Philippine Customs Stops Currency-Smuggling

On numerous occasions since 2020, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) succesfully prevented attempts of currency-smuggling, and seized the subject local and foreign currencies and other monetary instruments amounting to P33,128,870.00, based on the report by the Intelligence Group-Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (IG-CIIS) of the BOC as of July 14, 2021.

The seized currencies originated from Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan, and from the United States of America, particularly North Carolina, New Jersey, Tennessee, Colorado, and California.

Prior discovery, the items were stored in pieces of baggage brought by passengers or sent before or after their arrival, while for parcel shipments, the items were described and misdeclared as personal documents, correspondence, magazines, and books.

The BOC reminds the public and travellers on the existing Cross-Border Transfer of Local and Foreign Currencies Guidelines under the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Manual of Foreign Exchange Transaction.

Philippine customs authorities have 𝘀𝗲𝗶𝘇𝗲𝗱 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗣𝟯𝟯𝗠-𝘄𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝗣𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗽𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟬.

The traveller, importer or exporter simply needs to secure prior written authorization from BSP for local currency (Philippine peso) exceeding P50,000. On the other hand, for foreign currencies and other monetary instruments exceeding USD10,000 or its equivalent in other currencies, the person shall declare the amount using the prescribed Customs Baggage Declaration Form and Foreign Currency Declaration Form.

The seized currencies were subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings in violation of Sections 1400 (Misdeclaration) and 1113 of R.A. No. 10863 (CMTA) in relation to the R.A. 7653 (New Central Bank Act) and BSP Foreign Exchange Transaction Manual.

The Bureau of Customs under Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero will continue to be diligent in carrying out the mandate of the Bureau of Customs in strictly implementing regulatory laws and rules in the customs jurisdiction.