Can I fly with a Good Delivery gold bar? I'll have the certificate that I have been given with it.

I have looked on Google and found nothing that suggests it's a prohibited item on an aircraft. It's below the weight I am allowed to carry in person. I'll be taking it to Moscow, flying from Heathrow with BA.

Person carrying a gold bar

  • 79
    You need help in carrying that? Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 21:35
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    i suggest you also wear a bulletproof vest. Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 21:52
  • 79
    For what that bar is worth, I'd hire a bonded and insured delivery company to deliver it to my destination.
    – Johnny
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 1:18
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    Not sure how soft gold metal disks will make you 100% bullet proof, but could ya let us know how this works out? It sounds a lot like the intro to a Guy Richie movie Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 9:07
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    So it was not a laptop bag after all.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 13:48

5 Answers 5


Maybe not exactly the answer to your question, but according to this site (see Section XIV, Chapter 71, HS code 7108131000), Russia imposes a 20% customs duty on the importation of gold bars. So unless you have 5.3 million rubles on hand to pay the customs duty (or can break off a fifth of the bar), expect the customs officers to hold on to your gold bar until you come up with the money. Be sure to get a receipt!

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    Can I pay by card?
    – Ulkoma
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 6:18
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    @User: Oh, the plot thickens. I bet you'll get lots of questions from Russian customs about the owner. Honestly, I have nothing resembling direct knowledge or experience of this situation, I'm just sharing information I found. I really think you ought to get advice from a professional (probably a Russian lawyer, at least; yes this will cost money) before undertaking this journey. With the amount of money at stake, I'd be very uncomfortable just relying on the advice of random people from the Internet.
    – anon
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 6:25
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    Let me be a little more blunt: if you are not a trained professional, this sounds insane. Don't do it.
    – anon
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 6:29
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    You also might want to consider not doing this after having publicly declared your intention to do it on the internet... especially as your questions on other sites give away quite a few clues about what you might look like and other biographical details Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 10:02
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    @User I'd suggest seeing if you can de-link your Travel account from your other accounts. From about 10 minutes skimming a few random questions, they don't completely give away anything beyond what city you live and work in, what type of shop you work in, how many people you work with, your parental & marital status and your religion, but I do feel like there are enough clues that I could guess your gender, age to within 8 years, your race, how strong an accent you have, your personality... plus a couple of clues that narrow down which districts your workplace could be... Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 11:03

It's allowed, I have personally seen a passenger who booked a seat for a bag. I then asked the passenger and he said it was gold. I was an operating flight attendant.

I also do not recall any rules regarding prohibiting gold onboard, (from an aviation point of view) unless it was in the shape of a knife I assume. Just check with the airline you are flying with in case they have specific rules regarding that (I don't think they would).

Finally, make sure about the customs regulations in the destination country, that's what I would worry about.

  • 2
    But are all forms of gold allowed? Gold coins or other small pieces may be more acceptable than a 12kg gold bar - it may be seen as something dangerous enough to be a weapon, or opaque enough to x-rays to be a risk of concealing something inside - maybe it's not gold at all but is gold plated lead with a concealed door.
    – Johnny
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 1:17
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    @NateEldredge Huh... Im wrong. For some reason i thought it was super heavy. Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 2:12
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    @Johnny the weight would mean that depending on the airline it's not allowed under its carryon regulations. That's probably the main problem you're going to face with the airline. On top of that there may be problems with customs as many countries place restrictions on the value of things you're allowed to take in or out, and there are still countries where the private possession of gold is illegal.
    – jwenting
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 5:48
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    Whilst trying to get back some lost property at Dubai airport a few years back, and getting in conversation with the guy, he told me, people leave all sorts of things on the planes... we even had a gold bar
    – nmtoken
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 10:56
  • 4
    "I also do not recall any rules regarding prohibiting gold onboard, unless it was in the shape of a knife" A solid gold knife wouldn't be sharp because gold is too soft to hold an edge. The airline still wouldn't let it on board in case it was a gold-plated steel knife, which is unfortunate, since Archimedes taught us how to test that, long before the invention of the plane Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 14:31

Anecdotally, you can buy gold at a vending machine in Abu Dhabi airport, in the outgoing terminal. Whilst policies at destinations will vary of course, it's highly unlikely to be widely illegal whilst being sold at an airport.

Gold ATMs are available across the world - not sure I would have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself while transiting through Abu Dhabi! :)

enter image description here

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    +1 for the photo alone! I've heard of such machines, but never actually saw one myself.
    – Aleks G
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 20:30
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    Why would anyone need some gold so bad that they need to resort to a vending machine? Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 14:04
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    I know! I can only assume it's A) novelty or b) ostentation Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 14:16
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    Really silly ... OF COURSE there are cash machines where you can withdraw a few hundred dollars of cash. But can you arrive in a country with A MILLION IN CASH? these gold machines just sell small amounts of gold -- a few thousand dollars worth.
    – Fattie
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 14:39
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    "it's highly unlikely to be widely illegal whilst being sold at an airport." One would think, but a few years ago there was a controversy where whale meat (illegal to import nearly everywhere) was being sold at Reykjavik airport: grapevine.is/news/2011/11/04/…
    – user35890
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 12:08

You are carrying a half-million dollars in gold on your person and you are flying into... Russia? Keep a sharp eye out.

As Nate points out, you may have to pay an import duty in Russia, but apparently there are no restrictions on the British end. In the US, you would have to declare it. Last year, I got into a nasty run-in with ICE who were convinced I was exporting currency.

My research corresponds with yours: nothing about carrying metal on the plane. I imagine getting through the security checkpoint is going to be a hassle though. Gold is pretty impervious to x-rays.

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    Of course he/she is flying into Russia... I've heard there are Moscow nightclubs that won't let you in unless you are carrying a solid gold bar of at least 200 troy ounces ;-) this question might be the most Russian (or, specifically, London to Moscow) thing I've ever read Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 9:55
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    I am living in Moscow and although i haven't heard about such a club but It's really not that scary out here. There are a lot of rich people especially who made money on corruption things with ganger past. And all this reach guys love to spend their money in here too, drinking and partying with pretty Russian girls in clubs. So my advise is to try avoid any problems with locals as most of them has crime type of connections. Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 11:46
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    Anecdotal evidence re hassle at the security checkpoint. Brian Schmidt's Nobel medal caused a few questions to be asked. Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 20:46

Not exactly your destination, but Werner Rydl was arrested in Brazil when he was carrying a bar of gold.

Also others have been arrested when they were unable to promptly provide the origin of the gold they were carrying.

Since you said in some comment that you will just transport the gold but you're not the owner of it... You'd be a mule, or, if you were in Brazil, mula.

  • 14
    Mule is the word you are looking for.
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 15:38

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