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Storing gold in Austria

As much as I love the city, I’m here in Vienna today on a mission– gold storage.  After yesterday’s missive about Panamanian safety deposit boxes, I thought it appropriate to follow-up with a couple of strong solutions for offshore gold storage, and Austria certainly fits the bill.

First of all, if you love mountains, you definitely need to check out Austria. The Austrian Alps command some of the most breathtaking views in the world, and the summertime weather is absolutely spectacular.

English language proficiency is prevalent everywhere in the country; everyone from the gas station attendants to street performers speaks English, which is great because my Deutsche is terrible.

Cost-wise, Austria is reasonable, though certainly not cheap.  Expect a decent meal for two with wine to run about 50 euro ($70) in Vienna, perhaps even a bit more in Salzburg… and a four star hotel to cost 120 euro per night ($170).

But let’s get back to the gold.

Vienna is home to a fantastic facility called Das Safe (www.dassafe.com), located at Auerspergstrasse 1 near the city center.

Das Safe provides anonymous safety deposit boxes starting at 400 euro ($560) per year, and anonymous means anonymous… all you have is the box key and a PIN code to access the secure room.

To be honest, you will feel a little bit like Jason Bourne when you walk into the place; the facility is completely secure and monitored at all times, though video surveillance is not recorded so you need not worry about your privacy.

I have done business with Das Safe in the past and find their level of service and professionalism to be spectacular; if you want to move your bullion offshore and make sure that no one knows about it, Das Safe is for you.

If, on the other hand, you don’t care about anonymity, Austrian banks will be happy to rent you a safety deposit box regardless of your nationality.  They do require a photo ID, but the costs start at 65 euro ($90) per year for a small box.

Just about every bank in Austria also sells gold coins, making it very convenient to buy and store on-site.  I am a big fan of the ‘Philharmonic’ coin, the Austrian version of the Eagle or Maple Leaf, which is paid for in euro. As I mentioned Friday, I am a long-term believer in gold’s value, especially against the euro.

Unlike the banks that I mentioned in Panama yesterday, I do not believe that Austria’s banks would suddenly and unilaterally change their policies about providing safety deposit box services, so establishing service there will probably not pose any problems for the next several years.

Furthermore, Austrian law prohibits banks from inspecting the contents of boxes except in narrowly defined instances when they’re sure that you’re dead, and Austria is one of the only countries in the world with this protection.

Tomorrow I’m going to talk about banking in Austria, and why it may be a good option for you.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this video from last Saturday morning in Zagreb.

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Rowan

    24/7 Private Vaults
    3110 E Sunset Rd # H, Las Vegas – (702) 948-5555

    There is also a ‘blind’ safe deposit box corp in Las Vegas, NV who operateds on cash-only. Boxes are all sizes. the identify-er is the scan of one’s Iris. The local gov also utilizes their services as a back-up. An ol’ codger owns it. met the guy, strong Libertarian.

    check it out as i think it’s one of only a handful in the states

  • Marquelle

    So along the same lines as Jason Bourne, is that where you keep a box for some of your passports, cash/currencies/gold, and a pistol…just in case?

  • Lonnie H

    hey Simon great article i was just in austria last summer and its beautiful… I am about to graduate college and looking for a great location to start an offshore business, any suggestions? I have been doing a lot of research on the bahamas because of their 0 income tax and 0 capital gains… I also just bought mark nestermanns’ book and am looking forward to reading it.

    keep up the good work,
    Lonnie H

  • Alfonso Landa

    Dear Simon

    Because of the recent atrocity of the London Police, Mark Nestmann is now on record saying that NO safe deposit facility ANYWHERE on the globe is safe. Yet, you are recommending Austrian safe deposit boxes, and Das Safe. Do you think you and Mark could get together and try to come to a consensus?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TIGROYQSXT7FK5QDEFSWPBQZFI Markus

      proponents of keeping your physical bullion at home and moving it to some sort of “backup facility” somewhere else are equally split in the investor world.

      It’s both a matter of taste and one’s individual situation. No general one-size-fits-all answer possible (as actually always in life as long as humans continue to be humans=individuals)!

      There may be very good reasons for either approach. While it is true that counter-party risk as well as (all sorts of) systemic risk may become major aspects in the near future, there may sometimes be good reasons for “diversifying” one’s storage locations too.

  • SK

    Simon – Ihave been to Das Safe, agree with your assessment… to Alfonso’s comment, NO place is going to be totally safe, but das safe is certainly one of the last places you will see government thugs.

