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How much RMB can I take out of China without declaring?
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starlight



Joined: 16 Apr 2008
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:15 pm    Post subject: How much RMB can I take out of China without declaring? Reply with quote

You can take out 20,000 RMB AND $5,000 U.S. I've done this myself many times in recent years.

If you feel more 'comfortable' having this information in print, then just pop out to the airport and pick up a declaration form at one of the counters in the departure hall. The limits are clearly stated on the declaration form.
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mdovell



Joined: 02 Nov 2009
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I understand here's a few things

1) it's true that you can't bring more than 10K cash into the USA...although I would say if you bought something like some gold that might be able to be sold back here...I'd say silver too but the margin on it is high

2) Not just with china but in general banks will not exchange (at least from what I was told) any foreign money in coin form.

3) Maybe this is off but what if you could western union money back home beforehand?
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waxwing



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 719
Location: China

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nickpellatt wrote:
The Chinese Yuan is NOT a currency that cannot be taken from the country. This is unlike countries like Tanzania (where I went last year) and Morocco (where I go next month). This means that the currency can be exchanged with banks and currency exchange specialists. Even Tesco (the UK supermarket) can exchange RMB and 101 other currencies. Yes, they do this for a profit ... they buy RMB at about 9 per GBP, and sell at 10.5 as do all currency dealers throughout the world.

They dont only change it 'if' someone else has recently deposited some! In the case of wanting 6500 yuan, which I did before leaving for China in December last year....the privately owned currency service I used needed 3 days because they ordered it.

Likewise...I can order pretty much any currency (except the closed currencies mentioned above) via my online bank which is part of Santander.

Go into any Beauraux (sp) de change in any travel agent, bank or at pretty much any airport and they will tell you the same.


Nick, what you are saying in these two posts in this thread is so far off it's not even funny. I can only surmise you are getting royally shafted and you don't even seem to be remotely aware of the issue.

The interbank rate for RMB against pounds as I type is 10.0 to 3sf. You write here:
Quote:
they buy RMB at about 9 per GBP, and sell at 10.5 as do all currency dealers throughout the world

That is a spread of approximately 15%. Moreover, you got the buy and sell the wrong way round; if the bank was offering this they would be losing about 7.5% on every transaction (banks are not wont to do this..).
(If anyone's confused: they would be giving you 1 pound for 10.5 rmb and giving 9rmb for every 1 pound (although I doubt that the latter transaction is even possible (edit: I've just noticed you said you were able to do it, but had to wait three days. You were also charged an arm and a leg!))).

To give context, in electronic transactions the spread for major currencies should usually be about 0.5% or if you're being smart about it, you can get it down to as low as 0.1-0.2%. Actual forex markets (trading) bring it down another order of magnitude. To repeat, spreads in excess of 2-3% mean you are getting screwed.

You also say that you got a better rate in Britain than HK. That is just not possible. Exchanging RMB in Europe is a very, very bad idea as you will lose multiple percentage points (unless you found a particularly good place to do it, which on the evidence of your posts, you didn't). In Hong Kong there is a very very deep and liquid market in RMB-HKD, and HKD-USD meaning that you can exchange there at very close to interbank rates. On the rare occasion I use bureaux de changes there I get charged much less than 1% on the spread, and in any case I usually just deposit RMB into a HKD savings account there and get charged very near zero spreads.

The bottom line is that in most of the developed world you can indeed exchange RMB cash into local currency, but it is horrifically expensive. Avoid trading the RMB outside of China or Hong Kong unless you like paying for bankers' yachts!.

One little tidbit for the OP: 20,000RMB is the legal limit daily for taking across the land border from Shenzhen to Hong Kong. I'm not sure if it's the same at the airport for international flights. I've never taken RMB out of the country except to Hong Kong, where you can immediately and for very little cost (as I explained above) change to more liquid and usable currencies.
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The Ever-changing Cleric



Joined: 19 Feb 2009
Posts: 1523

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

a good post by waxwing. taking RMB to a foreign country, even to some nearby asian countries is a bad idea. Exchange rates are typically awful. Exchange to another currency before you leave China, or at least exchange the RMB to $$ (or your own local currency wherever you come from) and wire it to your home account. At least that way you're getting a better exchange rate and don't have to worry about losing more when you get home and try to exchange there.

what waxwing wrote also applies to other currencies, thai baht, taiwan $$ etc, all of which I've been stuck with for whatever reason in a third country and all of which i lost about 20% on when the time came to exchange it.

