Nervous about transporting gold / silver internationally by plane.

Discussion in 'Gold' started by Instagram551, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. Instagram551

    Instagram551 New Member

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    I am going to be flying out of London through Heathrow, to Melbourne Australia on Royal Brunei soon.

    There are two stop overs - Dubai, which is a "refuelling" stop and Brunei, a 2 1/2 hour layover.

    I am intending to carry in my carry-on luggage 150oz of silver in rounds and about 3 oz in gold coins.

    That is roughly 4.5 Kgs, including a metal lockbox.

    That may sound like a trivial amount, but I am nevertheless nervous about airport security and customs inspections (and fellow passengers).

    I'm worried the coins will be confiscated at some security point or customs inspection for some reason, or even stolen aboard the plane.

    My understanding is that I do not need to declare the coins at any point, and I should ask for a private security screening when passing through security points.

    Do they ever ask questions like "What are all these coins, why are you carrying all these coins, are they yours, can you prove it"?

    Stuff like that.

    I don't have receipts or valuation certificates for anything.

    The flight leaving time and time zones are terrible, and a 27 hour flight time all up - I'm not a young buck any more and I'm worried I will fall asleep at some point leaving me vulnerable to theft.

    I think I'm OK once I get to Melbourne.

    I'm more worried about problems in London, Dubai and Brunei.

    I do not intend to leave the airport in Dubai and Brunei - I will be transiting between flights only.

    How should I go about this mission to ensure success?

    Any advice and suggestions will be gratefully accepted.
     
  2. Garnet

    Garnet Member Silver Stacker

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    Thats a lot of metal in your carry on. All I know is that last October I went thru Heathrow to Melb with 2 X 100gr silver bars in my carry on and I just about got a colonoscopy when going thru security.
     
  3. motorbikez

    motorbikez Member Silver Stacker

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    I'd just put the gold coins in my wallet, you don't have to declare the amount you are taking out of the country because it is less than 10K.I'd be more concerned about how other countries treat you coins.
     
  4. projack

    projack Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Please let us know your experience after arrival.

    About 3 years ago I did transport lots of gold coins to Europe from Brisbane without any problem or declaration needed. (Well over 10K). I was flying via Dubai and Istanbul. All airport screening detected them wanted to see them in the plastic tubes only and put them back in my carry on.
     
  5. hyphenated

    hyphenated Active Member

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    Two things I can think of.

    If possible, use transparent tubes (unless the existing tubes are sealed), so that they can be seen to be coins if examined, and lay then out in the X-Ray tray out of your luggage. On the one hand you don't want to jump up and down and advertise to your fellow passengers, on the other you don't want a luggage search with them spilling the damn things. Don't tie the tubes together.

    The other option is to request a private inspection (which, of course draws other attention).

    I agree that carrying the gold on your person is smart, again perhaps a coin purse that you can put into the tray.
     
  6. sammy

    sammy Active Member Silver Stacker

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    I had two or three kilos of Silver going through Dubai airport a few years ago during a transit flight, the lady at the security screening looked at it, told her supervisor who shrugged it off. This was 5 or 6 years ago but the Dubai leg of your trip should be fine unless they've changed the rules.
     
  7. GoldenEye

    GoldenEye Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I've had a private inspection and it's no big deal, and is certainly the best way to go, rather than exposing valuables in public.
     
  8. SilverDJ

    SilverDJ Well-Known Member

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    Yep, mix the gold coins with a bunch of regular fiat coins.
     
  9. JulieW

    JulieW Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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  10. SilverDJ

    SilverDJ Well-Known Member

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  11. Ipv6Ready

    Ipv6Ready Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Private screening
    Cash belt for gold.
    Silver Depending how the Steel case looks buy a small back pack to put inside so to not make it stand out.

    The amount you are carrying is below declarable amount so not a big deal, and just worry about opportunistic thief. However a steel case that look like "valuable" storage could make it stand out.

    There are chains you can buy to attach to your person, if you are worried about falling a sleep in transit too.
     
  12. Instagram551

    Instagram551 New Member

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    Thanks everyone for all the terrific suggestions.

    I'll let you all know how it goes in a few weeks when I'm back.
     
  13. Instagram552

    Instagram552 New Member

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    OK, so here I am again to report my experiences transporting 150oz in silver rounds and 3oz in gold coins from London UK to Melbourne Australia.

    The reason my account name is different is that I could not remember my password and used a fake e-mail address to register first time around (and this time :eek:)).

    In the end I ended up booking my flights with Thai airways travelling via Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport.

    My itinerary was as follows: I was travelling from London Heathrow for 11 hours to Thailand, with a 2 hour stopover in Bangkok, and then another 9 hour flight from Bangkok to Melbourne.

    I retrieved my coins from secure storage several days before my flight and began to formulate a "carry-plan" - the coins were stored in a metal lock box - and I decided to ditch that for the flight.

    The reason was it was simply too heavy, and the coins were heavy enough. Also, I thought a huge metal box in a backpack would raise eyebrows for sure when passing airport security.

    I ended up transporting the coins in my toiletries bag of all places.

    I noticed that my toiletries bag was quite large and could fit the coins comfortably, and had heavy stitching so I was confident it could take the weight without splitting, also, it has a nice heavy zip that opens up nice and wide quickly to display the contents to security if needed.

    I removed my toiletries from the bag and put them in a plastic supermarket bag for the flight.

    The first hurdle was getting from my accommodation to the airport.

    I put the toiletries bag containing the coins in my wheelie case, leaving my backpack more or less empty, and used public transport to get to the airport (London Heathrow).

    I then used a luggage repacking table at the airport to quickly transfer the toiletries bag from my wheelie case to my backpack.

