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BSP Expands Coverage of Foreign Currency Declaration Requirement

02.10.2006

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) issued Circular No. 507 dated 19 January 2006 amending the rule regarding the declaration of foreign currency.  The existing rule requires any person who brings into or takes out of the Philippines foreign currency in excess of US$10,000 or its equivalent in other foreign currency, to declare the same in writing.  Under said Circular No. 507, this rule has been further expanded to likewise include foreign exchange-denominated bearer monetary instruments. 

For purposes of the requirement, “Foreign exchange-denominated bearer monetary instruments” refer to the following foreign exchange-denominated instruments in bearer form whereby title thereto may be passed to another by endorsement, assignment or delivery: travelers’ checks, other checks, drafts, notes, money orders, bonds, deposit certificates, securities, commercial papers, trust certificates, custodial receipts, deposit substitute instruments, trading orders, transaction tickets and confirmation of sale/investment.

 The expansion in the coverage of said declaration was proposed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council in order to comply with the Financial Action Task Force’s Special Recommendation IX which requires countries to have measures in place including a declaration system or other disclosure obligation, to detect the physical cross-border transportation of currency and bearer negotiable instruments. The United States, Japan, Canada and Australia adopt the same declaration requirement on the transport of foreign currency and bearer monetary instruments.   

 Circular No. 507 will take effect on 11 February 2006 and travelers’ compliance is strictly advised to avoid sanctions under existing regulations.  A new Declaration Form available at the Bureau of Customs counters in the country’s international airports and seaports has been issued for this purpose.

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