The administrative regime in Macau is considering implementing a cross-border currency declaration system in Macau that would require persons importing or exporting currency to complete a declaration to border officials. No threshold amount is being discussed but news of the proposed change caused shares of the major casinos to fall slightly in Hong Kong over concerns that it would result in less visitors to Macau, and less gambling revenues.
The cross-border currency declaration system is designed to ensure that countries are aware of currency flows in and out of their borders and is required pursuant to anti-money laundering international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Macau is in non-compliance with the FATF standards in respect of the casino sector in several areas, particularly over cross-border currency imports. Currency declarations do not limit or restrict currency being imported or exported by a person - they merely allow the relevant country to track currency flows and flag suspected money laundering. Persons who do not report currency imports or exports when required in countries where currency declarations are required typically are at risk of having the funds forfeited if not declared.