The Treasury Department Thursday proposed additions to the list of financial instruments travelers must disclose when going abroad.
Besides cash, traveler's checks, and bearer bonds, the department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network wants people entering and leaving the country to declare foreign bank checks drawn against U.S. financial institutions.
Foreign bank checks, which can be redeemed at U.S. banks, have provided a loophole in the law, which is intended to help track the flow of cash into and out of the country.
"Correspondent banking relationships are a vital part of the banking system, both domestically and internationally," said Stanley E. Morris, director of the enforcement network. "However, like other aspects of the financial system, foreign bank drafts are vulnerable to manipulation and misuse by money launderers."
The proposed rule would not require U.S. banks to fill out new forms, but they still would be expected to report suspicious transactions to the government. The proposal is expected to be published shortly in the Federal Register.