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Thread: Importing a rifle from USA

  1. #1

    Importing a rifle from USA

    Does anyone have any experience of doing this ? Alternatively could i go on holiday and buy the rifle then bring it back on my FAC ? I've read somewhere that you have to be a resident of the state your in to purchase the rifle??

  2. #2
    archie12, i hope somebody gets back to you, when i was in America it was mentioned to me that you would have to pay for an export licence and that alone was $300 but you could export whatever your permitted to purchase, the rifles i asked about where selling for $470 but in uk they where selling for 900, only problem was i did not have my variation for said rifle and VAT would be added from uk on top of that as well, Rip everybody off britain yet again.......
    I now have my variation and would like to find out what are the correct procedures and overall costs as i too would like to find out. ps would need to find out about warranty as i never did find out.
    There was somebody online whom would order from America but cant remember if that included firearms, they made money and you saved money, win win for both, maybe they will reply to you and i could sort something out as well. Best of luck.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by archie12 View Post
    Does anyone have any experience of doing this ? Alternatively could i go on holiday and buy the rifle then bring it back on my FAC ? I've read somewhere that you have to be a resident of the state your in to purchase the rifle??
    I do know that if you turn up in Canada with your rifle you can get a permit on arrival for $25. This allows to buy ammo and rifles.

    You then only have to declare on arrival in UK.

    Now this means you already have a slot, and pay duty and VAT.

    Last edited by smullery; 14-12-2014 at 22:15. Reason: duplication of word

  4. #4
    I was just in the US for 3 months and had aquired there a .243 Ruger no 1 in very good nick and I have just brought it back with me in my checked baggage to Germany it raised no eyebrows at the US airports and then it was held in the German airport customs area until it had been added to my German paperework, all done in 24 hours.

  5. #5
    Did you have to pay the $300 for the exporting licence?
    and what kind of lockable carrier did you use?
    I am also very wary of leaving transport workers in the airports with the security of your firearm!!!!

  6. #6
    Airport workers in the USA handle firearms everyday, they take no notice at all you have to remember it's not unusual for firearms to be carried, mate of mine just bought a cheap Plano at wallys world, couple of cheap padlocks, he did fill out some paper work at the airport, not sure what it was as I went for a coffee, but there didn,t seem to be any problems, British customs check FAC on arrival, ask value, sent him on his way. This was a second hand rifle, obviously make sure the airline Carrys firearms.

  7. #7
    Hi Archie 12

    I lived in the US for 4 years and bought and brought back my guns from there so I have been through the process in 2012. It's not possible to buy guns there while on holiday and just bring them back. They relaxed the rules recently on a 90 day continuous residency rule (I was always struggling to meet that as i had to travel on business) but you do still have to show you are actually resident in the state you are buying in with a drivers licence or utility bill etc in your name etc. Plus you need to qualify to possess firearms while in the US but that usually means having a state hunting licence (for me it meant also doing a 2 day Hunter Safety course to qualify)

    If you are out there you can go in and buy (but not take possession) and arrange to have them sent to you as freight using an export licence. I think you could even do that from here. You must use a specialist export Federal Firearms Licencee (FFL) though. Not too many of them about actually as I think its an expensive license (probably about a dozen in the whole US). Once you buy the export licence (for FAC guns its about $300 from Dept of Defence), the FFL will typically add their fee for every gun you add - cost me $500 for four. It's a bit cheaper for shotguns as there is no US government charge and its Dept of Commerce) Your FAC//Shotgun licence actually acts as your UK import licence at this end. By the time you add international freight costs I was about $1000 plus I had to pay 280 for UK import clearance, storage (About 20 mins!!!), UK parcel freight fees etc. I didn't have to pay VAT or import tax as I had lived overseas and owned the guns as my personal possessions for more than 6 months. Obviously a single firearm would weigh less for freight and be cheaper than that but probably still $700 plus Uk clearance charges

    Not cheap or easy - can be a bit of a minefield actually! But in the end since I had 4 guns it still was a saving to buy them there.

    Hope this helps a bit

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by archie12 View Post
    I've read somewhere that you have to be a resident of the state your in to purchase the rifle??
    Not to purchase, but as mentioned above, to acquire/possess.

    You should try and find an ffl that has done or is willing to do the overseas transfer.

    Then you can just go to,, or where-ever, buy a gun, end it to the ffl, and have it exported to the local dealer in the UK.

  9. #9
    Here's the relevant info regarding importing firearms into the UK from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

    The situation at the exporting end seems to be well covered above by those who have direct experience of it, but AFAIK there is no requirement for an imported firearm to be 'processed' by an RFD in the UK provided you have authority to possess it: i.e. an open slot on your FAC. I currently have a German retailer who is quite happy to forward a rifle directly to me by secure carrier under the terms of the EU Firearms Directive. In the case of a similar import from outside the EU it will apparently be held by UK Border Force while your authority to possess is validated, (see 17-20 on the linked .pdf).

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