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Old 17.02.2008, 05:36
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how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

hello everybody,
very excited to have found this forum. I set up a bank account in switzerland online and now will be flying through zurich in a few weeks. I would like to deposit an amount of 50k to 200k into that account. The money is legitimate and will be used to cover my tuition/expenses in medical school for 6 years in europe.

My question is: how do i bring that big sum through the customs at the airport, both out of US and into Zurich. What kind of paperwork will i need to prove that the origin of the money is legitimate?

I dont want to be wiring the money because i hear stories of large sums of money taking a long time to go through the banking system and occasionally getting sent elsewhere.

i hope someone will have a good advice for me.
sincerely

Ley
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Old 17.02.2008, 07:17
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

Sewing notes to the inside of clothes is for criminals and nutters.

Get your bank to transfer the money it will take a few hours to 3 working days depending on the system used...
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Old 17.02.2008, 07:36
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

You need to declare monetary instruments (cash, stock certificates or basically anthing that can't be otherwise tracked) when leaving the US. US Customs has a form for you to fill out. Their website can be searched for more information. Not declaring this money can cause it to be confiscated.

Switzerland does not, to my knowledge (I never have this sort of money anyways), have limits on what you can bring into the country. What Switzerland does have, is strict limits on who can open bank accounts here.

All of that said, you should be able to arrange a SWIFT transfer to be expedited so that it only takes a couple of days. Normal SWIFT transfers seem to take about a week. If they take longer, change banks.

Search this forum for more information on money transfers. Electronic transfers have been discussed a few times on this forum.
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Old 17.02.2008, 07:38
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

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Sewing notes to the inside of clothes is for criminals and nutters.

Get your bank to transfer the money it will take a few hours to 3 working days depending on the system used...
The USA is not set up to do IBAN transfers, unfortunately. Using SWIFT transfers it takes about a week normally. While one can expedite the transfers for an additional cost, even then it takes a couple of working days (according to my bank).
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Old 17.02.2008, 08:43
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

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I dont want to be wiring the money because i hear stories of large sums of money taking a long time to go through the banking system and occasionally getting sent elsewhere.
Does your bank do banker's cheques or bank drafts? Get your bank to issue a cheque with yourself as the payee. This is how I brought money to Switzerland when I first arrived. No problem opening an account with UBS using the bank draft.
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Old 17.02.2008, 10:28
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

I'm not certain what system our bank uses, but our transfers from the US arrive in 1 business day...in rare cases, 2 days. And they've never been sent "elsewhere."
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Old 17.02.2008, 10:38
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

Do legitimate Swiss banks allow non-resident foreign citizens to open accounts online and accept deposits without proof of origin of funds?
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Old 17.02.2008, 10:55
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

The absolute safest and best way to get money to
and from Switzerland is to wire the money. It take
3-4 days usually depending on the bank.

1. Establish an account in Switzerland and get the IBAN number
2. Go to your financial institution and sign an order to transfer
the money.

It is that easy.
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Old 17.02.2008, 23:25
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

thanks for the replies.

There is no need to be sowing dollars on the inside of clothes like a criminal, that is stupid. But i do want to have an option to bring at least some of the amount in cash.

i found this online:
http://www.orlandoairports.net/marketing/customs_v.htm
"There is no limitation as to the amount of money (U.S. or foreign currency), all travelers checks, money orders, or negotiable instruments in bearer form that you may bring into or take out of the United States. A report, however, must be filed with U.S. Customs at the time you arrive or depart with an amount which exceeds $10,000, or the equivalent in foreign currency. A form will be provided to you for this purpose."

So that means that as long as i fill out the declaration form when leaving the U.S., i should not be having problems, right?

The most they can do is to ask what the money will be used for and the latest tax return showing income.

Ley
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Old 17.02.2008, 23:58
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

I might add that it is generally considered that personally transporting large amounts of cash long distances and internationally is unnecessary, and carries a greater risk than a "reasonable person" would be willing to take. The bank receiving the cash will automatically question its source under anti-money laundering policies and laws, i.e. black money (tax avoidance) and dirty money (illegal activities such as drugs, prostitution, mafia, etc.). In this sense you can be sure you will be asked to prove the origin of the cash to a Swiss bank.

