Author Topic: Traveling with Coins Laws and regulations  (Read 1216 times)

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Offline r3globe

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Traveling with Coins Laws and regulations
« on: June 06, 2018, 02:46:06 PM »
I have family and friends who own collections of coins (mostly non US coins and mostly numismatic) and they want to sell. I am thinking of setting up at shows (US & overseas) to sell their coins. I want to make sure all my ducks are in a row when I travel with the coins especially overseas. I want to be 100% compliant with all laws.

Will the experienced dealers who travel with their inventory , please, share what paperwork is needed? Thank you.

Offline KeyDate1/2ozPandas

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Re: Traveling with Coins Laws and regulations
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2018, 09:20:11 PM »
Don't do it.

Offline r3globe

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Re: Traveling with Coins Laws and regulations
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2018, 10:24:43 PM »
Thank you , Arif. Do not do it because of the economics of it or because of other considerations. I would appreciate it if you elaborate. Thanks again.

Offline KeyDate1/2ozPandas

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Re: Traveling with Coins Laws and regulations
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2018, 11:29:58 PM »
Do not carry coins out of the country.  Selling in the US is fine.  Carrying coins outside the country carries a lot of risks and unless you have proper private coin business insurance don't do it.  Risks vary with country.

Offline PandaCollector

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Re: Traveling with Coins Laws and regulations
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2018, 03:13:11 PM »
Hong Kong is easy for customs and has quite a few coin shows attended by world coin dealers. You might contact Stack's-Bowers for details. They are the main organizer of the two largest HK numismatic shows. Heritage also is connected to a different pair of nice shows there each year. There are 2-3 other shows that I think are less interesting for doing coin business.

Depending on what you carry, you probably should declare it on leaving the USA and again upon entering another country. Also be very careful of every country's limits on undeclared cash. For the USA the limit is $10,000 undeclared, for China it is $5,000. Declared cash should be no problem in my experience. Good luck.

Best wishes,
Peter Anthony
China Pricepedia — Chinese Coin Prices and More
The Gold & Silver Panda Coin Buyer’s Guide 3
www.pandacollector.com

 

Offline r3globe

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Re: Traveling with Coins Laws and regulations
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2018, 04:05:49 PM »
peter, thank you so much. +1 each for Peter and Arif 😊

Offline r3globe

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Re: Traveling with Coins Laws and regulations
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2018, 05:43:00 PM »
I found many who argue not declaring coins and that face value is what counts (not market value), but i believe not declaring market value to be very risky. I would definitly want to declare market value if it exceeds 10k. So , do you need to submit an inventory list with value of each coin or do you add it all up and say coin collection with total value? Any input would be highly appreciated.

Offline bonke

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Re: Traveling with Coins Laws and regulations
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2018, 07:11:32 PM »
If you are traveling with "inventory" to or from the USA and to or from various foreign countries, the rules are much more stringent than they are for a collector who is returning to the USA with recent acquisitions.  You will be traveling with inventory.  Carefully evaluate which US Custom's forms are appropriate for your departure with inventory and your return with unsold inventory and cash proceeds.  Consider whether you will be permitted to clear Customs informally or whether you will be required to clear Customs formally with a custom's agent.  In Hong Kong, with liberal rules for entry and exit with coins, the government has recently started enforcing rules requiring work permits if you wish to set-up and sell coins at the various coin shows.  Seasoned coin dealers and auction companies from the USA were "caught by surprise" with this requirement at the coin shows and auctions in Kowloon in April of this year.

I have consigned coins to the major US auction companies for the auctions in Kowloon.  I sent my coins to the companies.  They did all of the hard work (including my items in catalogs and internet listings with excellent pictures and descriptions, taking my coins to Kowloon for the preview, selling them at the live and/or internet-only auctions, collecting $$$ from the successful bidders, sending my coins to successful bidders from around the world and, eventually, sending me the net proceeds).  A lot of hard work for the auction companies for coins which ultimately brought in little in the way of proceeds.

