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Thread: Importing a rifle from the EU - Dealer to Dealer?

  1. #1
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    Importing a rifle from the EU - Dealer to Dealer?

    Apologies in advance if this question has already been asked and answered elsewhere on here, but as a search didn't turn anything up, here goes...

    A friend of mine (no, really!) has committed himself to buy a rifle from a dealer in Germany and is planning to have it sent to the RFD he uses in the UK. As it happens, the same UK RFD will also be visiting the German RFD's premises in a few weeks' time and so could collect the rifle in person.

    My friend's question is: which method of getting the rifle to the UK would be easier, and what paperwork would be required in each case?

    I had supposed that all the UK RFD would need to do would be to send the German RFD a copy of his details, after which the German RFD would post the rifle to him, but maybe it's more complicated than that.

    If anyone has experience of this kind of sale/transfer, it would be great to know how you did it.

    TIA

  2. #2
    Hello,

    I have only ever done this the other way round i.e sending outside the country.

    For us to supply a customer in Europe we need firstly a copy of the RFD cert of the dealer it is being sent to, a prior import consent from the recipient country police to allow the end user permission to import, and other forms such as End User Declarations etcand only then we can apply for an Export Licence.

    It is so much trouble and hassle to send an air rifle, let alone a firearm outside the UK, we wont do it at all now.

    When/If this Export licence is approved then the rifle can be exported into the destination country (UK), and sent via a registered courier who are allowed to transfer firearms.

    I presume as Germany is also in the EU the reverse will apply.....

    The German Dealer will need probably an Export Licence to allow the rifle to be removed from the residing country permanently and you may also need a Prior Import Consent from UK Customs to allow the import, not to mention prior authority to purchase possess on a Section 1 FAC.

    Speak to the dealer in Germany, he should be able to supply any forms you need to complete.

    The people who deal with Exporting Firearms and other Dual Use goods controlled for export in the UK, are http://www.bis.gov.uk/ but they wont deal with the import from Germany, but can advise you who to speak with, but I assume the German dealer will have a similar government agency to take advise from.

    Another thing worth watching out for.

    IF the rifle does not bear UK Proof marks (or at least EU Proof marks that the UK proof house accepts as UK approved for use in the UK) you MAY need to have the rifle reproofed before the dealer can transfer it to you.

    Again speak to the Proof House, tell them where the rifle was made(country of origin), and what proof marks it bears, and they will be able to best advise you if it will need reproofing for legal use/re-sale in the UK.

    http://www.gunproof.com/

    One thing for sure is you simply wont be able to just bring it back into the country, even as a firearms dealer, and the sending country needing an export licence will no doubt be a must!

    People can bring rifles to and from EU countries with an EC Firearms Pass, but this is your own rifle for use in the country i.e hunting trips etc, it does not cover a permanent export.

    At a very minimum just make sure the export is registered with UK customs BEFORE you commit to accepting the purchase.

    Hope this helps

    SC
    Last edited by Scott Country; 20-01-2012 at 14:46. Reason: typo

  3. #3
    You're saying that between his RFD and the German firearms dealer they don't have an idea of what to do?

    No idea if the German dealer has any authorisations to obtain but............

    You didn't mention if the party concerned is travelling by air, in which case it could open a logistical can of worms, but assuming he is travelling by vehicle. Then if his RFD is at the German's premises wouldn't it be a more convenient all round for him to personally collect the rifle, bring it into the UK, declare it at customs with the supporting evidence of his RFD Cert, enter it onto his register and then transfer to your friend in the usual way. No carriers/couriers involved, no hassle with it getting held up in customs etc. etc.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Gain View Post
    Apologies in advance if this question has already been asked and answered elsewhere on here, but as a search didn't turn anything up, here goes...

    A friend of mine (no, really!) has committed himself to buy a rifle from a dealer in Germany and is planning to have it sent to the RFD he uses in the UK. As it happens, the same UK RFD will also be visiting the German RFD's premises in a few weeks' time and so could collect the rifle in person.

    My friend's question is: which method of getting the rifle to the UK would be easier, and what paperwork would be required in each case?

    I had supposed that all the UK RFD would need to do would be to send the German RFD a copy of his details, after which the German RFD would post the rifle to him, but maybe it's more complicated than that.

    If anyone has experience of this kind of sale/transfer, it would be great to know how you did it.

    TIA
    I buy most of my rifles on the continent. What I do is as follows:

    1 I obtain the details, number etc from the rifle I want to buy.
    2 I contact my local Firearms Department and ask them to put the rifle on my FAC.
    3 I send a copy of this to the German dealer.
    4 He then sends the rifle to my local approved gunshop where I collect it.

