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Cross-border movement reports

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What are the cross-border movement (CBM) reporting obligations?

Individuals and businesses, including reporting entities, must submit reports about:

  • cross-border movement of physical currency (CBM-PC) of AUD10,000 or more (or foreign currency equivalent) and,
  • when asked by a customs officer or police officer, reports about cross-border movement of bearer negotiable instruments (CBM-BNI) of any amount (such as travellers cheques, cheques or money orders).

The CBM reporting obligations apply to any person departing or entering Australia and any person who sends or receives currency by ship or mail into or out of Australia.

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Reports about physical currency

A CBM-PC covers cross-border movements of physical currency worth AUD10,000 or more (or foreign currency equivalent) into or out of Australia.

Any person entering or departing Australia must report physical currency they are carrying worth AUD10,000 or more (or foreign currency equivalent). Similarly, any person mailing or shipping currency worth AUD10,000 or more (or foreign currency equivalent) into or out of Australia must also report the movement to AUSTRAC.

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Reports about bearer negotiable instruments (BNIs)

A CBM-BNI report covers movements of 'bearer negotiable instruments' (BNIs) into or out of Australia. There is no monetary threshold for a BNI. Even a BNI with no face value (for example, a signed blank cheque) must be reported, if requested by a customs officer or a police officer.

Acustoms officer or a police officer may request a person to complete a CBM-BNI form when entering or departing Australia. This usually occurs at the Customs examination area or an airport or shipping passenger terminal. A CBM-BNI form may also have to be completed when a customs officer or a police officer conducts an examination or search and finds a BNI a person has with them. The completed CBM-BNI form must be given to AUSTRAC or the customs officer or police officer.

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What is the time frame for reporting a CBM-PC?

A CBM-PC report must be made:

  • before currency is sent or carried out of Australia, or carried into Australia
  • within five business days of receiving currency sent into Australia.

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What is the time frame for reporting a CBM-BNI?

A CBM-BNI report must be made immediately upon request by a customs officer or police officer.

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What happens to the completed CBM-PC form or CBM-BNI form?

If the CBM-PC or CBM-BNI form is completed at an airport or port, the form is usually given to a customs officer or police officer, who may check the form to ensure all the required information has been provided. The officer then forwards the form to AUSTRAC.

If the CBM-PC report relates to currency that was mailed or shipped, the person completing the reporting form must send the form directly to AUSTRAC.

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Can a person carry physical currency or a BNI for someone else?

Yes. A person can carry physical currency or a BNI for someone else, but the carrier must still report the physical currency or BNI when required.

The person carrying the currency or BNI must report their own details, as well as information about the person for whom they are carrying the currency or BNI.

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Do BNIs sent into or out of Australia through the postal system have to be reported to AUSTRAC?

BNIs sent into or out of Australia through the postal system do not have to be reported to AUSTRAC.

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What are the penalties for failing to report a CBM-PC or CBM-BNI?

CBM-PC

A person commits an offence if they fail to report movements of physical currency as required under the AML/CTF Act. Penalties may include imprisonment and/or a fine imposed by a court.

CBM-BNI

A person commits an offence if they fail to declare the cross-border movement of BNIs when requested by a customs officer or a police officer. Penalties may include imprisonment and/or a fine imposed by a court.

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Are there any exemptions from the CBM-PC and CBM-BNI reporting obligations?

The CBM-PC reporting obligations do not apply to a commercial passenger carrier (the airline itself) where the physical currency is in the possession of the carrier's passengers.

The CBM-PC reporting obligations also do not apply to a commercial goods carrier carrying physical currency on behalf of another person, and that person did not inform the carrier that the goods included physical currency.

There are no exemptions from the CBM-BNI reporting obligations.

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Last modified: 27/03/2018 15:29