PREPARATION FOR RIFLE EXPORTS FROM THE USA
Invitation Letter: You need to get a letter of invitation to come on a hunt from your PH. This will be provided upon booking confirmation.
USA Citizens needs to proof ownership of rifles in the country of hunting. Please download form 4457. Go to a US Customs office and get your Firearms listed on a Form 4457 “Certificate Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad”. You will need the completed and stamped form upon arrival in all African Countries, upon leaving all African countries and at your arrival in the USA after your trip. Note: U.S. Customs Form 4457 must be completed and stamped in the USA before boarding your flight to Africa. It proves ownership of personal items, such as rifles, taken out of the country.
At the check-in counter at the point of departure, request that the agent check your firearm through to your final destination.
- Rifle and ammunition packing: Please click here for the latest rules from the TSA
- U.S. citizens MUST register rifles with Customs & Border Protection as specified above. Failing to do so and attempting to bring those guns back into the U.S. can result in felony charges of trafficking in “implements of war”. These rules have been on the books for some time, and enforcement of them is on the rise.
- Night vision goggles such as those used on leopard hunts are also considered “implements of war” that may not be taken out of the country, even to Canada, without a special license. Moreover.this equipment is considered so “sensitive” that licenses simply are not given out. The equipment under discussion here is the same equipment you can purchase through mail order catalogues, or over the counter at major hunting stores. Amazingly, given the degree of seriousness with which this technology is viewed, major mail order catalogues do not even warn would-be buyers of the serious legal jeopardy they may be in if they take the equipment overseas.
- Recently the South African Police changed the regulations affecting ammunition checked with your luggage.The new change requires you to pack your ammo in a lockable container for travel beyond Johannesburg or other countries in Southern Africa.
- AN EXAMPLE: You arrive in Johannesburg and will proceed to another city such as Port Elizabeth. You must have the ammo packaged in a locked container when you check in for your flight to Port Elizabeth. They will tag the small container and your rifle case to Port Elizabeth. Both the rifle and the small container have to be taken to the Police at the airport for loading onto the aircraft. WHAT YOU CAN DO TO BE PREPARED FOR THIS NEW RULE: Buy a pistol case with a lock. Remove all the foam and use it to pack your ammo. When you leave the USA, put the case with your ammo into your suitcase or duffel bag. As you continue your journey beyond Johannesburg or Cape Town, remove the container and check it separately to your ultimate destination.
Procedures for passport & customs control at Windhoek airport
- When you disembark the airplane, you will be directed to the international arrival hall. In the arrival hall, please present your valid passport, flight ticket, the completed blue entry form (obtainable either in the airplane or arrival hall). You will need to complete the form and provide the address of the hunting ranch.
After clearing Passport control, collect your luggage and proceed to the customs area.
- After collecting your luggage, go to the Namibian Police Office located in the customs clearance hall and present a completedrifle import form. After the officer has checked the serial number on the application form as well as on the rifle, he will provide you with a temporary weapon’s license.
Please make sure that the serial number on your rifle matches the serial number on the temporary license.
- This license should be well kept as you will need it when leaving Namibia.
- The ammunition must be packed separately in an accessible place in your suitcase should customs require to count the rounds.
- Ammunition and knifes may not be packed in hand luggage. In Namibia you are not allowed to carry or import handguns.
- You can import two rifles and one shotgun into Namibia.
- You must advise the commercial airline in advance that you are traveling with firearms and ammunition. Please be sure to check with the appropriate airline as to their particular regulations.
- Restrictions in Namibia:
- No more than 2 rifles per person
- Only 80 rounds of ammunition per rifle allowed.
- No handguns allowed.
- No automatic firearms allowed
Arrival procedures in South Africa
- Disembark from the aircraft and clear Immigration.
- Collect your luggage from the luggage carousel and proceed to the arrivals hall. Police office it to your left past the Cell C store
- At the SAPS firearm office you will be required to produce the following documents
- A completed SAPS 520 application form.
- The SAPS 520 must be completed in black ink.
- Do not sign the document at home but in the presence of the Police officer at the airport.
- Passport, have a certified copy with you.
- Firearm license from the country of residence. For USA citizens it’s
- Form 4457: Proof of export of firearms from country of residences, this is proof that the firearms are legally exported from your country of residents and if your country does not have an official export permit we require a letter from a government official or agency from your country stating it.
- Return airline tickets
- Invitation letter from your Outfitter. This is supporting documentation from the Hunting Outfitter/company, to include
- Full name of company, full contact details and address, dates and location where the client will be hunting and confirming that the applicant will be using the specific firearms as applied for.
Instructions for completing the SAP 520 form:
- Black ink must be used to fill in the form.
- The form must be left unsigned. Only sign in the presence of the police official issuing the actual permit.
- Please note that only certain sections of the form need to be completed by you. Visitors taking firearms in for hunting purposes should only complete the following sections of the SAP 520 form:
- Section D – (We advise you make an “X” next to Multiple Import or Export Permit especially if you are visiting various African Countries)
- Section E : 2.1 – 25.4
- Section F : 2 -13
- Section G: 1 – 9.2 ( These Dates in 9.1 and 9.2 are very important as it will be the valid dates of your licence. We advice to complete it by entering your arrival date in 9.1 and for 9.2 entering a date a couple of weeks after your planned departure date in the event you might want to stay longer in Africa.)
- Section I – (Must complete all details requested)
- Section J – (Remember to sign when you are in the presence of a SA police officer at firearm office)
Once your application has been processed and your permit has been issued you will be called back into the office where you will sign for your permit.Remember this process can take several hours (4hrs) during peak times. nsure that you have enough time when planning for connection flights.