    I then checked in my wheelie case and obtained my boarding passes.

    I then approached security.

    I had decided beforehand to ask for a private screening, and approached the first person I saw in uniform. She said "why", and I just said back "valuable items" - and she said, fine, if the bag gets flagged by screening then you will be taken aside for a private screening.

    So I got in line with everyone else, putting my backpack on the conveyor belt.

    All my usual items (wallet, laptop, keys, etc) passed through OK, and the backpack was flagged for checking.

    The guy on the other side of the scanner said, please wait and you'll be taken to a room for private screening, but there may be a wait.

    I ended up waiting for about 15 minutes for another security person to arrive, which made me a little nervous because obviously you don't want to be standing anywhere around the security for too long, lest you draw attention to yourself, which is what I was trying to avoid at all costs.

    The security officer carried the plastic tray with my bag and said come with me, there was a short walk to a room with a closing door.

    He said wait a moment for another security officer, to act as a witness.

    While I was waiting I noticed a clipboard on the table, and I could read the names of other people who had requested a private screening that day - it was about 11 AM, and there were already 4 or 5 names with the day's date.

    So the "witness" arrived and the security inspection began - They opened my backpack and removed the toiletries bag.

    Obviously it was quite heavy, and the security officer commented on that.

    He then unzipped the bag and said, "what are these", to which I just replied, "silver coins".

    He removed about half the coins and poked around the rest, then put all the coins back into the bag.

    He then performed an explosives swab on the bag.

    He made some comments about some new coin to commemorate Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday, I just said, no I don't have that one.

    Next I was signing my name on the clipboard, and then the security screening was over.

    Took about 20 minutes all up with the wait.

    The security area was not busy at all - just normal I think, not sure what would happen or how long it would take if the airport was busy or there were other issues, but I'm guessing it could potentially take a lot longer to get a private screening.

    I was very early for my flight, but I felt somewhat relieved to have made it through the first security point OK.

    I relaxed in the food area, having a coffee and a sandwich, and stocked up with some snacks for the flight.

    All the while I was vigilant of my surroundings, discreetly keeping an eye out for anyone who might be keeping an eye on me, or busy areas, which I also avoided.

    It came time to board the plane, and I placed my backpack containing the coins in the overhead storage for takeoff. The overhead was literally right above my head, and I was careful to monitor activity around it, I don't think anyone else put anything in there, the flight was about 1/2 to 2/3 full, and I had a row of seats to myself.

    After takeoff I removed the backpack from the overhead and placed it at my feet.

    The flight proceeded without problems, had a meal, watched a couple of movies and even went to the loo (rapidly) a couple of times, just leaving the backpack on the floor next to my seat. I did not take the backpack to the toilet with me, I thought that may arouse suspicion.

    I discreetly checked the backpack a few times during the flight to make sure the toiletries bag was still present, all fine.

    In Bangkok I disembarked the plane and was ushered through towards the departure area for connecting international flights.

    There was another security checkpoint and I decided to use a different approach with the Thai guards.

    I didn't request a private screening, and decided to just open the bag and display its contents quickly when the bag was flagged up for checking.

    I thought the "private screening" thing might attract too much attention, and they might not even have the facilities or even know what I meant.

    The backpack was flagged for checking as expected, and I just unzipped the toiletries bag quickly and said, "silver coins".

    The security person just poked their finger around the bag, did an explosives swab, and then said "you go".

    I rapidly repacked everything and made my way to the gate for the next flight.

    Strangely, there was another security bag check before boarding, the security officer opened the toiletries bag and took a coin out and held it up for a second, then put it back in the bag, I just said, "coins". That seemed to suffice. No problems.

    I made my way to the gate and boarded the plane.

    Proceeded much the same as the first flight. I just kept the backpack as close to myself as I could through the whole flight.

    I managed to stay awake through the whole thing which I think helped.

    Arriving in Melbourne, I declared the coins, the inspector didn't even look at them. He just said "what is it", and I said just some gold and silver bullion I owned overseas I am now bringing to Australia. He just waved me through.

    I had a ride organised for my arrival, so no more security issues from there on.

    So the bottom line is, nothing to worry about really, just some common sense security precautions seemed to work fine for me, and no problems at all from immigration officers, security, or fellow passengers.
     
    STKR and Alee like this.
  14. bubblebobble2

    bubblebobble2 Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    You're sooooo lucky that you got "worn-out" custom guy.... The picky ones will definitely give you the run for your money (and time).... congrats for making a safe journey home.
     
  15. The Expanding Man

    The Expanding Man Member

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    I'm curious.

    If you are carrying government issued bullion with a nominal denomination amount marked on the coin, do you declare as value the denomination marked on the coin or the spot price of the precious metal making up the weight of the coin?
     
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  16. Golden

    Golden Member

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    Personally I would change silver for gold before the trip and kept 5oz of gold in my wallet. Way less bother.
     
  17. billybob888

    billybob888 Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Yeah had 5 gold coins when i came back last year, they didnt even check cos they looked like coins on the xray i suppose
     
  18. 2nd_Hand_Gold_Man

    2nd_Hand_Gold_Man Member

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    now i dont know if non bullion is dif when it comes to customs
    i flew in to meld with 25-30k (dollers at spot gold price) worth of scrap 22k gold bracelets,chains a year ago...............she looked in my bag (said sir you like you gold jewellery) then she went on with the rest of my baggage.....14 minutes later i was in a cab on my way home
     
  19. sammy

    sammy Active Member Silver Stacker

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    ... So to cut a long story short, you got through ok.
     
  20. 2nd_Hand_Gold_Man

    2nd_Hand_Gold_Man Member

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    sure did.....
     

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