BRC Associate Attorney Shama Patari recently secured the release of over $10,000 in currency Customs and Border Protection seized from a passenger arriving in the United States. Passengers carrying in excess of $10,000 in currency or the equivalent are required to declare that fact to Customs upon arrival. Failure to make a proper declaration can result in the seizure and possible forfeiture of the funds. Once the funds are seized, Customs may also require proof that it was aquired from a legal source. Whenever Customs seizes merchandise or currency, the owner can petition Customs for its release or challenge the seizure in the U.S. District Court. On the basis of an adequate petition, Customs may release the seized merchandise or currency but will often assess a mitigated penalty for the improper failure to declare.