Category Archives: Legal

BullionStar Highlights Advantages To Storing Precious Metals In Singapore

These days, the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore is a popular destination for the storage of gold and other precious metals. A number of private vaults can be found there, as well as safe deposit boxes outside the banking system.

Last week, the Singapore bullion dealer BullionStar published a blog post entitled “Gold Demand in the Singapore Bullion Market” in which the advantages of storing precious metals in the “Switzerland of Asia” were highlighted. From BullionStar’s Blog on December 11:

One of the early initiatives that transformed Singapore into a precious metals trading and storage hub came in February 2012, when during a budgetary speech to parliament, finance minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced that the importation and supply of investment-grade gold and other precious metals in Singapore would become exempt from Singapore’s Goods and Services Tax (GST)…

Apart from the GST exemption on investment precious metals, there are a number of other jurisdictional advantages that have supported the growth of Singapore as a gold trading and storage hub, and that reinforce the logic for buying gold and storing gold in Singapore.

In Singapore, there are no other taxes when buying gold, silver or other precious metals. This means no capital gains tax, no other sales tax, no death tax, in short no taxes. There are no reporting requirements when buying or selling gold or silver or other precious metals in Singapore. This means no reporting requirements to any Singaporean authority and no reporting requirements to any international authority.

There is no GST when importing gold and other precious metals into Singapore, or exporting gold or other precious metals out of the country. Singapore is also famed for its strong rule of law, making the country one of the safest and most secure countries on earth to buy and store gold. If taking delivery or selling precious metals, it is quite safe, apart from the usual precautions, to walk in and out of bullion dealer shops in Singapore carrying your precious metals.

Furthermore, the Singapore legal system is very protective of private property rights, and the nation of Singapore has strong military capabilities, both of which are reassuring when storing gold or silver in the city-state. Finally, because it’s a thriving gold trading hub, with a buoyant wholesale and retail bullion market, Singapore has a very well-developed gold storage and vaulting infrastructure, and is very well serviced by secure transport companies

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

An informative blog post about Singapore’s growth as a precious metals trading and storage hub, which can be read here on BullionStar’s website.

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

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

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

On Tuesday, I blogged about how 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 proposed rules seeking to enable European Union authorities to seize cash- “to include gold, precious stones and metals”- below the €10,000 threshold temporarily merely on suspicions of criminal activity.

Here’s one take on these rules from economist Martin Armstrong, who blogged yesterday:

The purpose of the rules is now openly being justified to fight against tax evasion, along with moonlighting and terror financing. The government clearly understands that cash is the only way for citizens to protect their savings from access by states and banks and any special levies or wealth taxes. Closing this door merely opens the door to cash investment turning to movable assets particularly shares.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

An insightful post by Armstrong concerning this development across the pond, which you can read here on his company’s website.

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

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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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Casey Research Articles About Gold Coins For Storing Wealth Offshore

Continuing on the subject of gold and storing it offshore, I’d like to bring up two articles I recently read on the Casey Research website. Casey Research was founded by Doug Casey, an American author, publisher, and investor, who also serves as chairman of the Delray Beach, Florida-based investment research firm. Regular readers know I’ve mentioned Casey before on this blog.

Back on May 18, 2017, an article entitled “Doug Casey’s Two Top Ways to Store Wealth Abroad” appeared on CaseyResearch.com. In it, International Man Senior Editor Nick Giambruno (who I’ve also mentioned in the past) asked Casey, “What forms of savings are good candidates to take abroad?” He replied:

Everybody should own gold coins because they are money in its most basic form-something that a lot of people have forgotten. Gold is the only financial asset that’s not simultaneously somebody else’s liability. And if your gold is outside the US, it gives you another degree of insulation should the United States decide that you shouldn’t own it.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“It gives you another degree of insulation should the United States decide that you shouldn’t own it.”

I would add “domestically” to the end of that statement.