Mister Al wrote:
Take the RMB with you. There are lots of places you can change it if/when you need to. I think it is about 20K allowed but my mate took 70K in his pocket once and the Chinese customs just let him through.

why would anyone even consider risking this?
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Susie



Joined: 02 Jul 2003
Posts: 390
Location: PRC

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:35 am    Post subject: 6000 Reply with quote

In line with the present policy by the Chinese government authorities, a maximum of RMB 6,000 can be taken out of China at a time.
Office for International Students' Affairs

The question I put to the director of foreign affairs for international students was: Do you know how much RMB a foreigner can take out of the country in cash via BaiYun Airport, and if you know the answer would you mind telling me?
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hot_water_hillbilly



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mdovell wrote:
From what I understand here's a few things

1) it's true that you can't bring more than 10K cash into the USA...although I would say if you bought something like some gold that might be able to be sold back here...I'd say silver too but the margin on it is high

2) Not just with china but in general banks will not exchange (at least from what I was told) any foreign money in coin form.

3) Maybe this is off but what if you could western union money back home beforehand?


Yes, you CAN enter the U.S. with more than $10,000 in cash - you simply have to declare it. You have no duty to report to Custom's if you have $10,000 exactly or less.

If you fail to declare it and they find it, you can actually have the entire cash load confiscated.
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malu



Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 1344
Location: Sunny Java

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know where people get the idea that the RMB is worthless outside of China. I've never been to the US but I can't think of an Asian or European country where you can't exchange it for local currency at a similar rate to that which you'd get in China (and with a lot less paperwork, too).

I took RMB30k out in cash to Indonesia and changed it easily. I also found an Agricultural Bank Unionpay card works fine in Citibank ATMs in SE Asia, though there are charges for withdawals.

Over many years I squirreled away savings in UK Sterling which are now worth rather less than they would be had I kept them in RMB, Rupiah or Ringgit!
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Menino80



Joined: 24 Feb 2008
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the process like of brining cash to HK and remitting from there? Any advantages?
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3231

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you talking about taking foreign currency to Hong Kong and exchanging it there? All I've ever done is USD and it must be PRISTINE; NO discernible wear or tear or the machines will reject it.

Last edited by johntpartee on Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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hot_water_hillbilly



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few years ago, I left with more than 40,000 RMB in cash. Nobody asked, so who was there to tell to know if I had more ?
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waxwing



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 719
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

malu wrote:
I don't know where people get the idea that the RMB is worthless outside of China. I've never been to the US but I can't think of an Asian or European country where you can't exchange it for local currency at a similar rate to that which you'd get in China (and with a lot less paperwork, too).

Specific quantitative statements are useful, vague hand waving is not.
Look at my post again and challenge me on the numbers - if not, I claim you are 100% wrong about Europe and even in Thailand, for example, you will NOT get a decent rate. You will get royally screwed.

Quote:

I took RMB30k out in cash to Indonesia and changed it easily.

Indonesia is known to be particularly RMB friendly. Agreed on that.

Quote:

I also found an Agricultural Bank Unionpay card works fine in Citibank ATMs in SE Asia, though there are charges for withdawals.

For Thailand, this has not been my experience but it might depend on some complex details I'm not au fait with. Charges for my Unionpay at ATMs are zero (whereas European and American cards get charged a hefty amount like 250Baht (sorry I don't remember the exact figure as I always use Unionpay nowadays)). I think I read an article which suggested this is possible in other SE Asian countries, but also something about the VISA network trying to stop it...

Quote:

Over many years I squirreled away savings in UK Sterling which are now worth rather less than they would be had I kept them in RMB, Rupiah or Ringgit!

