Law No 42 of November 24, 2015
On Declaring the Cross-Border Transportation of Money
For the purpose of implementing the provisions of this Law, the following expressions shall mean:
1- Currency/ Negotiable Instruments:
– Banknotes and coins in circulation, whether in Lebanese pound or any other currency.
– Commercial papers, securities, means of payment and other types of negotiable movable assets, in case they are not made out or endorsed to the benefit, or to the order of a designated payee (drawing bonds, promissory notes, checks, payment orders, bearer shares, prepaid cards, etc.).
2- Declaration: to provide detailed information on the owner of the Currency/Negotiable Instruments being transported, the person transporting them, the recipient party, their value, type, origin and intended use, the routes and modes of transportation.
3- Disclosure: to provide detailed information, at the request of the Customs authorities, on the owner of the Currency/Negotiable Instruments being transported, the person transporting them, the recipient party, their value, type, origin and intended use, the routes and modes of transportation.
4- False declaration/false disclosure: to provide false or incomplete information on the value of Currency/Negotiable Instruments transported across borders or other information which is asked for in the declaration/disclosure requested by the authorities; or failing to make a declaration/disclosure as imposed / required .
All persons transporting physically, in or out of the border, Currency/Negotiable Instruments on them, in their accompanying luggage, or by any other means, by containerized cargo or any other means of shipping, or through the post, must submit a written declaration thereon to the Customs authorities, whenever the value of the Currency/Negotiable Instruments exceeds the amount of USD 15,000 or its equivalent in other currencies, by filling in a form that includes the complete relevant information requested.
As an exemption to the preceding paragraph, a disclosure thereof to the Customs authorities may be sufficient without the need for the declaration, when the Currency/Negotiable Instruments are being physically transported outside Lebanon and their value exceeds the amount of USD 15,000 or its equivalent in other currencies, according to the implementation rules mentioned in Article 6 below to be issued in relation to this Law.
Customs authorities are empowered to search natural persons, inspect their luggage and the transportation modes referred to in Article 2 above, in order to check the accuracy of the information declared or disclosed.
In case a false declaration/disclosure is detected or suspected , or in case of non-declaration/non- disclosure, or in case of suspecting the transportation of illicit Currency/Negotiable Instruments, within the meaning of Article 1 of amended Law No 318/2001, the Customs authorities are empowered to request additional information about the transported Currency/Negotiable Instruments, to seize them and prepare relevant seizure records, after notifying the Public Prosecution of the Court of Cassation. The latter shall, within a maximum period of two days, take the appropriate decision in light of the available data, as to whether maintain the seizure or free the said Currency/Negotiable Instruments, and accordingly notify its decision to the «Special Investigation Commission» established pursuant to amended Law No 318 of April 20, 2001 on Fighting Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.
Customs authorities shall promptly notify the «Special Investigation Commission» of the above-mentioned seizure records.
Customs authorities shall establish an electronic database that has the necessary safety and confidentiality specifications. All the declarations, disclosures, records, files and official documents shall be archived in the database in a way that clearly distinguishes between the declarations and disclosures referred to in Article 2 of this Law and those mentioned in Article 3 thereof.
The Special Investigation Commission shall be empowered to directly access the declarations, disclosures, records, files and official documents mentioned in Article 3 of this Law.
Customs authorities shall impose on any person making a false declaration/disclosure or failing to make a declaration/disclosure, a fine not exceeding ten million Lebanese pounds, not precluding any criminal prosecution as specified in the provisions of above-mentioned Law No 318.
The Customs Higher Council shall issue, within three months from the enactment date of this Law, and in collaboration with the «Special Investigation Commission», a decision pursuant to which it shall set the implementation rules of the provisions of this Law, notably the preparation of the declaration form mentioned in Article 2 thereof.
The detailed implementation of the provisions of this Law shall be set, where applicable, through Decrees taken by the Council of Ministers, upon a proposal made by the Minister of Finance on the basis of the preparation work done by the Customs Higher Council in collaboration with the
«Special Investigation Commission» specified in Law No 318/2001.
This Law shall enter into force upon its publication in the Official Gazette.
Beirut, November 24, 2015
Promulgated by the Council of Ministers
The President of the Council of Ministers
Signed: Tammam Salam