More recently, a piece entitled “The Ultimate 4-Step ‘Freedom Insurance’ Plan” appeared on the Casey Research website. In the interview of Nick Giambruno by Chris Lowe, editor of Bonner & Partners’ Inner Circle, gold coins were mentioned again as “the easiest way to lessen the political risk to your savings.” From the October 3 exchange:

LOWE: What form of gold are we talking about- bullion, gold coins, ETFs?
GIAMBRUNO: Physical gold is your best option. Then you don’t have any counterparty risk. Having some gold in your possession in your home country is good. But having another stash in a foreign country is even better. You can either store it at a foreign property. Or you can store it in a non-bank safe deposit box.
LOWE: Why not a safe deposit box in a bank?
GIAMBRUNO: When President Roosevelt criminalized the possession of gold in 1933, federal agents went through bank safe deposit boxes searching for undeclared gold. Today, bank safe deposit boxes fall under the regulations and jurisdictions of banks. If there’s a bank holiday, like the one in Greece… or a bail-in like the one in Cyprus… or any event that shuts down or otherwise affects the banking industry, your bank safe deposit box is at risk. That’s not the case with non-bank vaulting and storage companies.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The subject of transporting gold coins out of the United States came up in the interview. From the exchange:

LOWE: What about gold coins? Can you just hop on a plane to Colombia or Argentina with gold coins in your pocket?
GIAMBRUNO: Well, it’s a gray area. And because it’s a gray area, I wouldn’t recommend taking more than a couple of gold coins with you when traveling abroad. The average TSA agent has probably never seen a gold coin in his life. He probably wouldn’t know what it was if he found one. But, if he thought it was something suspicious, he would confiscate it and let the courts sort it out. And that’s no fun. You’d have to go to court to get your metal back, and that would involve costly legal fees. I’ve taken gold coins across numerous borders, and I haven’t had a problem. But I’ve heard horror stories. And from personal experience, I can tell you that gold coins set off the X-ray machine. So there’s a decent chance the TSA folks- or their foreign counterparts- will find them. And remember, if you take more than $10,000 of “cash” in or out of the US, you need to file a “Report of International Transportation of Currency and Monetary Instruments” with FinCEN, a branch of the Treasury Department that deals with financial “crimes.”

Giambruno ultimately concluded:

You’re better off buying coins when you’re already in your destination country. Taking gold coins with you is just too risky.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Back on March 20, 2014, I blogged about transporting precious metals out of the United States to place in an overseas safe deposit box. In that post, I pointed out offshore expert Mark Nestmann discussed the process in-depth on the Financial Sense website in September 2012. His thoughts on the matter?

While it’s perfectly legal to move precious metals in or out of the United States, you must understand the reporting rules before you begin. Otherwise, your risk confiscation of your metals along with possible civil and criminal sanctions. You’re much better off paying an armored security service such as Brinks or ViaMat to transport the metals for you.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

You can read the two articles on the Casey Research site here and here, respectively.

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

(Editor’s note: The mention of a particular individual/business should not be construed as confirmation of services claimed to be provided or any sort of recommendation. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

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Mark Nestmann: Offshore Your Physical Gold

Yesterday I brought up the recent Nomad Capitalist article “10 Tips for Buying Gold in 2018” in which gold expert Claudio Grass said:

As a general rule, if you have over $50,000 to invest in gold, store it in a safe jurisdiction. For anything less than that, keep it nearby.

And according to Grass, “safe jurisdictions” meant two European countries.

Offshore expert Mark Nestmann also talked about storing physical gold locally and offshore in a July 9 piece on the International Living website. In “Why You Should Store Gold Overseas to Protect Your Money,” Nestmann informed readers:

You may already have gold safely stored at home or in a domestic vault. While that’s a smart plan, there is an even safer way to store your gold: Keep it overseas.

If all your wealth is in the U.S., it’s vulnerable. If you are sued in the U.S. (a one-in-three risk for U.S. citizens) and lose, a creditor can foreclose on your U.S. assets, including your domestic gold. Gold stored overseas, however, is much more difficult for creditors to seize.

Second, there’s political risk. In 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt forced all gold-owners to turn their holdings over to the government. I don’t think a recurrence is likely, as gold is no longer the standard to which we peg our money. But moving your gold overseas gives you peace of mind.

Of course, it’s possible that the country you move your gold to could enforce a U.S. general gold confiscation order. But that’s never happened before. And in countries like Austria, Switzerland, and Singapore, doing so would violate their own ultraprotective wealth preservation laws.

The head of The Nestmann Group went on to talk about the three options available to Americans for keeping their gold overseas, one of which is “direct storage” and “a safe deposit box at a private vault.”

A short but informative primer on offshore gold storage, which you can read here on the International Living site.