I have taken coins to the coin shows in Kowloon and attempted to sell them to the various dealers with tables at the coin shows.  My efforts were met with failure.  Dealers were trying to sell coins.  They were not interested in buying my coins.  I ended up bringing my coins back to the USA (and clearing customs).

Mark Bonke


Offline 1003

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Re: Traveling with Coins Laws and regulations
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2018, 09:46:52 PM »
So is there any limit on the total dollar value of one's own coin collection if one is traveling as a collector from or to the US/Hong Kong/China?

Offline bonke

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Re: Traveling with Coins Laws and regulations
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2018, 10:02:53 PM »
The PRC is much more complicated.  I am no longer buying coins during trips to the PRC and I will no longer take coins to the PRC.  Peter Anthony travels to mainland China frequently and he has much more expertise about the transport of coins.

There is no $$$ limit when taking your coins into or out of the USA.  Disclosure to US Customs is certainly necessary when the amount of coins and/or currency is valued at $10,000 or more.

I know of no limit when taking your coins into or out of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Visit the websites for the USA, Hong Kong and the PRC to see the rules, the forms, etc.  Knowledge is important as you explore your options.

I would follow Arif's advice.

Mark Bonke

Offline PandaCollector

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Re: Traveling with Coins Laws and regulations
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2018, 03:58:00 AM »
Here are a few thoughts:

It is my impression that r3globe wants to get a table at a coin show rather than shopping his coins around to dealers who have tables. This is a viable strategy to obtain more or less market prices. But there are a lot of caveats. Coin show buyers can be fickle; material that sells well at one show may go begging at the same show a few months later. Then there are the many, many practical aspects of working a table: negotiating, displaying, protecting material from pilferage, etc. For instance, it almost always takes two people to effectively staff a table, if only so you can take a break. Arif is correct that this is not for the faint of heart.

If r3globe really wants to go this route I would recommend renting a table at an inexpensive show near his home and doing a "dry run", or two, to gain experience. I think what he wants to do is possible, but not simple. The devil is in the details, as usual.

Back to Chinese customs; I have heard intimidating stories from not only dealers, but world mints that are certainly true. Personally, customs has always been courteous and helpful to me (they seem to take a friendlier approach to those who declare) and I have no complaints about the results. In general, I would think very hard before trying to take gold or platinum into China. Silver, or other metals, are probably OK. I don't know exactly what kind of coins r3globe wants to sell. If they are not Chinese coins, it might be better to just declare a quantity and single total value to customs. I wouldn't present a list, but that's just me. Hong Kong is the favored city for most international sellers.

Best wishes,
Peter Anthony
China Pricepedia — Chinese Coin Prices and More
The Gold & Silver Panda Coin Buyer’s Guide 3
www.pandacollector.com

Offline skyline2go

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Re: Traveling with Coins Laws and regulations
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2018, 08:27:17 AM »
PRC custom will require you to declare your gold if your gold weight is more than 50 grams (many people might not declare due to inconvenience. If the declared amount is more than reasonable self use amount (like 200 gram), you need to pay the import tariff..

Offline r3globe

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Re: Traveling with Coins Laws and regulations
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2018, 10:44:16 PM »
+1 for everyone. Your time spent to answer is greatly treasured.

As Peter said "The devil is in the details, as usual." I asked a dealer who travels and he indeed confirmed what Mr. Mark Bonke said about clearing inventory and cash with customs in and out of US. So, it seems traveling with inventory is pretty involved and possibly makes no financial sense and hence Arif's advice.

Frankly, traveling and looking at coins seem like a dream to me. So to test the market, I could just carry a small collection and travel with it to offer it to dealers at an international show. So, leaving the US, would filing a basic custom form (the same one as the cash) suffice?

Thanks again everyone.

Offline skyline2go

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Re: Traveling with Coins Laws and regulations
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2018, 01:29:49 PM »

Offline skyline2go

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Re: Traveling with Coins Laws and regulations
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2018, 01:36:49 PM »
The custom form is also called: form 4790: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f4790--2002.pdf and us code is 31 U.S.C. 1101.