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Thread: importing scopes ,mounts from usa

  1. #1

    importing scopes ,mounts from usa

    has anyone done this? is it legal (usa end)
    as its illegal to import scopes from us to canada (usa law)
    but i was hoping to have it sent to uk and then get dad to post it on !

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by conibear View Post
    has anyone done this? is it legal (usa end)
    as its illegal to import scopes from us to canada (usa law)
    but i was hoping to have it sent to uk and then get dad to post it on !
    I think you need to qualify that comment.

    I bought a scope from Eurooptics recently.
    Taxes are 20% VAT, 13 admin, 20 customs fee.

  3. #3
    thanks for the link !

    did they arrange the export license for you ?

    cheers dan

  4. #4
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Ufff... this one is a nightmare!!

    I stand to be corrected if we have a Trade Compliance Professional on the site - and more to the point also being accused of being something of an anorak - but here's my take on things.

    There are 40 countries that have signed up to the Wassenaar Agreement on Export Control for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods & Technologies (see According to this agreement,
    every item has what's called an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) that determines the level of export control. In the US these export controls are administered by the Department of Commerce

    Riflescopes for hunting, etc are classified as Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) 0A987. This from the US Bureau of Industry & Security website:

    What is the ECCN for riflescopes or hunting scopes?
    ECCN 0A987 controls specific sighting devices, their associated optical elements, and adjustment mechanisms. Please see the entry for a detailed description of what is controlled. Sighting devices that are not specified in this ECCN or elsewhere on the Commerce Control List, and are not suject to the jurisdiction of the Department of State, are EAR99.
    The full text of ECCN 0A987 can be found here: but basically the list of items controlled includes:

    a. Telescopic sights.
    b. Holographic sights.
    c. Reflex or ``red dot'' sights.
    d. Reticle sights.
    e. Other sighting devices that contain optical elements.
    f. Laser pointing devices designed for use on firearms.
    g. Lenses, other optical elements and adjustment mechanisms for articles in paragraphs a, b, c, d or e.
    So pretty much anything we stalkers might be interested in!

    Knowing that these items are controlled, we then need to look at cross-referencing the ECCN with the country that we are trying to export them to. For this we can access the Commerce Control List here:

    Now items under ECCN 0A987 are controlled under the Firearms Convention (FC), Crime Control (CC) and the United Nations Arms Embargo (UN). For our purposes, we only need to look at FC and CC (presuming you don't live in Iraq, North Korea or Uganda )

    If we go down the CCL until we get to Canada we see that there is an "X" in the box under FC1, so an export license is required.

    If we look at the United Kingdom, however, there is no "X", so theoretically we could export the scope to the UK. Note the use of the word "theoretically".

    Unfortunately, because you knowingly want to export the scope to Canada via the UK if BIS found out they would come down on you like the proverbial tonne of bricks! That aside, as a result of a number of high profile cases where sporting goods outfitters have been prosecuted under US Export Regulations, the chances of any of them exporting a scope to the UK without a license is slim anyway.

    To make things even more complicated, if you want to export a scope with a 'tactical' reticle then you face another issue. The International Trade in Arms Regulations (ITAR) details the regulations covering the export of defence related equipment. In the US, those goods and technologies that constitute "defence related equipment" is governed by the US Munitions List (USML), which can be found here:

    Under Section 121.1 (General), Category I(f) states that included in the USML are:

    Riflescopes manufactured to military specifications
    The trick being that no-one can decide what "military specifications" actually means. The net result, however, is that your chances of getting a scope exported that has a Mil-Dot reticle or similar are minimal at best.

    The good news (I saved this until last) is that mounts for optical sights are classified as EAR99, so there are no export controls in place on them

    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by conibear View Post
    thanks for the link !

    did they arrange the export license for you ?

    cheers dan
    No export license was required.

    Ask them.

  6. #6
    I imported one that I bought on ebay and never had any problems, got held up until I paid the customs on it which was 18 but other than that had no problems at all

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