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

(Editor’s note: The mention of a particular individual/business should not be construed as confirmation of services claimed to be provided or any sort of recommendation. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

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Sovereign Man Simon Black: ‘Have Some Non-Reportable Assets’

Regular readers of Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes know I’ve brought up Simon Black of Sovereign Man website-fame occasionally. Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, “permanent traveler”, and self-described “free man.” I’ve been following his work for some years now for his insights on offshore asset protection. And yesterday, a post entitled “100 billion reasons to have non-reportable assets” appeared on his blog. Those “100 billion reasons” referred to a low-end estimate of the billions of dollars Black claims the cash-strapped government of Saudi Arabia will seize in their ongoing anti-corruption purge. He surmised:

Saudi Arabia needs cash. Now.

So over the past few weeks they’ve found their source: theft.

Under the guise of a ‘corruption crackdown’, the government of Saudi Arabia has arrested hundreds of its wealthiest, most prominent citizens, and frozen more than 1700 bank accounts.

Black paralleled the Saudi situation with the United States. He added:

This is really no different than Civil Asset Forfeiture in the Land of the Free, the legal framework where countless federal, state, and local agencies have the authority to seize and freeze every asset you own without even so much as charging you with a crime.

(They can even take your kids away!)

I think there’s a pretty big lesson here: desperate governments almost invariably resort to stealing from their own citizens.

And that’s why one step in a Plan B is to have some non-reportable assets.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

One of those “assets that you’re not legally required to tell them about” mentioned was precious metals.

Black has discussed physical gold- and offshoring it- on the Sovereign Man website before. A little over three years ago I blogged:

Simon Black of Sovereign Man-fame talked about that additional line of defense with storing physical gold overseas. He wrote Wednesday on his site:

I’ve long been an advocate of moving a portion of one’s savings overseas.

After all, what’s the sense of leaving 100% of your assets within a country ruled by a morally and financially bankrupt government that treats you like a dairy cow?

Moving some of your gold abroad to a jurisdiction that prides itself on maintaining a high level of financial security and privacy protects you against legal thievery your government might commit against you.

Sure, it’s a risk that might never come to fruition. But you won’t be worse off for having stashed some of your gold away privately in a safe, stable jurisdiction…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“What’s the sense of leaving 100% of your assets within a country ruled by a morally and financially bankrupt government that treats you like a dairy cow?”

Some would argue this applies to good old Uncle Sam. However, while I believe the American Republic is in real danger of becoming “morally and financially bankrupt”- we’re not quite there yet.

That being said, if we continue down the same path we’ve been on for a while now, that gold of yours could look pretty tempting to the Feds.

All-in-all, another fine piece by Simon Black, which you can read in its entirety here.

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

(Editor’s note: The mention of a particular business should not be construed as confirmation of services claimed to be provided or any sort of recommendation. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

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Silver Bullion Article ‘Why Choose A Private Offshore Vault’

It’s been some time since I last mentioned The Safe House (TSH), a Singapore private, non-bank vault with safe deposit boxes. The facility is a subsidiary of the award-winning bullion dealer Silver Bullion, and while on their site earlier today I stumbled upon an article from late August entitled “Why Choose A Private Offshore Vault.” Gregor Gregersen (founder/CEO of The Safe House and Silver Bullion) and Srdjan Seva (Business Development at Silver Bullion) wrote:

When choosing a place to buy and store gold and silver bullion, there are several aspects that need to be considered, especially for those who are new to storing their precious metals. Physical precious metals are almost always purchased for the purpose of wealth protection but how good is such ‘protection’ in a systemic crisis?

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Gregersen and Seva hammered home two important points regarding the above. The first being:

When purchasing precious metals with a plan to physically own and store in a vault, it is important to make sure that buyers are the legal title owners of the stored bullion rather than just creditors being owed bullion.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Second, and no less important:

Diversifying the country risk by storing precious metals offshore in a safe jurisdiction is one the most important aspects of wealth protection against seizures, nationalizations or other forms of confiscations in the home country.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

For Gregersen and Seva, a “safe jurisdiction” can be defined as having:

A clear rule of law especially when it comes to the respect of private property rights, has enough economic and military power to defend its sovereignty and which is strong enough to actually enforce its laws.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Based on this criteria for a “safe jurisdiction,” I suspect a number of countries with safe deposit box facilities outside the banking system might fall short.

An informative and insightful read, which can be found here on the Silver Bullion website. For more information about The Safe House, visit their website here.

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

(Editor’s note: The mention of a particular business should not be construed as confirmation of services claimed to be provided or any sort of recommendation. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

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