CBP Announces Expanded Filing of Joint Customs Declarations


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Washington— U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a press release today, December 13, 2013,  regarding the Federal Register announcement of a Final Rule designed to broaden the definition of “members of a family residing in one household” to more accurately reflect relationships for U.S. citizens, residents and international visitors who are traveling together as a family. The expansion of the term will include long-term same-sex couples and other domestic relationships which would allow more returning U.S. citizens, residents and international visitors to file a joint customs declaration for items acquired abroad. The rule will be effective thirty days after publication in the Federal Register. This broadening of the definition applies to the currency reporting requirement which appears as item #13 of Customs Declaration Form 6095B. Click here to see Form and Instructions. [This Declaration Form is the one used by persons arriving into the US to state what they have bought and what currency they are carrying.]

 This announcement certainly reflects the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) which opens the door for same sex marriage. Click here to read U.S. Supreme Court decision. When item #13 is filled in showing that more than $10,000 is being transported, then you must fill out FinCEN FORM 105, Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments (this Form replaces Form 4790). Click here to view Form.

The CBP press release goes on to state,

“The change in regulation will create less paperwork for people who are traveling together as a family and will result in increased efficiency for CBP by streamlining passenger processing. Eac

“Domestic relationship” would be defined to include foster children, stepchildren, half-siblings, legal wards, other dependents, and individuals with an in loco parentis or guardianship relationship.

 Also included within the definition two adults who are in a committed relationship including, but not limited to, long-term companions and couples in civil unions or domestic partnerships where the partners are financially interdependent, and are not married to, or a partner of, anyone else.

 “Members of a family residing in one household” will continue to encompass relationships of blood, adoption, and marriage.”

This release widens the definition of when persons travelling together need to fill out a joint Customs Declaration Form. It will probably result in more currency seizures at airports because people travelling together often are not aware of the various scenarios when they are expected to aggregate their currency for purposes of filing a Declaration Form.

If your currency has been seized by U.S. Customs when you were arriving or leaving the U.S. we can help you petition for the return of your money.  We have 25 years of experience in filing petitions with US Customs & Border Protection seeking the return of  seized currency. We may be able to offer you an attorney fee arrangement based on a combination of a fixed initial retainer and contingency payment based on results achieved.

The Law Offices of R. H. Robbins assists companies and individuals when they have had their currency seized  at airports or other border crossings by Customs and Border Patrol.  We handle cases of currency seizures at all international airports and border crossings.  Please contact us by telephone at: (954) 946-8130 OR by submitting the simple form below to set up a free consultation to see if we may be of assistance to you in the return of your seized currency.

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