Назад “Travelling with more than €10,000 in cash? Declare it!”

Albanian Customs and Police, with support of EU, Council of Europe, and German Government launch new awareness campaign and demonstrate tools to trace cash smuggling
Rinas Airport, Albania 11 December 2023
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“Travelling with more than €10,000 in cash?  Declare it!”

Today, the Albanian Customs Directorate and State Police, with the support of the European Union, Council of Europe and German Government, launched a new awareness campaign to inform travellers about the rules on transporting money into and out of Albania. 

The campaign informs travellers that they must declare cash amounts of over €10,000 in value to customs when entering or leaving Albania, or risk breaching laws to combat the illicit transportation of currency and money laundering.   

The €10,000 limit is part of Albania’s efforts to secure its borders on its path to EU membership, and the campaign aims to inform citizens of their obligations. It will be present on billboards in all Albanian border crossing points and information materials will be shared on social media.

Visuals of the campaign can be found here.

In addition, the Albanian Customs Directorate and State Police demonstrated tools that they are using to identify the illicit transportation of cash, which was set up with the assistance of donors. These include a new high-tech luggage scanner purchased as part of the EU financed EU4Focal project, as well as a team of dogs specially trained to sniff out cash in luggage, which were trained by a dual drug and cash training, with the support of the EU4Focal project.

General Director of Albanian Customs, Gent Gazheli, stressed the importance of the fight against illegal cash transportation and cash misdeclaration all over border control points in Albania. Albanian Customs highly appreciate the support of the EU4FOCAL project, financed by EU Delegation in Albania, related to the scanner and other equipment donations, as well as capacity building for Albanian Customs Officers. A special thanks goes to the Council of Europe and GIZ for their assistance on the public awareness campaign on cash declaration.

Director of Border and Migration Department of State Police, Saimir Boshnjaku, underlined that the Albanian police remains engaged to co-operate with all the Albanian law enforcement agencies and international partners in the fight against money laundering and the secure of borders.

Head of Co-operation of the European Union Delegation to Albania, Hubert Perr, noted: “The EU stands with Albania on securing its borders, which is part of becoming an EU member, but also ensuring security to Albanian citizens. This effort includes stopping the illegal transportation of cash, which is linked to money laundering and other crimes. This campaign is very important to make sure that regular travellers are aware of the limitations, so they are not wrongfully impacted.  We are also very happy to provide tools like the scanners and the K9 units to support Albanian officials in their hard and important work”. 

In her address, the Head of the Council of Europe office in Tirana, Giulia Re, highlighted the two-pronged approach in supporting the national efforts against the illicit cross-border transportation of cash: improving the capacities of the customs officers for the effective detection of cash smuggling and increasing travellers’ awareness on their obligations to declare cash. Combined with other assistance activities against economic crime by the Council of Europe, these efforts contribute to the overall effectiveness of the response against money laundering and terrorist financing. “Thanks to the close co-operation with the Customs Directorate, the joint EU/Council of Europe "Action against Economic Crime in Albania" and GIZ Global Program “Combating illicit financial flows” have installed informative billboards in all Albanian cross-border areas on the obligation of travellers entering or leaving Albania, to declare the amounts of cash exceeding €10,000. To complement this initiative, an awareness-raising video will be shared on social networks” concluded Re.

Head of Co-operation of the German Embassy, Iven Schad, focused on the importance and impact that cash declaration and cash smuggling respectively have in security within the region and also in protecting the economies by preventing potentially illicit money to penetrate into the financial system. In his speech, he highlighted that the awareness-raising campaign on declaring cash at the border is of high importance for regular travellers that are not aware of legal obligations. Schad said "We are happy that our co-operation with the Custom Directorate and Council of Europe "Action against Economic Crime in Albania" made sharing this information possible at all border crossings. GIZ support was also focused on enhancing the capacities of the Anti-traffic Department and providing a cash smuggling dog for the K9 unit, as a special tool to detect unreported cash. It is imperative to reiterate the fact that the combined approach from the EU Delegation and the Council of Europe on the same topic has been a success and sets a very good example of donor collaborations."

Key expert of EU4FOCAL, Javier Agud Sánchez,  mentioned in his remarks the support provided to the Customs Directorate with the new baggage scanner, which will contribute to a better detection of illegal money entering the country. According to Javier Agud, EU4FOCAL has also assisted the Albanian State Police Canine Institute in a training programme on cash detection, which has enabled the autonomous training and deployment canine teams specialised in detecting bank notes at border crossing points, including Rinas Airport.

All these measures represent a significant contribution of the European Union, Council of Europe and German Government to support the efforts of the Albanian authorities in the fight against organised crime, money laundering, and protection of borders.