This article is a continuation of The law of bringing gold into Uruguay in which I set out the legal regime applicable to the importation of gold into Uruguay. Several readers have asked questions about how things work in practice, particularly in cases where one wants to declare more than 10,000 US dollars.
On your arrival in Uruguay you will need to complete a customs form that may be given to you or is available in the room where you stand in line to get your passport checked and stamped. The form includes a declaration as to the amount of cash, traveler's checks, or precious metals being imported. In the case of amounts over 10,000 US dollars you should tick the box marked “Si” (Yes) and in the section A 1 and 2 below include the market value of those items.
According to the Customs internal rules (No 54/2006) the procedure then is that the customs official is entitled to check the veracity of the declaration and for that purpose the passenger will be taken to a “closed and safe place” where the funds will be counted, in the presence of a third party who should act as a witness. A minute will be taken and a copy of that will be given to the passenger. There is nothing in the rules which permits the Customs personnel to detain the person or their possessions.
All forms declaring over 10,000 US dollars are later sent to the Central Bank and thus it is possible that at a later date inquiries may be made as to the origin of the funds. Accordingly passengers would be well advised to bring documentation to show the origin of the funds being imported.
Once you have bought the gold into the country there are safe deposit boxes available in many banks, some exchange houses, and companies specializing in offering safe deposit boxes.
The alternative to bringing in a quantity of gold (or cash or other precious metals) personally is to arrange for a professional carrier to bring them in. I understand that people have had good experiences with a company called VIA MAT. As a professional service though they are subject to the Central Bank controls referred to in my previous article, so that certain information will have to be supplied before shipping is possible.