Travel with firearms can be stressful and time consuming…
if you don’t have the right information. Worry less and let Travel Express guide you through the process.
U.S. CUSTOMS INFORMATION
Persons departing the U.S. for international destinations must have proof of ownership for firearms or other valuables. Otherwise, you may have to pay duty on the item each time you bring it back into the U.S., unless you can prove that you owned it before you left on your trip. Documents that fully describe the item—such as sales receipts—are acceptable forms of proof.
To make things easier, you can register certain items with CBP before you depart — specifically firearms — as long as they have serial numbers or other unique, permanent markings. Take the items to the nearest CBP office and request a Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad (CBP Form 4457). It shows that you had the items with you before leaving the United States and all items listed on it will be allowed duty-free entry. CBP officers must see the item you are registering in order to certify the certificate of registration. You can also register items with CBP at the international airport from which you’re departing as long as you have enough time in advance of your flight. This is a lifetime form for the owner listed so keep the certificate for future trips. Please see the link below for information on finding a CBP office near year and also their hours of operation.
Note that the Form 4457 is not only requested upon re-entry into the U.S. but some countries such as South Africa are also requesting to see this as proof of ownership for your firearms.
CBP FORM 4457 – Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad
FIREARM IMPORT & TRANSIT PERMITS
NEW! Transit permits for travel via Frankfurt must now be submitted online. TIP – you can translate the page easily as follows:
Translate the application page to English by clicking on the globe at the bottom of the page, selecting English, and then clicking “SCHLIESSEN” on the bottom of the pop up window.
You’ll need to upload copies of your documents to include passport scan, 4457, etc, and pay the EUR 20.00 fee. If the application is approved, you will receive an E-Mail with a link to download and print the permit.
In addition to the permit document a certificate with security features for counterfeit security will be attached to the E-Mail. You must also print this document in addition to the application, and present both documents to the customs authority at the airport in Frankfurt.
The Namibia firearm permit can easily be obtained on arrival at the Windhoek airport. A link to the blank form is below – we recommend completing it advance of your travels. They will verify serial numbers against your firearms when entering and again when leaving the country.
Namibian Police have advised that you may submit your Application for Import/ Export Permit (POL 573) online, in advance. You must send your passport scan, invite letter, 4457, and completed application to the police via email. Note that the permit will only be granted on arrival after inspection of all documents, passport, and firearms.
POL 573 – Namibian Police Application for Import/ Export Permit
When passing through the Netherlands with rifles and ammunition, you must get pre approved for transit. In addition to the Application for Consent for Weapons and Ammunition you must also submit a scan of your passport, CBP form 4457, airline itinerary, and letter of invitation from your PH.
This paperwork must be submitted a minimum of 30 days prior to departure. When approved a copy of the consent form will be emailed, and this is what you will carry as proof of acceptance. If you do not receive an approved copy before departure, your weapons are NOT approval for travel and will be denied boarding.
Application for Consent for Weapons and Ammunition and instructions
New Zealand Police require permits to be submitted 30 days prior to arrival. This Firearm Visitors Application is submitted electronically along with your 4457, passport details, and application fee. You will also be asked for contact and storage details for your firearms while in New Zealand. The license is granted upon arrival, after inspection.
Firearm Visitors Application – Link to the New Zealand Police Web Application
The South Africa Firearm Import Permit (SAPS 520) can be submitted on arrival OR in advance by an expeditor. If you do it yourself, make sure you fill out the permit correctly and have several copies of all required documents. If applying through an expeditor, paperwork must be submitted 30 days in advance.
SAPS 520 – Completed Example – South Africa Firearm Import Permit
Zimbabwe Visitor’s Certificate to Possess Firearms and Ammunition (Form No. FR20) is submitted on arrival. It is recommended to have at least four copies of the completed certificate in hand on arrival.
Form No. FR20 – Zimbabwe Visitor’s Certificate to Possess Firearms and Ammunition