As from June 15, 2007, people travelling directly to or from a country outside the European Union (EU) and carrying 10,000 euros or more, or its equivalent in another currency, will be required to declare the cash to the UK Revenue and Customs at the place of their departure from, or arrival in the United Kingdom.
A statement issued by the British High Commission in Accra yesterday said "cash" not only means currency notes and coins but also bankers' drafts and cheques of any kind, including travellers' cheques.
"This measure will apply in all EU countries having been introduced under European Parliament and Council Regulation No1889/2005 to help combat money laundering," the statement said.
It said forms on which to make the declaration would be available at ports and airports. It warned that travellers would be liable to financial penalties if they failed to comply with the obligation to declare or provide incomplete or incorrect information.
"There will still be no requirement to declare cash for people travelling to or from another EU country." It said UK customs officers would not detain properly declared cash if they had no reason to doubt its legitimacy.
"However, as with cash in amounts of £1,000 or more found at any place within the UK, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA), it may be seized if an officer has reasonable grounds to suspect it is either the proceeds of, or is intended for use in, unlawful conduct.
"Without a court order, seized cash cannot be detained for more than 48 hours, not including Public Holidays and weekends."
It said a court may order seized cash to be further detained whilst its origin and intended use were investigated and forfeited permanently if satisfied from the investigation that it was associated with criminal activity.
It said a person from whom cash had been seized would be given information on how to appeal against its subsequent detention and/or forfeiture.