  5. #5
    post it first class

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by PKL View Post
    post it first class
    You may laugh but..............................

    When I was a S.5 RFD dealing in tranquilising equipment we would have rifles and pistols sent from the European manufacturer, (in a country where they were rightly treated as little more than low-powered air weapons), and...................... you've probably guessed it, they would arrive via normal parcel delivery service and would often be left on the doorstep!

  7. #7
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    First of all, many thanks to everyone for being so helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by barongcw
    I buy most of my rifles on the continent. What I do is as follows:

    1 I obtain the details, number, etc. from the rifle I want to buy.
    2 I contact my local Firearms Department and ask them to put the rifle on my FAC.
    3 I send a copy of this to the German dealer.
    4 He then sends the rifle to my local approved gunshop where I collect it.
    My friend might be able to do this, but other replies suggest that there's more to the arrangements between the German dealer and your local gun shop than simply posting/receiving a parcel. Or does the fact that it's on your FAC before it's send to from Germany avoid the need for any additional paperwork?

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion
    You're saying that between his RFD and the German firearms dealer they don't have an idea of what to do?
    From what I've been told it certainly sounds that way. I guess there's a first time for everything for everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion
    No idea if the German dealer has any authorisations to obtain but............
    Me neither.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion
    Assuming he is travelling by vehicle.
    He is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion
    Then if his RFD is at the German's premises wouldn't it be a more convenient all round for him to personally collect the rifle, bring it into the UK, declare it at customs with the supporting evidence of his RFD Cert, enter it onto his register and then transfer to your friend in the usual way? No carriers/couriers involved, no hassle with it getting held up in customs etc. etc.
    That would sound like a good plan. I think the problem is that the German RFD is as unsure about the legal protocol as he is, and wants to know what the rules are from a reliable source before making the transfer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Country
    For us to supply a customer in Europe we need firstly a copy of the RFD cert of the dealer it is being sent to, a prior import consent from the recipient country police to allow the end user permission to import, and other forms such as End User Declarations etcand only then we can apply for an Export Licence. It is so much trouble and hassle to send an air rifle, let alone a firearm outside the UK, we wont do it at all now.When/If this Export licence is approved then the rifle can be exported into the destination country (UK), and sent via a registered courier who are allowed to transfer firearms. I presume as Germany is also in the EU the reverse will apply.....The German Dealer will need probably an Export Licence to allow the rifle to be removed from the residing country permanently and you may also need a Prior Import Consent from UK Customs to allow the import, not to mention prior authority to purchase possess on a Section 1 FAC. Speak to the dealer in Germany, he should be able to supply any forms you need to complete.
    The possibility of all this being necessary is probably what's worrying both parties enough for me to get asked to try and clear matters up on this forum. Unfortunately neither of the dealers concerned has experience of this process.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Country
    The people who deal with Exporting Firearms and other Dual Use goods controlled for export in the UK, are http://www.bis.gov.uk/ but they wont deal with the import from Germany, but can advise you who to speak with, but I assume the German dealer will have a similar government agency to take advise from.
    Many thanks for the link. It all seems designed to complicate things. Why can't they set up a simple click-though guide with online forms? All the same, it does seem worth using the contact info on there to ask these questions. I'll pass the link on to my friend and his RFD.

    Re. Proof Marks, I think the rifle in question is a late 20thC Mauser, so it should be OK on that score at least.

    Thanks again.

  8. #8
    Although Scott Country has highlighted all the hassle that exporting a firearm from the UK entails, (I used to have the same with S.5 but the volume wasn't high and I got the systems sorted so could cope), it often isn't the same hassle doing it the other way round.

    When bringing firearms back in from Denmark and Germany, (this was in the early nineties) it merely involved the the procedure I outlined in my earlier post - selling dealer made invoice and entry that he had sold to UK RFD Noxxx, I travelled back to UK and declared at customs, (who 9 times out of 10 weren't interested once shown RFD cert), then entered in the register when back at home base.

    From what barongcw has stated, it appears that the German dealers still do not have to jump through the export licence hoops that UK RFDs have to, and can sell/transfer to Uk customers very easily on sight of the relevant certification to possess, (entry on FAC or RFD certificate).
    Last edited by Orion; 20-01-2012 at 17:36.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Gain View Post
    First of all, many thanks to everyone for being so helpful.



    My friend might be able to do this, but other replies suggest that there's more to the arrangements between the German dealer and your local gun shop than simply posting/receiving a parcel. Or does the fact that it's on your FAC before it's send to from Germany avoid the need for any additional paperwork?

    .
    Yes

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by PKL View Post
    post it first class
    I did that once, it worked but surprise surprise the local Firearms people asked me very politely not to do it again!"

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