any other currency you might have on you at the time, even pesos.

As far as I can tell you fill a form and hand it in when you pass through Aduana.

I can't speak as to the actual consequences, but the objective is to prevent money laundering so if I would carry anything that might justify you having that cash (proof of withdrawal from your bank account, an invoice, some sort of letter from a family member saying they gifted it to you, etc.).

Biblioteca Electrónica (afip.gob.ar)

Not legal advice, your circumstances may vary, etc.
 

wineguy999

Registered
Joined
May 9, 2009
Messages
1,215
Likes
1,614
Hi,

Just wondering what are the consequences, if any, of carrying 20,000 dollars in cash into Argentina? I assume the sensible approach is to officially declare it and not take any chances with a non declaration? What actually happens when you declare it? Are questions asked regarding the purpose of the money etc.? Is there any possibility that some of it could be seized as the total exceeds 10k?

Thanks.
It's legal to carry massive amounts of cash, as long as it's declared on both sides. My wife used to work for a company that traded in hard currency, so I've spent hours in airports dealing with customs agents, many of whom were not the sharpest knives in the drawer. Remember, one ambitious idiot can ruin your day, and I've heard horror stories over as little as $3K.

Recommend keeping it below $10K and undeclared.
 

antipodean

Registered
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
1,661
Likes
2,212
Hi,

Just wondering what are the consequences, if any, of carrying 20,000 dollars in cash into Argentina? I assume the sensible approach is to officially declare it and not take any chances with a non declaration? What actually happens when you declare it? Are questions asked regarding the purpose of the money etc.? Is there any possibility that some of it could be seized as the total exceeds 10k?

Thanks.
The X-rays and some sniffer dogs at EZE do detect cash.
If you are selected to have your bags (including carry-on, duty free shopping bags, purses etc) X-rayed and they see a wad of cash on the screen, they may ask you to show them how much cash you have.


If you declare it, then it simply means there is an official record of it having legally entered the country. As in most countries the data usually gets registered on some international watch lists also in case you are being suspected of money laundering somewhere. You usually need to state the source of the funds and if you seem suspicious it is possible you will be asked to substantiate that (e.g. bank withdrawal slip/ statement)
Most countries have similar requirements to declare on departure, so it may help if you also have a declaration from your country of departure as well to show you are genuinely being compliant etc and avoid unexpected issues prior to even getting to Argentina.

If you are caught not declaring, then undeclared amounts exceeding $10.000 are subject to confiscation (as if you were caught taking in too many bottles of alcohol or other items exceeding customs limits) and payment of fines, or potentially worse penalties, according to the customs code.
Further, if you don't declare it coming in and for whatever reason need to leave with it, you may also face the same issues. I understand that to leave, anything above $10.000 actually needs to be transferred by bank transfer and carrying $20.000 is simply not allowed.

In more practical / every day scenarios, if declaring at EZE for sure you do run a smallish but real risk of encountering an agent who wants to give you a hard time and make you think you have done something wrong, usually resolved with a little something in exchange / "on the spot fine".
Best to have the applicable law(s) printed out, along with your form, so if you want to challenge them you can ask them to show you exactly where it says you cannot bring in $X amount etc, at which point they may just rudely tell you to get lost or decide to find something else to give you a hard time about. Unfortunately as I have heard many times from travellers, such customs agents usually target people who cross their paths who don't speak Spanish well or look easy to intimidate.
 
Last edited:

elhombresinnombre

Registered
Joined
Sep 25, 2008
Messages
1,366
Likes
841

elhombresinnombre

Registered
Joined
Sep 25, 2008
Messages
1,366
Likes
841
Remember, it's not just the origin and the destination: if you are transiting through a third country their limits also apply. Brazil, for instance, has a limit of 10,000 Reales. (Check today's rates to see how low that is)
 

elhombresinnombre

Registered
Joined
Sep 25, 2008
Messages
1,366
Likes
841
I don't think we ever found that out but we did learn they were tailed all the way from the airport.
 
Top