Skip to main content

Declaration Requirements

According to the Cross-boundary Movement of Physical Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments Ordinance, Chapter 629, Laws of Hong Kong (Opens a new window) (“the Ordinance”), an advance electronic declaration must be made to the Customs and Excise Department via the Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments Declaration System (“CDS”) (Opens a new window) for importing or exporting on a cross-boundary conveyance a large quantity of currency and bearer negotiable instruments (“CBNIs”) (i.e. CBNIs of a total value more than HKD120,000) as cargo in one batch.

What are “CBNIs”

CBNI means:

  1. a note, or coin, that is legal tender in Hong Kong or a place outside Hong Kong; or
  2. a negotiable instrument (Note 1) that is:
    • in bearer form;
    • endorsed without any restriction;
    • made out to a fictitious payee;
    • in a form under which the title of it passes on delivery; or
    • signed but does not state a payee’s name.

Note 1: Examples of such instrument include traveller’s cheque, bearer cheque, promissory note, bearer bond, money order and postal order.

Meaning of “In One Batch”

CBNIs imported or exported as cargo in one batch refer to CBNIs imported or exported on a cross-boundary conveyance by:

  1. a person (other than a carrier*);
  2. the same carrier for the same customer* who directly engages the carrier; or
  3. the same carrier for the same customer who engages the same forwarder* to arrange for the transportation of the CBNIs to the carrier (Note 2).

* Please refer to section 10 of the Ordinance (Opens a new window) for the definitions of “carrier”, “customer” and “forwarder”.

Note 2: If, for example, the customer engages two different forwarders to arrange for the import or export of CBNIs, the CBNIs will be in different batches.

Non-Application

The above declaration requirement does not apply to the following types of CBNIs:

  1. CBNIs in the possession of a person arriving in or about to leave Hong Kong on a cross-boundary conveyance (e.g. the personal belongings or checked baggage of air passengers);
  2. CBNIs that are transit cargo, i.e. CBNIs -
    • that are imported on an aircraft or vessel solely for the purpose of exporting them on the aircraft or vessel; and
    • that, while in Hong Kong, remain at all times on the aircraft or vessel;
  3. CBNIs that are air transhipment cargo within the meaning of section 2 of the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap. 60) (Opens a new window) ; and
  4. CBNIs contained in a postal packet within the meaning of section 2 of the Post Office Ordinance (Cap. 98) (Opens a new window) (i.e. mail).

Determining Value of CBNIs Denominated in Other Currencies

The value of CBNIs denominated in a currency other than HKD (e.g. foreign currency) would be calculated in accordance with the opening indicative counter exchange selling rate (Opens a new window) published by the Hong Kong Association of Banks (“HKAB”) on the 15th day of the month preceding the month in which the CBNIs are imported or exported. If HKAB did not publish such rate on the day mentioned above, the value of the CBNIs would be calculated according to the most recent rate HKAB published before the day (Note 3).

If no opening indicative counter exchange selling rate is published by HKAB for a particular currency, the value of the CBNIs would be determined by reference to the United Nations Operational Rates of Exchange (“UN rate”) (Opens a new window) being effective for the currency concerned on the 15th day of the month preceding the month in which the CBNIs are imported or exported. The value of the CBNIs in HKD can be obtained by converting the nominal value of the CBNIs first to USD and then HKD using the UN rate.

It should be noted that in making a declaration, the value of CBNIs should be stated in the currency in which the CBNIs are denominated. No conversion to HKD is necessary. For example, in declaring USD20,000, the value should be stated as “USD 20,000”.

Note 3: For example, if the CBNIs are imported or exported on 31 July 2018, the declarant should refer to HKAB’s opening indicative counter selling rate on 15 June 2018. If the CBNIs are imported or exported on 1 August 2018, the declarant should refer to the rate published on 14 July 2018, since 15 July 2018 is a Sunday on which HKAB normally does not publish exchange rates. Historical rates are available at HKAB’s website.

Penalty

All breaches are subject to criminal proceedings. The maximum penalty is a fine of HKD500,000 and imprisonment for two years.

Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments