People ship gold for many reasons. Some people send gold as gifts to friends or family members. Others prefer storing their gold in secure vaults in other cities or abroad. These individuals might feel like their gold is safer in another country, away from governments, creditors or ex-partners that may try to seize it. You may also need to ship gold domestically or abroad when moving to a new home.
Whatever your motivation for gold shipping, make sure you understand the best practices and government guidelines before shipping gold bars, bullion and coins.
Preparing Gold for Shipment
Whether you’re shipping domestically or overseas, you should take steps to prepare your gold for its journey. The following steps will help your gold reach its destination in the best possible condition:
- Wipe any unboxed gold with a soft cloth. This step will remove any dust and debris from your gold that could cause corrosion and dirt damage in transit. You can skip this step if your gold is safe in protective cases.
- Prepare gold coins for safe travel. Your gold coins will travel safely inside plastic coin bags, coin tubes or their original coin holders. You can then pack them inside a gold shipping bag or box.
- Prepare gold bars for safe travel. Wrap each gold bar in protective plastic or a clean cloth, then place them inside a shipping box or case. If you have enough gold bars for stacking, separate each layer with soft cloth or bubble wrap to prevent rubbing damage.
- Double box your gold. Double boxing ” placing one shipping box inside another ” is the safest way to ship gold. Double boxing reduces the risk of parcel tampering and your package breaking open if someone drops it accidentally.
Best Practices for Shipping Gold Domestically
There are several best practices you should keep in mind when shipping gold within the United States. These are the best options for sending gold to USA cities:
- Use a reliable courier service. Look for a service offering armored gold transportation. Prices vary, so get a few quotes before you make your decision. Couriers work best for large amounts of gold because shipping small amounts often isn’t very cost-effective.
- Use the United States Postal Service’s registered mail service. The United States Postal Service will ship gold around the United States. Its registered mail service lets you insure your gold for up to $50,000. Your local post office also has Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes, which let you ship up to 70 pounds of gold with no additional fees. Note that the United States Postal Service’s nearest competitors, including DHL, FedEx, and UPS, will not ship gold for private owners.
Best Practices for Shipping Gold Internationally
Shipping gold abroad requires a slightly different approach. Follow these recommended practices when you need to ship gold overseas:
- Ship government-issued 24k gold coins or bars. Coins and bars with government stamping are less likely to raise border suspicions. Most government-issued gold coins have legal tender face values, which border controls appreciate.
- Avoid sending taxable coins, such as 22k gold coins. The governments of Canada, Singapore and other nations tax 22k gold coins, so it’s best to keep coins like the 22k Gold Eagle and Gold Krugerrand near home. Research tax requirements and consider whether the tax burden is too high.
- Use a professional transport service. Professional transport services ship gold overseas on behalf of their clients . They handle security, customs and insurance so that your gold reaches its destination safely and securely.
- Move a large quantity. The costs associated with moving a small amount of gold overseas can be substantial. Transferring a larger quantity of gold abroad can be more cost-effective.
- Use the United States Postal Service for small amounts. The United States Postal Service will also ship your gold overseas. This option is best for small amounts of gold that would cost too much to send via a professional transport service. The service is not as comprehensive, but it is affordable.
- Take out third-party insurance. Many international shipping services cap their insurance at $1,000, so you may need third-party insurance to cover your gold stash .
- Complete a customs form. Unless your shipping company is completing one on your behalf, you must complete a customs form to send gold abroad. The form should describe your goods and note their estimated value. It should also list the Harmonized System code. The code for gold is 7108. If your shipping company handles customs, get written confirmation about your shipment’s paperwork and reporting requirements and how they will meet them.
- Complete an Electronic Export Information (EEI) form. Unless your shipping company is completing one on your behalf, you must complete an Electronic Export Information form for shipments valued at $2,500 or more .
Do Any Governments Set Rules on These Shipping Guidelines?
Some governments around the world set guidelines for shipping gold. Make sure that you follow all of these rules to ensure your gold legally arrives at its destination. Government guidelines vary around the world and often change over time, so it’s important to research the guidelines in your gold’s destination country carefully. Some of these regulations include:
- China: You cannot send gold to China without an Import and Export License for Gold and Gold Products. These licenses are only available through the People’s Bank of China.
- Australia: You must have an Import Declaration when sending gold valued at more than 1,000 Australian dollars. You’ll need a Self-Assessed Clearance Declaration for gold shipments with smaller values .
- Canada: You can’t send coins, bullion or precious metals to Canada using the EMS network. You can only send uninsured shipments of coins to Canadian coin dealers or other collectors .
Understanding the best practices and government guidelines around shipping gold will help you send your gold elsewhere safely and legally. Make sure you follow all of the recommendations above to ensure that your gold reaches its destination.
1. FlagTheory.com. ‘How to Safely Move Gold Overseas,’ https://flagtheory.com/move-gold-offshore/. Accessed October 5, 2020.
2. Preciousmetaltax.com. ‘Transporting Metals Internationally,’ https://preciousmetaltax.com/transporting-metals-internationally/. Accessed October 5, 2020.
3. UPS. ‘About Filing Your Electronic Export Information (EEI),’ https://www.ups.com/us/en/shipping/international/us-export-declaration.page. Accessed October 5, 2020.
4. Australian Border Force. ‘How to Import,’ https://www.abf.gov.au/importing-exporting-and-manufacturing/importing/how-to-import/types-of-imports/importing-precious-metals-coins-jewellery-currency. Accessed October 5, 2020.
5. Australia Post. ‘Canada,’ https://auspost.com.au/sending/send-overseas/international-post-guide/results/canada. Accessed October 5, 2020.