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.
We strongly recommend travelers take a minimum of 4 copies of ALL important documents. That includes items such as passport, itinerary, proof of insurance coverage, 4457, firearm declaration or transit permit, visa, and invitation letter.
CLICK TO JUMP TO THE SECTION
AIRLINE TRANSIT PERMITS
Ethiopian Airlines – Emirates
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
Ethiopian Airlines require notice of intent to carry firearms in advance of travel, in addition to having printed copies of the declaration to be provided during transit. Notice should be given at least 72 hours in advance, and travelers should take a minimum of 4 printed copies of the declaration. We recommend taking printed copies of passport, 4457, invite letter, and country import permit (if required) as well.
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.
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! Transit permits for travel via Frankfurt must now be submitted online. Applications must be completed in Internet Explorer or Edge. TIP – you can translate the page easily as follows:
Translate the application page by clicking drop down box on the upper right corner and selecting English.
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.
Namibian Police have advised that you must 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
New Zealand Police require permits to be submitted at least 4 months 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 secure storage details for your firearms while in New Zealand. The license is approved in advance, then 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 have the following ready:
- be prepared to pay for your visitor firearms license fee of NZ$25.
- study the New Zealand Police Arms Code – you are required to complete an online theory test as part of your application.
- have a recent photo of yourself that is a good likeness of you. See Photo requirements for more information.
- provide a scanned copy of your passport ID page.
- provide a scanned copy of your firearms license or similar certification from your home country.
- demonstrate you have made security arrangements for the safe storage of all firearms that you will be using (regardless of whether they are your own firearms or firearms that you intend to borrow while in New Zealand).
- provide the details of the New Zealand firearms license holder(s) (with a current license) that you will be storing firearms with while you are in New Zealand.
Further info found on the police website.
Contact information for the Firearms Teams for each region here.
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 usually be submitted 30 days in advance.
4457 must be unexpired (upper right corner), please double check yours!
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