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Thread: My account of taking a rifle on the Eurostar: hope this helps someone!

  1. #1

    My account of taking a rifle on the Eurostar: hope this helps someone!

    Hello everyone.

    Now that I’ve actually been to France and back on the Eurostar with my rifle I thought I’d let you know how it goes just in case you’re considering doing the same yourself. Overall, I went there and back with little difficulty, and I will almost certainly do it again. You need to give yourself perhaps an extra 45 minutes for check-in at both ends. Here’s how it goes:
    _ At St Pancras International, go to the EuroDespatch Centre. There are signs that say “Registered baggage” I think, but the door is opposite the coach park at the back of the station, in the same direction as the lost luggage and public toilets.
    _ When you walk in, one of the staff will immediately ask you if it’s a shotgun, from the shape of the case. He means “firearms” but that doesn’t matter to them, the process is the same, they need to call someone from customs over from the Eurostar check-in hall. They will not touch it before HMRC arrives.
    _ At this point you just hang around, unable to answer your wife’s repeated question about how long this will take. This is awkward if the baby is agitated. HMRC are adamant that the paperwork is more important than your baby. Everyone else disagrees. There is no possible compromise.
    _ On the way out, the customs guy turned up after about 25 minutes. He made notes of all the details of my FAC, EFP and checked the rifle’s serial number. I’d also put my knife on the case, which he said French customs may have a problem with. I found this unlikely frankly, and indeed, it wasn’t the case. This is quite laborious as the process consists of the chap copying everything on a piece of notepaper by hand. You are also required to engage in friendly banter whilst being scowled at fiercely by your other half. Again, this is uncomfortable.
    _ After that, you lock up the case, they hand you a receipt, you pay them £30 and you’re off to check in.
    _ At Gare du Nord, the baggage company’s office is called “Geoparts”. It’s all the way down the end of the last platform on the right as you exit the train. Follow signs to “Baggages consignés”. Again, it’s opposite the coach park. Here, you just hand them your receipt, they give you the case, and that’s it.

    On the way back, it’s the same. You go to Geoparts, they call Pierre from customs, but while you wait, they make photocopies and fill out all the parts of the forms that don’t require customs, which is really quite helpful compared to what happens at the UK end. As a result, when Pierre turns up, he’s done quite quickly. Again, you hand them €34, they hand you a receipt. More friendly banter about hunting.

    Here’s the only really annoying part of the process though: when you come back to the UK and go to pick the rifle up from the EuroDespatch office, they go through the whole damned process again! I queried this with the customs guy, who was to his credit apologetic about it and admitted that it was completely ridiculous. He even tried to be as fast as he could be as he could spot the issue with Young Pine Marten. But still, that part really is an unnecessary delay.

    All the details here if you want them: http://www.eurostar.com/sites/defaul...gage_flyer.pdf

    Hope someone finds that helpful!

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Pine Marten View Post
    _ At this point you just hang around, unable to answer your wife’s repeated question about how long this will take. This is awkward if the baby is agitated. HMRC are adamant that the paperwork is more important than your baby. Everyone else disagrees. There is no possible compromise.

    ​lol

  4. #4
    very useful...thanks for posting

  5. #5
    So, about as big a mess as an airport, but quicker by the sounds of it - and the UK being the worst bit sounds correct.
    Wife and PMlet along on a hunting trip? Well done!
    How went the hunting?
    I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, but it was only some fecker with a torch bringing me more work

  6. #6
    I am not sure about this business of handing your firearm over to baggage handlers, are they RFD's ? Are they CRB checked? Are they "fit to be entrusted" ?

    Given our very strict gun laws surely the best person to carry a firearm is its owner.

    atb Tim

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by geoshot View Post
    Wife and PMlet along on a hunting trip? Well done!
    Well not quite, it's more that I crowbarred some hunting into a family holiday, but it was also a trial run to prove that it can be done. And also that I need a drilling although I haven't said that in so many words yet...


    Quote Originally Posted by geoshot View Post
    How went the hunting?
    The yarn is spun here: http://www.thestalkingdirectory.co.u...the-first-time

  8. #8
    "also that I need a drilling"
    You're becoming as big a tackle tart as young scrumbag.......
    But if your account of the hunt is owt to go by, a drilling might be in order right enough
    I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, but it was only some fecker with a torch bringing me more work

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by geoshot View Post
    "also that I need a drilling"
    You're becoming as big a tackle tart as young scrumbag.......
    But if your account of the hunt is owt to go by, a drilling might be in order right enough
    The difference is that I'm not really able to act on this desire (it's not really a need, is it? I mean I managed fine with the means at hand!). I knew damned well back when I bought my rifle that I had to get them in before YPM arrived! Now I just have to keep playing the Lotto.

  10. #10
    Interesting, glad it worked so well. I would have expected MUCH worse based on my own experience.

    When my own family went through Eurostar this summer, with an eventual destination of Bavaria, we were rung through the wringer. Seems my son had a 1 1/2 blade pocket knife in his baggage. By the time 45 minutes had elapsed (they could not find it, even though they thought they could see it on the XRay imaging) he and I were standing there surrounded by 5 different security personnel. You would have thought we were Islamic terrorists. When they eventually found it they decided we were free to go, but the knife had to stay.

    On a side note, I thought I was well read on the laws before I came over, but obviously was wrong. Not trying to hijack the thread, but what is an "allowable" knife for personal carry?

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