Latest On Proposal To Seize ‘Suspicious’ Cash, Precious Metals, Gems Entering EU

Individuals intending to carry legally-obtained and owned currency, precious metals, and gems into the European Union for their safe deposit boxes may want to take note of a December 5, 2017, press release on the European Parliament web site:

“Cross-border cash movements: tightening up anti-terror and crime checks”

• New rules beefing up rules on cash controls dating back to 2005
New definition of “cash”
• Disclosure declaration required for cash sent by freight

Tougher checks on cash entering or leaving the EU were backed by the Civil Liberties and Economic Affairs committees on Monday.

The new rules repeal the First Cash Control Regulation (CCR) from 2005, which requires individuals to declare sums over €10,000 when leaving or entering the EU. MEPs want to close loopholes exploited by criminals, such as divergent penalties in different member states, travelling with sums just below the declaration threshold or using means of transferring value that are not covered by current rules.

To prevent the proceeds of crime from re-entering the economy or money being used to finance illegal activities, MEPs agreed to:

widen the definition of “cash” to include gold, precious stones and metals, as well as anonymous prepaid electronic cash cards,

enable the authorities to impound cash below the €10,000 threshold temporarily, if criminal activity is suspected, and

• make it mandatory to disclose “unaccompanied” cash sent by cargo.

MEPs also asked the EU Commission to draft legislation to bring about a convergence of cash control penalties in the member states and study the possibility of establishing a Union Financial Intelligence Unit by 2019.

The draft law was adopted Monday evening by 55 votes to 3, with 4 abstentions…

Next steps

The text still needs to be approved by the Parliament as a whole, before MEPs can start negotiating the legislation with EU governments…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Once again, the proposed rules seek to enable EU authorities to seize cash- “to include gold, precious stones and metals”- below the €10,000 threshold temporarily merely on suspicions of criminal activity.

This initiative may sound familiar to regular readers of Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes as I first blogged about it back on December 28, 2016.

You can read the entire press release on the European Parliament site here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes (www.offshoresafedepositboxes.com)

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