Money and cash seizure in the UK can occur if you don’t follow the correct guidelines for cash allowance when travelling in and out of Great Britain. You may then have to pay penalties to have your money returned. Border Force may also seize your money (even if it’s below the allowed cash amount) if they suspect that it will be used for criminal purposes. In that case, they will need to provide bear the burden of proof to make a case against you. With that said, this article discusses money and cash seizure in the UK, specific to cash allowance and when there is potential criminal activity suspected.

Cash Allowance When Traveling In and Out of Great Britain

Whenever you are travelling in and out of Great Britain (England, Wales, or Scotland) from or to another country, you must carry a cash amount of less than £10,000 (with a group or family) if you do not want to deal with any legal issues. However, if you exceed this amount when travelling with a group or family (irrespective of whether the individuals all possess less than this amount), then you must make a declaration to UK customs.

You must make a declaration for various types of money, including the following.

  • Cash (coins and notes)
  • Travellers’ cheques
  • Bearer bonds
  • Signed cheques that are not made out to an organisation or person

A declaration, therefore, is a document that you must use to inform the Border Force that you are carrying an amount exceeding the cash allowance limit. You must then present this document to a Border Force officer when moving in and out of the UK.

This declaration is not any typical document. There are certain details that need to be present in the document in order to satisfy the Border Force. Thus, some details needed are listed below.

  • The person who will carry the cash or other form of money and who owns it (their address and passport number will be necessary)
  • Details of the journey, including the countries visited (including transits)
  • The exact amount of cash that the person will carry
  • How the cash will be used
  • The source of the cash, i.e., the exact location for where it was generated

Cash Seizure When Criminal Activity Is Suspected

Custom authorities can only seize cash if they suspect it is involved with criminal activity for 48 hours. After that, the authorities must have a court order and bear the burden of proof, i.e., they must prove that it is being used for illegal activity, as opposed to the defendant providing proof that it is not being used for illegal activity.

In either case, you should always have appropriate legal representation in cases regarding money and cash seizure in the UK. This way, you can help prevent paying high penalties and have your seized money returned.