Moving money across international borders
You must declare cash and non-cash forms of money (such as traveller’s cheques, cheques and money orders) in Australian and foreign currency if the combined value is AUD10,000 or more when you:
- Travel into or out of Australia with it
- Send it overseas (for example, by mail, courier, air or sea freight), or
- Receive it from overseas (for example, by mail, courier, air or sea freight).
There is no limit to the amount of money that you can travel with, receive and send overseas.
You also don’t need to declare money that you transfer overseas or receive from overseas through a bank or a remittance service provider (money transfer business).
How to declare cash and non-cash forms of money
Travelling into or out of Australia with money
Complete the online declaration form before you pass through customs when arriving or departing Australia. Save a copy of your submission receipt, as you may need to show it to an Australian Border Force or police officer.
Sending or have received money from overseas
You may be sending, or have received money from overseas, by mail, courier, air or sea freight. If you are sending money, complete the online form before you send it. If you have received money from overseas, complete the online form within five business days of receiving it.
Sample forms and languages other than English
View or download sample forms and languages other than English
What do I need to declare?
You must declare cash and non-cash forms of money in Australian and foreign currency if the combined value is AUD10,000 or more when moving it into or out of Australia.
These cash and non-cash forms of money are known as monetary instruments, and they include:
- Bearer negotiable instruments (BNIs):
- Bill of exchange
- Promissory note
- Bearer bond
- Traveller's cheque
- Money order, postal order or similar order
- Other negotiable instrument not covered above.
Money orders, postal orders and similar orders, and any negotiable instruments not otherwise listed above, must still be reported as BNIs even if they do not specify the amount to be paid or the payee.
Some BNIs include an instruction to ‘pay to the bearer’. The bearer is the person in possession of the BNI.
You don’t need to declare bullion or other precious metals to AUSTRAC. For more information about travelling with bullion, visit the Australian Border Force website.
If you are a reporting entity, you can submit a cross-border movement report through AUSTRAC Online.
Fees for carrying money
You won’t be charged any fees for declaring physical currency or BNIs.
Rules about carrying and declaring money
There is no age limit for carrying money, but you cannot avoid your obligation to report the cross border movement of monetary instruments of AUD10,000 or more by having a child carry it for you.
You can carry cash and non-cash forms of money for someone else, but you must declare it. On the reporting form, the person carrying the money must give information about themselves, as well as information about the person they are carrying the money for and delivering the money to.
Sharing cash or non-cash forms of money to avoid reporting obligations is called ‘structuring’. It is against the law.
For example, a party of travellers, such as a family, might choose to break up a reportable amount of currency among themselves, so that each traveller is carrying less than AUD10,000. If this involves, for example, a young child ‘carrying’ AUD9,950 across the border, it may be considered that the main purpose of dividing the cash among the party is to avoid the reporting requirement.
It is illegal to make multiple trips across the border with amounts of cash less than AUD10,000 to avoid reporting requirements. It is also illegal to make someone else do this.
Penalties for structuring include fines and imprisonment.
Penalties for not reporting movement of money overseas
You may face penalties, including fines and imprisonment, for not reporting cash or non-cash forms of money (BNIs) in Australian and foreign currency if the combined value is AUD10,000 or more when you enter or leave Australia, or send or receive money overseas.
How to pay your fine
If you have been given an infringement notice, you can pay the fine in three ways.
- Secure online payment using credit card.
- Internet or phone banking via BPAY. This option is for Australian residents only. The BPAY biller code and customer reference are on the back of your infringement notice.
- Money order or bank draft in Australian dollars payable to AUSTRAC.
What happens to a form once it is submitted
Getting a copy of your completed form
You can apply for a copy of your completed form under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). You can’t apply for information about another person, unless they have given their permission. Find out more about our freedom of information policy and processes.
You can contact us for help or more information.
If you are travelling into or out of Australia and you are unable to complete the online form, you can request a paper version from an Australian Border Force or police officer. They can help you complete the declaration form.
The content on this website is general and is not legal advice. Before you make a decision or take a particular action based on the content on this website, you should check its accuracy, completeness, currency and relevance for your purposes. You may wish to seek independent professional advice.