Paperwork - Heathrow to Namibia - EU regulations

Somerset

Active Member
Can any of you globetrotting hunters please give me advice.

I’m travelling to Namibia – SAA - Heathrow to Windhoek, via Jo’burg, and back again - and I plan to take a rifle, ammunition, FAC and an invitation from Namibia, plus my EU firearms pass just in case.

A friend of mine who lives in Belgium tells me that it has now become necessary to obtain a temporary export permit and a re-import permit and quotes EU directive 91/477/CEE and UK 258/2012.

He also says that his Belgian armourer tells him that most of his customers are finding it too much trouble to get the paperwork, so they have resorted to hiring rifles when they get to Africa, rather than taking their rifles with them.

Despite searching several times, I have failed to find anything out about the extra paperwork that he is talking about.

Can anyone shed any light on this? What documentation do I need to have with me when travelling from Heathrow to Namibia and back?
 

gary

Well-Known Member
Search for Adelle, Hunters Permits Africa. I used her for a group of 9 all with rifles landing at Jo,burg. All the guys said it was the fastest they had cleared customs at any airport. At Heathrow we had firearms liscense and a letter of invite from the place we were hunting thats it.

Hope this helps

Gary
 

u32dw

Well-Known Member
A few friends and I went on a hunt in Namibia a few years back. Going through SA seemed like a headache of paperwork. We went via Frankfurt direct to Windhoek, no dramas either way. All we took was our EFPs. I would recommend it.
 

Andy Welch

Active Member
Are you planning to hold over in Jo'burg at all or are you flying straight through. We flew BA last year to Jo'burg and then SAA to Windhoek and the rifle (and all luggage) was checked through to the final destination. We did not experience any problems at all, nor did my fellow passenger (who was the one with the rifle and an American to boot) have any hardship.
Try not to plan on collecting your rifle in Jo'burg between connections.

Where are you heading to in Namibia? we stayed just south of Etosha and then into Damaraland. We were there 2 weeks and had a great time.
 

Somerset

Active Member
My thanks to gary, u32dw, Safari Hunter, and Andy Welch for your replies. It's been very helpful.
SAA in the UK say a rifle and ammunition is fine with an FAC. Our luggage should be checked straight through to Windhoek. So far, we've not heard of any problems at Windhoek. So I'll keep my fingers crossed!
We are going south of Etosha for the shooting, then possibly we'll have a run down to the coast near Swarkopmund for some sea fishing, boat and shore, if the weather is good enough.
I still can't get to the root of the problem the Belgians are having, but perhaps that will come to light some time.
 

Sika98k

Well-Known Member
To Somerset,
myself and 3 friends are heading the same way next month. We have checked it out,I believe,fairly thoroughly.
reached pretty much the same conclusion as yourself.
Although our flights originate from Dublin to Heathrow and then on with SAA to Windhoek via Jo,burg there is no big hoohaa as long as you have the right paperwork. As you are bringing the same as us lets hope we've both got it right.:eek:

Shakari connection is a good site for a few tips on kit,etc
 
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Safari Hunter

Well-Known Member
Are the Belgians flying from Amsterdam? If so that is where the problem lies. There are differing EU rules even if you travel through Amsterdam and permits required there just for transfers.
Cheers
Adrian
 

Somerset

Active Member
Sika98k - I hope you enjoy your trip to Africa. Shakariconnection has loads of information - Thank you for that.

Safari Hunter - He is going from Brussels and travelling via Frankfurt one way and Munich the other way, but has had transfers in Germany in previous years without any difficulties, so something seems to have changed. He's leaving his rifle at home this time.
 

guybaxendale

Well-Known Member
I would contact Henry Durheim Rifle Permits - In Support of Conservation Through Hunting.
I have used him for my last couple of trips to RSA and for a relatively small fee it makes you life so much easier. They can meet you off the plane, whisk you past the queues at customs and passport control and straight to the Police station. If you contact him enough in advance then your permit is pre approved so all they do is glance at your gun - they will then help you get the gun onto your connecting flight to Windhoek.
 

Dorsettaff

Well-Known Member
Export from UK and into SA is no major issue...FAC and letter of invite will do it!

However...If flying within SA they ask that any ammo is removed from hold luggage and goes "securely" with but separately from your firearm to point of destination...ie two cases...rifle & ammo. Can be a hassle if you haven't got a spare Pelicase! If you are checked straight thro' shouldnt be a problem!

The other thing to be aware of in Africa generally is that EVERYONE inc Customs officials will ask you for a bribe...sorry did I say bribe...I meant "tip" in order to expedite your firearms through their hands. If going thro Jo'Burg you will be pounced upon by "helpful" porters who claim they will whisk you thro' customs etc etc for a tidy fee.....Be firm and polite and mainly pretend you've only just arrived and have no cash and just assertively and confidently work your way through!
 

Sika98k

Well-Known Member
Sika98k - I hope you enjoy your trip to Africa. Shakariconnection has loads of information - Thank you for .

Been there,done that. Travelling with the firearms was a doddle. Clearing them in and out of Namibia was very easy. No big deal.

had a good time there
 

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Somerset

Active Member
I am immensely grateful for all of the replies received via posts, PMs and a very helpful telephone call. We have been back a while now. Unrelated problems have delayed me writing this, but here are a few thoughts about our trip. It was a superb trip.

Travel with South African Airways was very straightforward. Only one potential glitch. Heathrow security people issue a receipt for each rifle and I was told that mine would be given to me at the aircraft. A few minutes before departure it had still not arrived and I was standing on the air bridge talking to the staff about it. One of them went off and found it. I might have had problems at Windhoek without the receipt.

The phone call warned me about this next point. Boarding the Windhoek flight at Johannesburg I was approached by a fellow with a tatty notebook full of miscellaneous numbers. The conversation went something like this -
“Is your rifle number here?”
“I’ve no idea.”
“Never mind. I’ve personally seen to it that your rifle is safely stowed on this plane.”
“Thank you.”
“Have you got something for me? I can take Euros.”
He didn’t get anything from me, so I spent some of the time on the flight wondering whether he had managed to get my rifle off the plane. It did arrive! I assume this guy, and his mates, see off all of the Windhoek flights, or those with weapons on board. Presumably they collect enough money to make it worthwhile. That sort of thing really bugs me.

Regarding clothing, Seeland Etosha trousers were excellent. I’m sure I’ve read on this forum that a fleece is useful. Yes, but … It’s cool early mornings, warm in the sunshine and cools rapidly as the sun goes down, so a warm jacket is essential, but certainly not the fleece I took! Or the JahtiJakt trousers I'd taken as a reserve. All of the plants are prickly with barbed seed heads. The PH had clothing from Sniper Africa, which didn’t snag on any of the bushes.

Our friend from Brussels borrowed a very accurate 300 win mag in Namibia. Bloody noisy. No wonder the dog was stone deaf. The PH was carrying a 7x64. Last year I sold my Blaser R93 and bought a Sauer 202 in 7x64. I’m very happy with the rifle and the calibre, but I need a better case. When I bought the rifle the RFD advised me to use the Blaser case I had. That was the wrong advice in my opinion. A riflescope fits directly onto the Blaser barrel so they should go back together fairly accurately. On the Sauer the scope fits onto the action. To get the Sauer rifle into a Blaser case the scope, action and barrel are all separated. Sauer’s own rifle case is longer and takes the 202 with only the rear stock removed. I’ve decided to buy a Peli 1700 and use the excellent posts by rarms - Sauer 202 case -as my guide.

I now hope that someone will buy me the full version of Kevin Robertson's ‘The Perfect Shot’!

Jonathan
 
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