Why Foreign Countries Limit Amount of Cash You Carry Outside Kenya

  • File photo of an airplane in the sky
    File photo of an airplane in the sky
  • Ever wondered why you will be restricted to fly outside the country if you possess over Ksh100,000 in cash but won't be denied entry when you have the same amount?

    In the travel advisory statement, published by the United States government, the currency restrictions for travelers leaving the country is capped at Ksh100,000 with no limit for those traveling into the country. 

    For residents and non-residents travelling outside Kenya, one needs to have documents indicating the source of funds and the purpose of the amount. 

    A file image of a visa.
    A file image of a visa.

    The amount must be declared upon arrival on two forms, Form 6059B and FinCEN 105. According to the US customs and border protection, these forms, ought to be entirely filled with the utmost transparency, failure to which heavy penalties or confiscation of the funds might be imposed. 

    Reasons for Restrictions

    The restrictions are meant to regulate money circulation in the country as the currency exchange ought to be equal to the country's output. This means that carrying over a lump sum amount of money outside the country will hurt the country's flow of currency exchange.

    In addition, the legality of the funds comes into play, especially when money laundering has become a rampant issue in the country.

    A report by the US Congress revealed that Kenya was ranked among major money laundering jurisdictions across the globe, with diaspora remittances to the country totaling Ksh178 billion between January and August 2020.

    In the case of the United Kingdom, one has to declare if they possess Ksh1 million (7,018 pounds) currency when either traveling into or exiting the country. According to the UK government official site, the clause also involves traveling as a family or group. 

    "Customs authorities may ask you to fill in a cash disclosure form if you send cash by freight, post, or parcel between Northern Ireland and any non-EU country," read the statement in part. 

    The type of currency that one declares includes notes and coins, cheques and bearer bonds (this is a fixed-income security that is owned by the holder,  rather than by a registered owner). 

    Those leaving the United Kingdom, ought to declare the cash before they leave the country whereas those coming into the UK, must state the cash before they travel or as soon as they arrive in the UK. 

    "The earliest you can make a declaration is 72 hours before you plan to travel." reads part of the statement. 

    An aeroplane mid-air
    An aeroplane mid-air