- When you are not using your fire arms they must be locked in a gun safe.
- You must at all times keep your Rifle permit with you while traveling in Africa. (We suggest you keep it safe in your rifle case or bag.)
Reasons for denying your application:
- If you have any of the restricted firearms or ammunition.
- If any of the supporting documents as mentioned in paragraph 5 above can not be produced
- If you are less than 21 years of age.
- If your application for a temporary import permit is refused, your firearms and ammo will be confiscated and will only be hand back to you on departure to your country of residence.
In Transit Passengers (Traveling through South Africa)
- It is critical that you check with and confirm with the airline/s involved before departure to make sure what their procedure is for the transfer of baggage and/or firearms.If the airline does transfer your baggage/firearms, and you have booked them through to the final destination, and you stay in the in-transit area and do not clear South African customs, then you need not go through the temporary import process.
- If your airline company will not transfer your baggage/guns to your connecting airline/flight, then you must collect your baggage/firearm/s and go through the entire entry process. If this is the case, the South African limitations, requirements, etc. will apply.
- This also applies if you overnight in South Africa before flying on to your country of destination.
Restrictions in South Africa:
- No automatic or semi-automatic firearms allowed.
- No more than one firearm per caliber per person allowed.
- No more than 200 rounds per caliber per person allowed.
- No handguns allowed.
- Application for a temporary firearm import permit for Zimbabwe can be made on arrival at the port of entry.There is no fee for issuing a firearm permit.
Firearm Import Regulations
- Handguns can be imported as a back up on a normal hunt or as a primary hunting arm. No handgun hunting is allowed on Parks estate but is fine on tribal land or on Save Conservancy. It’s recommended to get a handgun permit in advance via your outfitter.
- Automatic firearms are prohibited and it is inadvisable to bring semi-automatic firearms into Zimbabwe.
- A maximum of 100 rounds of ammunition per firearm is allowed
- Please note – according to EU Regulation (EC) No 314/2004, the importation of firearms and ammunition, including those for hunting/sporting purposes, from the E.U. into Zimbabwe is prohibited. European and British airlines will not carry firearms of any kind on flights direct to Zimbabwe. If you want to take firearms into Zimbabwe and you are flying from an EU country, it will be necessary to get 2 sets of tickets issued – one set for Johannesburg and another set for the onward flight to Zimbabwe.This includes the Netherlands who will not permit hunters to transit who are ticketed to Zimbabwe with firearms.Canada has also implemented a ban on all firearms going to Zimbabwe, which includes hunting firearms. Go to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada for full details.
The US Travel Advisory states:
- U.S. citizens who are temporarily carrying firearms and ammunition into Zimbabwe for purposes of hunting, and who cannot qualify for an exemption under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), may need an approved temporary export license (DSP73) from Department of State’s Office of Defense Trade Controls.
- You will need to clear the firearms in RSA, so will need to complete the RSA firearm import procedure. There will be no interline handling of firearms in this situation.
- Download form and fill out – Make sure to have 4 original copies with you during the trip.
- Email of fax us a copy of the completed form so that we can prepare and send you your invitation letter.
The Mozambique temporary firearm import permit must be obtained in advance, on your behalf by your outfitter. A fee of US$150-300 per per hunter, depending on the number firearms and ammunition.
Firearm Import Regulations
- Only 2 rifles and 1 shotgun per hunter are allowed into Mozambique
- Semi automatic, automatic firearms or military style weapons are prohibited
- A maximum of 60 rounds of ammunition per firearm is allowed
- Application Document Requirements
- Your outfitter will request information from you and will submit the application on your behalf as all official correspondence takes place in Portuguese.
- Copy of the photograph/details page of your passport
- Passport photographs x 4
- Proof of firearm ownership – US Customs Form 4457 or firearm licence
- Please note, you will need to complete the South African firearm import procedure for transiting or overnighting in Johannesburg. Ensure you get a multiple entry permit as you will require the same permit on your return from Mozambique.
Firearm Import Regulations For Cameroon
- Application for your firearm import permit for Cameroon must be made in advance so that it is at the airport on your arrival.
Application must be made at the Cameroon Consulate.
- There is a consular fee of $553 to obtain a temporary firearm import permit for Cameroon.
The permit must then be sent to your outfitter to obtain your hunting license.
Restrictions in Cameroon
- Only 2 firearms per hunter are allowed into Cameroon
- A maximum of 50 rounds of ammunition per firearm is permitted.
Handguns, semi automatic or military style firearms are prohibited.
- Copy of passport photograph/details page.
- Copy of proof of ownership of firearm. US Customs Form 4457 for US hunters or Firearm Licence/Permit for hunters of other nationalities. Both documents must include the firearms you intend bringing into Cameroon.
Firearm Import Regulations For Ethiopia
Application for your firearm import permit for Ethiopia must be made in advance so that it is at the airport on your arrival.
There is a fee of US$200 per firearm to obtain an firearm import permit for Ethiopia
Restrictions in Ethiopia
Only 2 firearms per hunter are allowed into Ethiopia
A maximum of 50 rounds of ammunition per firearm is permitted.
Handguns, semi automatic or military style firearms are prohibited.
Copy of passport photograph/details page.
Copy of proof of ownership of firearm. US Customs Form 4457 for US hunters or Firearm Licence/Permit for hunters of other nationalities. Both documents must include the firearms you intend bringing into Ethiopia.