New EU Regulation enhances controls on cash at the borders
In June, there will be changes to controls on cash in border traffic, when the new Regulation on controls on cash entering or leaving the Union becomes applicable in the European Union on 3 June 2021. Among other things, the new Regulation extends the definition of cash and harmonises the declaration practices. In Finland, movements of cash are controlled at border crossing points by Finnish Customs. The aim of the controls is to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.
The new Cash Controls Regulation replaces the earlier Regulation, which entered into force in 2007. As the controls have developed, it has been necessary to update the legislation to reflect the current situation and to enable the authorities to act effectively.
– This change will make it easier for us to control cross-border cash movements. Effective controls enable us to detect funds related to money laundering or terrorist financing and thus to protect society, says Ms Heli Lampela, Senior Customs Officer.
Harmonised practices facilitate controls
With the new Regulation, the declaration practices will be harmonised: in future, all EU countries will use harmonised cash declaration forms to ensure that the same details of cash movements will be collected in every Member State. Carrying cash across the border is not restricted as such, but large sums of cash must be declared to Customs. Travellers must still submit a cash declaration every time they carry cash of a value of 10 000 euros or more.
The obligation to disclose unaccompanied cash will also become applicable, which makes it possible to also carry out controls on movements of cash that is not carried by travellers. The obligation concerns movements of cash by post or courier or as freight. If the amount of cash moved is at least 10 000 euros, Customs may ask the sender or the recipient to provide the information for control.
The definition of cash and the period of detention are extended
The definition of cash is extended to also include coins with a certain gold content as well as gold bars and nuggets. Later, the controls may also cover certain prepaid cards. At present, the definition of cash includes banknotes and coins in circulation as means of payment as well as certain other means of payment, such as cheques and negotiable promissory notes.
Customs may detain cash if there is reason to suspect money laundering or terrorist financing. The new Regulation extends the period of temporary detention of cash, which improves the possibilities for controls by Customs. In future, the period of detention may be 30 days, instead of the earlier five working days.