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Currency Declaration in Colombia

Currency Declaration in Colombia

Old Jan 16, 17, 1:21 pm
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Currency Declaration in Colombia

I have heard many conflicting reports about this.... I know that Colombia is facing a difficult struggle against the drug industry, which has had an impact on currency controls.

Standard currency declarations are that you declare whatever cash/equivalent you have if it is over a certain threshold (say $10k).

In Colombia, according to at least some reports in the past, you could neither enter nor leave with over $10k (excess was confiscated). I heard of a $3k limit at some point.

I called the Colombian embassy and was told that one simply had to declare anything over $10k, no other problems bringing it in our out. I know that this is the embassy and should be the official source, but they had to go and check, and it is possible that things do not really work that way....

Would be glad to hear if anyone has had any experience of this, or knows if it is really as simple as filling in a declaration form and answering some questions from the customs guys.

D.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 6:07 pm
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This is the form I used for years traveling in and out of BOG. http://www.dian.gov.co/descargas/For...015_ingles.pdf

I haven't been there in a couple of years though.

I've never carried 3k or more in cash, but I've also never been asked by a customs officer.

BTW, ATM cards work fine and most places take credit cards at least in the big cities.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 10:07 pm
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It's $10K. I flew in there once with $8000 in cash. They asked me if I have any cash, I told them, they counted it and I was on my way. Though at this point, I stopped caring so much cash and do wire transfers for any significant amounts.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 10:10 pm
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That's the same form they gave me to fill out 10 1/2 months ago. And I had no trouble getting local currency with my ATM card at the irport when I landed. Hope this helps.
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Old Jan 17, 17, 4:26 am
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What worries me is wether the 10k is a hard limit or simply "declare above this limit".

I guess I'll try a few more calls, perhaps to COlomobia - customs there...

Originally Posted by coolcoil View Post
It's $10K. I flew in there once with $8000 in cash. They asked me if I have any cash, I told them, they counted it and I was on my way. Though at this point, I stopped caring so much cash and do wire transfers for any significant amounts.
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Old Jan 21, 17, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by dand99 View Post
What worries me is wether the 10k is a hard limit or simply "declare above this limit".

I guess I'll try a few more calls, perhaps to COlomobia - customs there...
In effect, it's a hard limit. I have read a few newspaper stories about people trying to bring in more and having their cash confiscated and then having to fight for months to get it back. You have to prove that the source of the money was legal. I would imagine there is a process for setting that up ahead of time, as banks do fly large amounts of cash in and out from time to time, but I suspect that is a hassle. Other options like wire transfers are almost certainly much less work.

The purpose behind the law, of course, is to combat money laundering. Even if you wire transfer money in, you have to show some evidence that its source is legal. I don't know if this is true for all banks, but any time I wire more than $5K USD to Bancolombia I have to show them evidence of its source before they release it to me. In that case though, they except a printout of either salary statements, retirement accounts or loans. I would bet that customs officials would require something more substantial, like notarized documents.

If you do find out something more definite, please post here, as I'm sure it would help many others.
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Old Feb 9, 17, 6:26 pm
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To every country I've been to so far the rule is the same on every customs form: You must declare any cash in an amount larger than $10,000 USD. Although I'm not sure why you would need to carry that much cash on you when you can withdraw money from an ATM or wire yourself money if need be.
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Old May 11, 20, 5:17 am
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Originally Posted by laladivina View Post
To every country I've been to so far the rule is the same on every customs form: You must declare any cash in an amount larger than $10,000 USD. Although I'm not sure why you would need to carry that much cash on you when you can withdraw money from an ATM or wire yourself money if need be.
i have about 30k Euro I need to get out of country back to Europe in cash (the wire fees and exchange rates at banks are ridiculous). Is the export process the same?
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Old May 12, 20, 5:57 am
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Originally Posted by nufnuf77 View Post
i have about 30k Euro I need to get out of country back to Europe in cash (the wire fees and exchange rates at banks are ridiculous). Is the export process the same?
Taking euros/dollars out of Colombia is going to be even harder than bringing it in. The country is awash in hard currencies that were earned by illegal means. Anybody leaving the country with a large amount of non-Colombian cash is going to be presumed to be involved in money laundering, and 99% of the time that presumption would be correct.

Even if you have less than $10,000 they will still take a very hard look at you. I never travel with more than $300. Unless you want to be tied up in knots either leaving the country or upon arrival in Europe or North America, dont do it.
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Old May 12, 20, 3:31 pm
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Originally Posted by nufnuf77 View Post
(the wire fees and exchange rates at banks are ridiculous). ?
Surely those costs outnumber the risk of traveling with such an amount and the issues you will face if you are caught by customs, police etc
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Old May 12, 20, 5:33 pm
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
Surely those costs outnumber the risk of traveling with such an amount and the issues you will face if you are caught by customs, police etc
I manage to buy Euro at 3400 COP (official exchange rate is about 4500 COP) making about 20-25% profit each time i want to move my colombian business profits back to europe (if I do bank tranfer I get 4500 COP rate and 4.5% fee by sneding and another 3% fee by receiving bank...).
I have no issue declaring cash upon return in europe, nor with declaring to colombian authorities as it is legally earned and officialy exchanged. What I care about is the actual rules on how to do this leaving colombia (I have previously left with 8-9k dollars when i travelled by-weekly but the recent 2 months of closed borders made it much more difficult.
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Old May 13, 20, 2:50 am
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Buying foreign currency at 20-25% below official bank rate can hardly be legit. No wonder the Colombian authorities will seize such large cash amounts should there be an opportunity to do it.
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Old Jun 17, 20, 1:26 am
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
Buying foreign currency at 20-25% below official bank rate can hardly be legit. No wonder the Colombian authorities will seize such large cash amounts should there be an opportunity to do it.
it is perfectly legitimate. Even at BOG airport the rates for exchanging dollar are usually 3100 sell and 3400 buy whilst actual usecop official rate is 3780 as of now. Country is flooded with foreign currency and demand for local money is stronger than official exchange rate. Opposite of what my mate is seeing in Lebanon, where official exchange is 1500 but if you can bring usd in you can get 7500. Think of the airline tickets you could buy in local currency with 5x discount
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Old Jun 17, 20, 3:58 am
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??
That doesn't sound right. Are you telling me that I can withdraw COP in an ATM using my VISA or MC (which I will have to pay for on the basis of the official exchange rate + a mark-up of 2-4%) and then buy USD (or EUR) in CO at a lower rate?
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Old Jun 19, 20, 8:30 am
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
??
That doesn't sound right. Are you telling me that I can withdraw COP in an ATM using my VISA or MC (which I will have to pay for on the basis of the official exchange rate + a mark-up of 2-4%) and then buy USD (or EUR) in CO at a lower rate?
You can absolutely do that, but not through a channel that legally records the transaction. As I noted in a previous post, there are a lot of dollars and Euros in Colombia that were earned through drug trafficking. The owners of that cash have few options for turning them into clean pesos that can be spent in Colombia and so offer them at a substantial discount. It is all under the table of course. If you're smart you will stay away from that, as it could come back to bite you in your home country.
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