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CURRENCY SEIZURES

The attorneys at the Dilendorf Law Firm help clients navigate the complexities related to currency seizures and detentions and the administrative proceedings that follow.

When traveling to the United States from another country, travelers must declare to U.S. Customs and Border Protection the exact amount of “monetary currency” they are carrying. For the purposes of CBP enforcement, these “monetary instruments” include the following:

  • S. currency or foreign coins
  • Any form of traveler’s check
  • Negotiable instruments, including promissory notes, money orders, checks, in a transferable form
  • Incomplete instruments, such as promissory notes, money orders, checks, which are signed but with a payee’s name omitted
  • Securities or stock in a transferable form

While there are no duties paid to Customs, or any other fees assessed by CBP for the international transport of currency, it is still a reporting requirement on the Form 6059B, commonly known as the U.S. Customs Declaration Form. The rationale behind this reporting is that parties traveling together split their currency. Such travelers might advise U.S. Customs that they are each bringing less than the $10,000 minimum in currency, so neither of them reports this on the form. If it is later discovered that the party has more than $10,000 it will result in all of their money being seized.

According to CBP’s final rule, “to broaden the definition of “members of a family residing in one household to more accurately reflect relationships for U.S. citizens, residents and international visitors who are traveling together as a family,” such travelers may not split currency.

As experts in dealing with U.S. Customs enforcement actions, the Dilendorf Law Firm has helped numerous international travelers reclaim their assets after a currency seizure. Our attorneys will file a petition with CBP and work hard to recover every asset detained by U.S. Customs.

Seizures for Importers

Our customs lawyers understand the dilemma for importers whose goods have been seized or detained at the border and coordinate effectively with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authorities to petition for their lawful release.

In many cases, counsel may elect to demand that Customs release the goods immediately, and if not granted, they may file a lawsuit with Federal District Court to obtain a lawful release order. An administrative proceeding will be required, in which our attorneys represent clients to ensure the most favorable outcome possible.

Seizure notices may be issued for property other than shipped goods, such as currency or financial instruments. Currency seizures, like merchandise seizures, offer a limited chance for rebuttal, making the guidance of an experienced customs attorney even more important. In addition to seizures, U.S. law provides for significant civil penalties for any attempt or successful importation of counterfeit goods.

The attorneys at the Dilendorf Law Firm respond effectively to seizure notices to protect our clients’ interests limit their risk exposure. Our firm offers an experienced and capable defense for clients facing currency seizures and other CBP enforcement actions.

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