  • Joe N

    Simone, how about insurance, is there any insurance included in the price ?

  • James H

    Great article. I have two questions to add. How about storing silver in Austria? Where are the best places to buy silver in Austria and do they have a 8% VAT like Switzerland?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TIGROYQSXT7FK5QDEFSWPBQZFI Markus

      They do charge VAT in Austria, but if you want i a lower tax rate, go to Germany (just 7%) or, even better, Norway http://goldsilver.ecopen.com/ where silver bullion coins are totally EXEMPT FROM VAT (that is, 0%) while fully compliant with European rules via the Norwegian membership of EFTA. All gold silver bullion coins bought from Norway are legally tax-free in the entire EEC + EFTA areas and treated as “intra-commuity transactions” under European Law.

  • Ron Michael

    Hi Simon
    Curious to know how comfortable you felt with das safe? How much gold can you store in 500 dollar a year safe? Also how much gold will they allow you to bring into Austria through customs? Please e-mail me thanks

  • Courier One

    Sounds good. But what if, one fine day, you attempt to take out your “stuff” and you’re denied entry? Or the authorities claim your registration is a forgery? Think it can’t happen? Ha! Ask the survivors of the Holocaust and their descendants how they were treated by the Swiss banks when they showed up with account books and documentation (Google it. This was a huge story). People were arrested and jailed for “forgery.” If Edgar Bronfman’s work is to be believed, some were killed. Or check out how Japan handled the “redemption” of gold certificates. It was the same as the “Swiss Solution. Declare the certificates forgeries, arrest everyone associated with them and keep the gold. Or if push comes to shove-it-wher-the-moon-don’t shine, they just declare possession illegal, as the US did in the ’30s.

    Be very wary of putting your precious anything in the hands of third parties, whether offshore “havens,” private vaults, banks, governments or your cousin Bennie. In desperate situations people tend to do desperate things. As the old adage goes, “Do NOT f**k with my money.” And somehow governments (and banks, which tend to own the governments) always come to believe that your money is really their money.

    You might want to hit the local library or bookstore and pick up a copy of GOLD WARRIORS before you make a decision of such consequence.

  • George Junior

    What is the mark up price mark up you pay for Philharmonics at Austrian banks. At Kitco, Kruggerands sell for 5% above spot. I suspect an Austrian bank will charge much more than that 5%.

  • frankania

    Are you all crazy? Bury the gold and only tell your trusted relatives where it is! Why depend on some obscure bureaucracy to hide such a basic commodity?

    • http://www.thetabiz.com/ JLouisBiz

      That is true, I agree with the keeping the gold close to the hands of relatives. Only that must be really secret place, and not buried in the garden or on the land where someone with a metal detector may find it.

  • Stanley Elgin

    I wouldnt keep anything of value at das safe.

  • Hamson Christian

    Dear Sir,

    There is a stock of 600 KG from Ivory Coast before the catcher or former President Gbagbo. These goods belong to his wife and l am in charge to sell it here in Ghana.
    All l want from you is come down to ship it to your country with me then after refinery you should pay me.


    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TIGROYQSXT7FK5QDEFSWPBQZFI Markus

      I totally L-U-V-V-E travelling to 401-land (don’t care whether it’s Nigeria or Ghana) and then being f***ed by all you smart people down there.

      And, hey, your plan sounds absolutely reasonable and just great :)))

    • Suckaaa

      Can I pay you a fee in advance?

  • Domlanic

    My bullion is held in a local bank, cost AUD65 p.a. The bank required only that I provided a secure locked box and did not want to know what was in it; only needing a personal account from which to deduct the fee. I can access the box during business hours free of charge. 
    Am I naive for thinking this arrangement is secure? 

    Also, transporting bullion across international borders is regulated almost everywhere, is it not? Some places charge taxes or import duties, too. Australia mandates disclosure for values over $2000 with severe penalties and it’s obviously impossible to avoid detection with airport scanners…  

  • http://www.thetabiz.com/ JLouisBiz

    That is an excellent article. Austria is perfect for anonymous gold buying. One may buy up to €15,000 or about $19,000 per purchase gold without questions and without ID asked. We assist our clients purchase gold anonymously in Austria. 

  • S Meyer

    My father had a “secure”  Safety deposit box at a bank in Slazburg.  After his death the signature card was altered and a new person put on as co-owner…and cleaned out my father’s gold.   Think twice …they are crooked as can be!

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