UAE: Travelling with gold in hand luggage? New rules could be in the works

Since hand-carry transport of gold across international borders is not transparent, it can sometimes lead to unlawful activities

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Waheed Abbas

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Published: Thu 23 Nov 2023, 3:01 PM

Last updated: Thu 23 Nov 2023, 10:39 PM

Customs officials are increasingly intercepting passengers attempting to transport unauthorised quantities of gold in their hand baggage. A global effort to curb illicit hand-carry gold trade is gaining momentum, leading to heightened scrutiny for travellers carrying this precious metal in their hand luggage.

As reported by Khaleej Times, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and the World Gold Council have joined hands to standardise international regulations and procedures to address the challenge of illicit gold trade by travellers and the gap in the responsible sourcing and trade of gold.

This will ensure that travellers across the globe including the UAE, India, China, Pakistan, Europe, the Americas and other countries can carry a certain amount or value of gold in their hand-carry luggage. Khaleej Times was the first to report on the collaboration between the entities to control the illicit trade of gold and jewellery in hand-carry luggage.

Andrew Naylor, head of Middle East and Public Policy at the World Gold Council, said that individuals in hand-carry transport a large element of gold across international borders. And since it is not transparent, it can sometimes lead to facilitating illicit trade. “That means gold has not been responsibly sourced. Also, gold is sometimes used for illicit purposes by using hand carry to avoid detection,” he said during the sidelines of a conference in Dubai on Tuesday.

“Stricter measures on hand-carry gold are an urgent priority. The positive impact this initiative will have on the legitimate gold mining communities worldwide is immeasurable. This is a prime example of how Dubai and the UAE are demonstrating a true desire to enact positive industry reforms, so we are proud to be working alongside the World Gold Council on this crucial matter,” said Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman and CEO of DMCC.

Both World Gold Council and DMCC will conduct research and hold discussions with all stakeholders in the UAE, India, China, Europe, the USA and other countries around the world on both legitimate and illegal aspects of hand-carried gold trade, focusing on the role of hand-carry methods.

Once all the parties have agreed on the definitions of acceptable personal limits, and the establishment of standardized customs declaration and digital tracking processes, these recommendations will be made laws and implemented across the globe.

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