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Controls on cash entering or leaving the EU

Controls on cash entering or leaving the EU



Regulation (EU) 2018/1672 on controls on cash entering or leaving the EU


The regulation introduces controls on cash* entering or leaving the EU. These are designed to support the measures set out in Directive (EU) 2015/849 against money laundering and terrorist financing.


Anyone entering or leaving the EU with €10.000 or more must declare the cash to that country’s authorities and provide the following information, either in writing or electronically:

  • full personal details, such as name, nationality and date of birth, of the carrier*, the owner and the intended recipient of the cash;
  • value and nature of the cash, its origin, its intended use and the method of transport.

EU countries’ authorities may:

  • ask the sender or recipient of any unaccompanied cash of €10.000 or more to declare it within 30 days by providing the same information as above;
  • search people, their luggage and form of transport and any consignments or packages in which cash may be sent;
  • record the details of any sums of cash below €10.000 if they suspect it is related to criminal activity;
  • detain cash that is not declared or is linked to crime;
  • share information with a non-EU country subject to specific procedures.

EU countries’ authorities must:

  • transmit any relevant information to the national financial intelligence unit concerned as soon as possible and no later than 15 days;
  • transmit any relevant information to the competent authorities of other EU countries;
  • inform the European Commission, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and, if necessary, Europol if the cash is linked to crime involving the EU budget;
  • ensure the security of all data they obtain and store them under strict conditions.

EU governments must:

  • ensure that people entering or leaving the EU, or senders and recipients of the sums involved, are informed of their rights and obligations;
  • introduce penalties for any violation of the legislation;
  • inform the Commission by 4 December 2021 of the measures they have taken to implement the legislation.

The Commission:

  • adopts additional technical measures such as templates for declarations forms and rules for information exchange by means of implementing acts;
  • is assisted by a cash controls committee;
  • must submit a report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the impact of the legislation.


Regulation (EU) 2018/1672 repeals and replaces Regulation (EC) No 1889/2005 from 2 June 2021.


It applies from 3 June 2021, apart from the rules regarding the Commission’s work on technical measures, which have applied since 2 December 2018.


The legislation is part of EU measures to tackle terrorist financing, money laundering, tax evasion and other criminal activities.

It extends the previous legal definition of ‘cash’ from banknotes to include cheques, traveller’s cheques, prepaid cards and gold.


Cash: banknotes and coins, cheques, traveller’s cheques, prepaid cards, gold bullion.
Carrier: an individual entering or leaving the EU carrying cash on their person, in their luggage or in their form of transport.


Regulation (EU) 2018/1672 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on controls on cash entering or leaving the Union and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1889/2005 (OJ L 284, 12.11.2018, pp. 6-21)


Directive (EU) 2018/1673 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on combating money laundering by criminal law (OJ L 284, 12.11.2018, pp. 22-30)

Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directive 2006/70/EC (OJ L 141, 5.6.2015, pp. 73-117)

Successive amendments to Directive (EU) 2015/849 have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 13.02.2019