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. 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 you 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
Emirates requires a transit permit to be submitted online in advance of travel. Permits may not be submitted any earlier than 30 days prior to departure, and it’s recommended to submit no later than 20 days prior. If approval is not obtained, your weapons will be denied boarding without exception.
NOTE: FIREARMS AND ARCHERY EQUIPMENT MUST BE APPROVED IN ADVANCE FOR TRANSIT ON EMIRATES.
To submit the permit, you must have purchased an Emirates ticket and provide flight details, passport, 4457, number of rounds and weight of ammunition along with letter of invitation from your operator. There is no fee to submit the permit online.
Once the permit is successfully submitted online, you will receive an initial email stating such with a PDF copy of your permit. SAVE THIS EMAIL AND THE PDF DECLARATION. This is NOT your approval letter, a separate approval email will be sent when the permit is processed around 5-10 days later. You must print and take copies of the declaration with you.
NEW! Transit permits for travel via Frankfurt must now be submitted online. Applications must be completed in Internet Explorer. TIP – you can translate the page easily as follows:
Translate the application page to English by clicking on the flag at the bottom of the page, selecting English from the drop down menu, 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, letter of invite, and pay the EUR 21.00 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.
Permission to transit via Munich must be granted over email in advance of travel – we recommend 30 days prior to departure. Only when approval is given will you receive the permit. You must provide passport copy, home address, phone number, firearm and ammunition details, 4457, flight details, and letter of invite.
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 will allow permits to be submitted online or via email**
New Zealand Police require permits to be submitted 30 days prior to arrival. This application information is submitted electronically along with your passport copy, flight details, 4457, a form of hunting license (concealed carry, hunting tag, hunters ed, or similar), 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 of documents and firearms.
Visitor Firearm Permits – Link to the New Zealand Police firearms home page.
To submit your details online you must create a RealMe Account. Create the account and submit documents as follows:
- Create a RealMe account by clicking the ‘log in’ link on the page.
- Use that to register with the online portal.
- Read the New Zealand Arms Code.
- Complete a questionnaire on firearms safety.
- Fill out an application and pay (NZ$25) online for the application to submit it.
- Then simply wait for the response from the visitor licensing team. If application is successful you will receive an email with instructions.
SUBMIT VIA EMAIL
Submit details to firstname.lastname@example.org
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