Cross Border Movements Of Physical Currency And Bearer Negotiable Instruments

Cross Border Movements Of Physical Currency And Bearer Negotiable Instruments

Introduction

The Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act has been amended to impose measures for the disclosure of information regarding movements of physical currency and bearer negotiable instruments (or cash) into and out of Singapore. This is part of Singapore’s overall efforts to combat money laundering, terrorism financing and other transnational crime.

Background

Criminals and terrorists financiers around the world have been known to use cash couriers as a major means of physically moving funds across borders, in order to finance their illicit activities or to launder their ill-gotten gains. The introduction of this initiative will facilitate the detection, investigation and prosecution of drug trafficking offences and serious crimes. This is consistent with international anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism standards recommended by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body that develops and promotes such policies. Singapore is a member of the FATF.

Reporting Requirement

From 1 September 2014, the threshold for reporting of Cross Border Movements of Physical Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments (CBNI) will be revised from SGD 30,000 to SGD 20,000.

Any person who moves into or out of Singapore CBNI exceeding SGD 20,000 (the prescribed amount) or its equivalent in a foreign currency, is required to give a report in respect of its movements. Any person who receives CBNI exceeding the prescribed amount from outside Singapore is also required to give a report within five business days upon receipt.

The Act provides exemptions from the reporting requirement. A commercial passenger carrier is not required to give a report in respect of CBNI in the possession of its passengers. A commercial goods carrier is also not required to give a report if the CBNI is carried on behalf of another person and the other person has not disclosed to the carrier that the goods carried include CBNI and the carrier does not know and has no reasonable ground to believe that the goods carried on behalf of the other person include CBNI.

Travellers
Any person who enters or leaves Singapore is required to give a report if he carries with him CBNI exceeding the prescribed amount. He shall hand the report to any immigration officer at the Customs Red Channel on arrival in Singapore, and at the immigration counter on departure from Singapore. The prescribed form to be used is the Physical Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments Report (Traveller) or NP727 form.

Senders, Carriers or Recipients
Any person who moves CBNI exceeding the prescribed amount into or out of Singapore, through cargo, post or other means, is required to give a report to the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office (STRO) of the Commercial Affairs Department, Singapore Police Force no later than one business day (or, if the report is to be sent by post, no later than 2 business days) prior to the moving of the cash. If it is not reasonably practicable to do so, he should give the report to the STRO at the first opportunity thereafter but before the cash is moved. STRO is located at 391 New Bridge Road, #06-701, Police Cantonment Complex Block D, Singapore 088762.

Any person who receives CBNI exceeding the prescribed amount from outside Singapore is required to submit the report to the STRO within five business days upon receipt.

The prescribed form to be used is the Physical Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments Report (Sender, Carrier or Recipient) or NP728 form. It was revised on 1 August 2012 to include information on the source/recipient of the cash. The form can also be submitted online via E728.

Punishment
A failure to give a full and accurate report is an offence under the Act. The punishment is a fine not exceeding SGD 50,000, or an imprisonment term not exceeding 3 years, or both. The cash may also be seized if the person fails to give the report.

The Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) investigates offences relating to this initiative and takes enforcement action against persons who did not give a full and accurate report. For enquiries, please contact the CAD hotline at +65 65575480+65 65575480.

Forms

The forms are available at the major checkpoints, Neighbourhood Police Centres (NPCs) and Neighbourhood Police Posts (NPPs). The forms can also be downloaded from here. In addition, the forms are supplied to relevant stakeholders such as commercial transport operators for distribution to their customers. Those who require a sizeable quantity of the forms can contact Head Corporate Services, CAD at DID : +65 6557 5487+65 6557 5487 on the collection arrangement.

For assistance on completing the forms, the public can approach any immigration officer at the Singapore checkpoint(s), or contact STRO at +65 6557 5480+65 6557 5480. A step-by-step guide is also available here.

The NP728 form can also be submitted online via E728.

Concluding Remarks

This initiative is not a currency control measure. There is no restriction on the type or amount of cash which is moved into or out of Singapore.

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Last Updated on 27 April 2016