Correct. I specifically avoided keeping savings in pounds in the last decade because I think the UK's economy is a joke, so I dodged a bullet there. However this is totally unrelated to the question of the cost of exchanging RMB...
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2416
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waxwing alludes to a companion issue which is not 'can' you take RMB ouf China but 'should' you.
As the general trend is towards a higher value RMB against most other currencies delay making the exchange until you need the US Stg Euro or whatever.
So assuming security of the RMB notes is not an issue, take them out but only exchange them when you need your home currency.
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nickpellatt



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 1522

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waxwing

If I have made any mistake in my post, its only a small one. (rates wrong way round!)I know what I wrote is true, because I have just done it! This includes getting a worse offer for RMB in Hong Kong than in Eastbourne, England! (thats happened twice by the way). The reason is because HK exchangers change money into HK$ first, then into GBP.

I have also taken money home in US$ before too. I took my airfare/ travel bonus is US$ in 2008 and was no better off for doing so. In fact, I think I was slightly worse off at that time. RMB would have been a better bet. That is because my money was changed from RMB>US$/US$>HK$/HK$>GBP

The TravelEx kiosk in Terminal 1 of HK airport offered me around 660 for my 7700 RMB. The exchange rate at Heathrow, London was worse at 640'ish, and I changed it the next day at 'The Coin Shop', an independant money changer in Eastbourne. 100% fact. I got around 710 there.

Currency exchange, GBP - RMB or RMB - GBP is incredibly easy and can be done at any high street bank or travel agent. As I said in my original post, you can even do it at Tesco supermarket. I have been in and out of China on 8 occasions and have changed money both ways. The only time I had to wait 3 days was changing larger amounts and they didnt have it in the branch at that time, hence needing to order it. I have changed small amounts of GBP - RMB at Tesco supermarket twice to send Hong Bao's to friends in China, and each time they had the 100/200 RMB there and then!

Of course, what I have done is change a small amount of money back into sterling, and in doing this, the RMB is no different to any currency. All high street money exchange services will take a fee, charge a commission, and/or sell at a different rate to the buying rate. Money markets and all that isnt really relevant for the average joe who is changing money.

If I was changing , US$, HK$ or any other currency the same applies. RMB is no better or worse than any of them. I think its pretty inaccurate to suggest market rates are widely and easily available to everyone, and for every sum of money. Its kinda like saying because the UK interest base rate is 0.5% you can borrow money at that rate. Its like expecting to make a withdrawal from a UK bank account at Bank of China and expecting to get charged the exact same rate as quoted on the markets. I have done that many times too, HSBC ATM cards work at Bank of China, and of course they make money from that too.

Unrealistic to expect to walk into any currency exchange service and say 'I have read in the FT this morning 1 = 1.20, here is my 100' and getting 120 in exchange! Impossible!

I would guess I have changed money into a variety of currencies (perhaps 20 or more) and the same is true of all currencies. They can be exchanged very easily and anywhere on the high street, and a commission is charged in each instance. In the last 3 years I have changed GBP to Euro, RMB, Kenyan Shilling, US$, HK$, and Malaysian. All of these exchanges have been easy, and conducted on the UK high street.

The only exception is currencies that cannot be imported or exported. Morocco is an example of this, and I know this as I am heading there in just over two weeks!

Ha, I know I will get called a 'numpty' now...Ive changed money so many times and I always get diddled right!

Laughing
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Susie



Joined: 02 Jul 2003
Posts: 390
Location: PRC

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have NOT had time to read all the posts printed out above, so patience please in your replies to my idea.

I am going to be leaving China via Guangzhou Bai Yun Airport in a week or so. I am planning to change RMB20,000 at the Bank of China into Euros. Any thoughts on this idea regarding:-
1. China's policy on the maximum amount of cash that can be taken out via that airport,
2. any limitations imposed by that bank on the amount of RMB they can exchange at any one time, (I have an account there),
3. the exchange rate given by that bank,
4. the red tape involved in doing this transaction at that bank.
Thanks.
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3231

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I asked about changing RMB into USD at Bank of China. They looked up the current rate of exchange (there was a machine in the lobby that displayed exchange rates for different money); I'm assuming they do that whenever they convert any currency. For large sums (I don't know how large), they told me they needed a couple of days to get the foreign cash to the branch.
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