Many of the expatriates, who are working in Saudi Arabia, generally transfer money or funds back to home country and families to support their families. But to avoid taxes and duties on transfer of funds, many expats prefer to find someone to bring it with them who are planning to visit the home country soon. Sometimes they bring it with them if nobody is planning to go there. On the other hand, one should not forget the limits set by customs laws as only an extra $10 can land you in jail for the crime of money laundering if you won’t declare the exact amount you are taking with you. One of our readers Haroon, asked us about the legality of the limit of transferring funds? He has written that if a person wants to leave the Kingdom for only less than a month (two to three weeks) by single exit reentry visa, what would be the maximum limit of amount, he can take out of Saudi Arabia.[irp]
While considering the amount of currency you can be taking out of any country, it should be noted that it mostly depends on what currency you are taking out? Different countries have their own civil aviation rules. Many countries do not have strict laws of taking the national currency abroad. Foreign capital outflow has limitation to have stability in the exchange rate. Like all countries in the world, The General Authority for Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabian has ordered to declare the amount of money you are carrying. If the amount is more than allowed amount, you need to declare the amount. In the case of Failure to make a declaration, it will subject them to seizure, and the carrier will also be liable to legal punishments including confinement or jail. In the case stated by Haroon, if you intend to take Saudi Riyals only and not pounds or dollars, the prescribed cash limit is SAR 60,000. It should be kept in mind that the prescribed limit of cash is for Cash and Gold both. You cannot carry Gold and Cash of more than SR 60,000 altogether in one trip.
GACA in Saudi Arabia has ordered the airlines whether domestic or international operating in the Kingdom to make it compulsory for passengers to declare all the jewelry, precious metals, stones and cash over SR60,000 keeping with them. The declaration should be in statements or other documents which show the value of these things such as bills etc. So, if any person wants to carry above SR 60,000, then he must declare it to the immigration officials. Not only that, he has to prove that the money in his possession is not a black money. The Saudi Customs Department works under the Ministry of Finance has fixed a limit at SR 60,000 or equal in foreign money. The Kingdom has regulations for the travelers going outside the country with exceeding amount of money to declare the currency they are carrying by filing a declaration form. It is also important to mention here that the prescribed limit of SR 60,000 for cash and gold is for one family and not for every individual in the family.
A spokesman for GACA, Khalid Al-Khaibari quoted in a local newspaper, that the persons who fail to declare the amount to the customs authorities could be arrested and sent to the jail for the crime of money laundering. Saudi customs officials have the power to check all the goods exiting or entering the country. Khalid Al-Khaibari, who is also assistant GM for public relations and official spokesman for Saudi Arabian Airlines, stated that a receipt or bill is the only proof of the price of expensive metals and ornaments. These rules apply whether you are traveling by sea, land or airport.[irp]
According to a source at the customs department, these guidelines are actions introduced by the Kingdom to restrict the movement of currency and other expensive goods across its boundaries. Although the procedure of the declaration at the airport is time-consuming and sometimes even you can miss the flight. So, I would not recommend you to transfer above SR 60,000 in cash from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In this modern age, the safest way would be to take currency in dollars, as it has the most stable conversion rate internationally.
Source: Arab News