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.
REGISTRATION OF FIREARMS (Form 4457) - Locate a US Customs Port of Entry Near You
US CBP FORM 4457, Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad - View Form 4457
The Namibia fiearm permit can easily be obtained on arrival at the Windhoek airport. Below is a blank form for the permit that you might want to complete in advance just to make sure you have all of the necessary information. They will verify serial numbers against your firearms when entering and again when leaving the country.
NAMIBIA FIREARM FORM - Blank Firearm Permit Form
SOUTH AFRICA INFORMATION:
SAPS FORM 520 - Blank Firearm Permit Application
SAPS FORM 520 COMPLETED - Completed Sample of SAPS 520
SOUTH AFRICAN AIR - Firearm & Ammunition Policies
SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE - www.saps.gov.za
NOTE: For a do-it-yourself permit it is recommended that you have photocopies of the following documents in hand on arrival into South Africa with your completed SAPS 520 application form:
The Zimbabwe firearm permit will be issued upon arrival into the country. Below is a blank form for the permit that you might want to complete in advance just to make sure you have all of the necessary information. They will verify serial numbers against your firearms when entering and again when leaving the country.
ZIMBABWE FIREARM FORM - Blank Firearm Permit Form
When passing through Amsterdam in transit to Africa for a safari, it is mandatory by the Dutch Customs to file a consent application form for each transit through the Netherlands if you are carrying rifles/weapons/ammunition. In most cases this means that two applications must be completed - one for the flights to Africa and one for the return flights back to the U.S.
A current Application for Consent for Weapons and Ammunition form and instructions for completing it can be found here
Once you have completed the consent form you can email it to the address listed on the application together with the following information:
*If you do not have either of these forms then you will need to include a letter from your local sheriff confirming you are the legal owner of the firearms.
Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing your application. When approved, a copy of the consent form will be emailed to you, which you should carry with your travel documents in case you are asked to present these forms at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport or at check-in with KLM. If you do not receive an approved copy before departure then take the documents that you submitted with you on your trip.
CONSENT FORM COMPLETED - Completed Sample of Consent Form
NOTE: The sample form can be completed online by tabbing through the blanks and then printed in order to email to the Netherlands. This may save a great deal of time since you need an inbound and outbound completed application form and most of the information is duplicated.