TRAVELLING ABROAD - the document saga -

TonyC

Well-Known Member
Following the discussions on various other posts related to import/ export of personal firearms I have received this reply today from my MP - It supports my original argument and it would appear that nothing has changed when leaving or entering the UK. What happens on the other side of the channel remans to be seen. (I have printed a copy and it is now with my travel documents - just in case). The Annex includes the usual miscreant countries - none in Europe.

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tusker

Well-Known Member
Following the discussions on various other posts related to import/ export of personal firearms I have received this reply today from my MP - It supports my original argument and it would appear that nothing has changed when leaving or entering the UK. What happens on the other side of the channel remans to be seen. (I have printed a copy and it is now with my travel documents - just in case). The Annex includes the usual miscreant countries - none in Europe.

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Yeah! So I can go to Estonia
Tusker
 

Pighunter

Member
I live in the South of France and have friends who visit to hunt with our village team. With covid they didn't come down last season but I did enqire on their behalf the previous year with a Brexit deadline imminent, direct with the customs.

I was surprised to learn that following Brexit it is actually easier to travel here with arms, in that the UK FAC or shotgun permit is accepted without a European Firearms Pass. In addition, although nobody seems to have been asked for it, strictly speaking you also need a letter of invitation if you are travelling with an EFP whereas you don't if you are coming from outside the EU.

There is a far more accepting attitude to arms and hunting here, I used to regularly travel back and forth with arms, stopped once to declare them on the way back to the UK to the French, who were only interested in showing them to some trainees who were there! Arriving on the other side at 2am with a petrified dog who had been in the car for 12 hours driving plus 2 hours on the ferry, I declared them to the UK customs moron. He made me wait until everyone else had gone through and then started questioning me obscurely. Asking why, he said he was suspicious because I had declared the guns and didn't need to unless asked, complete crap as on the way out to France I had been sent back to customs in order to sign them out!

In the end having seen how many arms I had on my certs, he decided I must be responsible and let me go. Both me and the dog were very relieved, in the dog's case literally!
 

Millerich

Well-Known Member
So after all the hoohar it’s as we said all along, carry on as normal, ah well when we can eventually get out into Europe all is good, regards Wayne
Not if you plan to take a dog with you. The Animal Health Certificates, that have replaced the pet passports, are a dog’s dinner.
 

Mr. Gain

Well-Known Member
In addition, [...] you also need a letter of invitation if you are travelling with an EFP whereas you don't if you are coming from outside the EU.
This is not what the letter says: see bullet point 2. Documentation to confirm the purpose of your specific journey with firearms is still required.
 

NullMac

Well-Known Member
This is not what the letter says: see bullet point 2. Documentation to confirm the purpose of your specific journey with firearms is still required.
Exactly. I used to shoot the Euro Fitasc Championship and they provided a letter of invitation as a matter of course EVEN for European shooters with a European Firearms pass. Given the changes I would not be going without one.

Ideally you want it personally addressed to you but here's an example:

Invitation
 

Pighunter

Member
That is not what the French customs said in a written reply to me, but on a belts and braces basis it is probably a good idea anyway. They could of course be wrong, I am just reporting what I was told.
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
Surely every French customs officer has his own individual and unique set of rules?
They are very very educated about firearms. I remember before the change in the law in France regarding "non-military calibres" and asking about bringing back 8x60S cases via Eurostar. Was told very confidently (the guy knew his stuff) that 8x60S was OK but 8x57 was not OK. As a second point why did I buy 8x60S in France and not from Krank's the UK importer of Prvi brass? Because Krank's can't be bothered to service their UK Prvi agency properly and carry the FULL range of Prvi products. Very poorm IMHO. Either run an agency with a full range or let someone else that will do so have that agency. Anyway I purchased my 8x60S cases in Paris and back they came on the Eurostar without any problem from French Customs. As said they know their stuff. Unlike the UK Border Farce...yes Farce not Force...who I call ill educated know nothing Muppets! Except of course most people generally like the actual Muppets.
 
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mereside

Well-Known Member
Customs/ border force is a complete joke, I have done loads of trips and every time is similar, are you carrying anything untoward, it then goes like this I am carrying firearms here’s the paperwork, right sir can you pull to the side while we take a look, yea ok
I get out then go to the rifles then they shat a brick and scream don’t get it out we don’t want to see them.
So then I say how can you check the serial if you don’t look, they then just get you to swiftly move on.
Why are they in a job there not trained or want to deal with it boils my ****.
My last trip home I had done six in a short timescale and on this occasion I hadn’t stayed in a hotel just a log cabin deep in a German forest, I had nothing to say where I had been which in this instance was unique, normally I have written invite with tracking details for which event I am doing but this last time was Boxing Day and only arranged two days prior so just drove to collect my info, anyway as soon as I got to the booth he asked why so many visits in such a short timescale and what I was upto, he ushered me into a garage for a search and promptly asked if I had guns money knives and drugs to which I replied I had no drugs but I have everything else his eyes lit up like the Christmas tree he thought he’d hit the jackpot only to then see my papers the only thing I had to show were i had been was my Jagdschein that had been stamped at the town hall and a few maps of an area I had been tracking in, after a thorough search I was on my way home but even then they didn’t look at the rifle slips to check, for such an important job you would think they would have the training and knowledge to do the job, the french guys in the other hand are totally different and has been a pleasure to talk about what I have been up to, regards Wayne ps can’t wait to get back out after this long stint
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
It's a shame that BASC couldn't have made such an enquiry. But then I guess it'd interfere with their efforts promoting the surrender of the lawful use of lead shot.
Back when I originally raised this in February i spoke with the BASC. BASC thought no requirement for export licence. They in turn spoke with the government contacts and came back to me saying that yes you do need an Export License to take a firearm to the EU.

Clearly sense seems to have prevailed. However I have just checked the government website again. It was last updated on 31 Dec 2020.

Under the exceptions to the requirements for an Export Licence the use of an FAC or SC only applies to destinations outside the EU. For the EU, we no longer have the EFP, therefore the government site still implies you need an Export Permit. Just because a secretary of state says something, in law, it means diddly squat unless the act been changed, or the secretary of state has powers to change procedures.

Please can the OP point this out to his own MP, so that the guidance follows what the law and ministers actually say.
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