If a large amount of cash is discovered on your person by airport security, you may also be questioned and/or you will be flagged for being further checked at customs/immigration at your destination.
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Old 18.02.2008, 00:05
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

I would not consider bringing such a large amount of cash in person anywhere to be honest. Also consider that the dollar is weak at the moment and hopefully for you will become stronger....! Anyway, I'd consider keeping an amount in US banks and transfer when the market suits you best. And electronically.
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Old 18.02.2008, 01:09
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

I wonder, if you bring the money to Switzerland, but will reside in Europe, whether you could be brought up for tax evasion if you get caught with this money at the border. Because in many European countries, you would be above the limit of tax free wealth, and the customs officers might wonder why you want to deposit it here if you live in "Europe". Or have I misunderstood where you will live?
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Old 18.02.2008, 02:14
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

http://switzerland.isyours.com/e/ban...aundering.html

http://www.fedpol.admin.ch/fedpol/en...007-04-17.html

http://www.swissbanking.org/en/roth-e-03-06-05.pdf

http://www.swissbanking.org/117_e.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_bank
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Old 18.02.2008, 04:53
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

You only have to declare more than a certain amount of money at a time.
If you are making trips back and forth you can just bring the maximum you dont need to declare each time. Check at the airport will have an amount it says you have to declare if you have more than that.

Also...here's an idea.
Buy gold, or platinum bullion. you dont have to declare it. you can buy about 20 ounces of platinum should cover your 300K. If you are prepared to do this with a large portion of your money and just keep some for splash cash, you can even make money on the investment if you sell at the right time.
Don't forget there is a lower buyback rate than the purchase rate, so watch the market carefully. Gold is a better option for this, it's going nuts right now and the worse the US economy does the better gold will do.

Gold is about 1000 an ounce right now, so that means 300 ounces, and you are set. Or 280 ounces, keep some splash cash...wait for gold to go up $10 an ounce and you've made a little money on the side. best investment ever.
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Old 18.02.2008, 05:54
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

Thanks again for the ideas.

I hear everybody is buying gold these days.

Where do you buy it and how do you sell it? Not at a bank, right?
Are there any risks associated in converting your money into gold and back?

Ley
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Old 18.02.2008, 06:47
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

Just bring credit cards and a few thousand in cash or travellers cheques open an account and wire transfer the rest either in one hit or more sensibly monthly.

One assumes you have a visa Atm card or the like.

ash
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Old 18.02.2008, 08:08
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

Problem with bank transfers is the fees. Do it all at once if you're going to do a transfer...

If you are interested in buying gold, the risks to keep in mind are...
It can get stolen unless you keep it in a safe or a safety deposit box.
But, then again if no one but you knows you have it, why would they steal it?? Hide it well in case of a break-in and insure it! Loose lips, sink ships.

Also, you can buy it all over the place, you will have to check where you are, but just google "bullion brokers" in your local area. You can buy up to $50,000 in australia with no trace of where your money went, or came from.....great if you don't like people watching what you spend on.

Of course, it can fall in price and you lose money, lets say you've bought it for 1000CHF an ounce, there is possibility it could fall (but with the US market the way it is, its not likely) Silver is actually a better bet right now, but you have to buy that by the kilo, so transporting alot of it gets difficult. you can put your money into a "silver saver" account, this means they invest your money in bullion instead of a normal bank account, this is a great way to go as you can cash any time you like, and they hold the silver for you. Personally I prefer to have the bullion with me and not in someone elses hands....

Read up about "Fiat" money, all money is fiat money except for a few countries who still back their dollar with precious metals. Fiat money is a con, and a rip off, if you buy gold you have a limited resource. There is only so much of it on the planet!

Do a google search for "silver saver" accounts, "bullion brokers" and "fiat money" that's your homework for tonight. Enjoy!
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Old 18.02.2008, 09:17
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

Hmm. There's a report of a business man who lost and usually found his suitcase with a seven digit amount of cash at the airport every couple of years. So I don't know if it is a good solution, but people apparently transport large amounts of money internationally.
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Old 18.02.2008, 09:26
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

I would not feel comfortable transporting 200k in cash or precious metals across borders, through airports and so-on......if your bag with your gold or cash went missing, how good would you feel?

Oersonally, security for me would be the most important factor in this transaction.
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Old 18.02.2008, 09:34
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Re: how to bring funds in US dollars to Zurich in person?

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I would not feel comfortable transporting 200k in cash or precious metals across borders, through airports and so-on......if your bag with your gold or cash went missing, how good would you feel?

Oersonally, security for me would be the most important factor in this transaction.
I personally look forward very much to the face of the security officers at the Xray machine seeing a bag with 200k worth of gold on the screens.

The words "Would you come with us" and "please bend over and relax" come to mind.
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