Traveling internationally with firearms can be nerve-wracking and often times can cause lots of unnecessary stress and worry. What I've done here for you is compile as much information as possible to assist with your travels, listing some of the major airports in countries around the world that you could possibly encounter. Please, do your due diligence and confirm this information before your flight because we are not travel agents, and as countries change their rules, some of this data may eventually be replaced with new documents and protocols. I'll do my absolute best to keep this page as current as I can.
Leaving the country with a firearm requires a US Customs and Border Protection document 4457. The link for how we recommend securing that document is below, along with an application and contact information of a CBP Officer who is kind enough to assist Gerhart Outdoors clients with a fast-track to getting the document filled out, complete, and validated.
Traveling to/through South Africa with Firearms
- If flying through South Africa, please confirm with the airline if you are able to check the firearm(s) through to your final destination. This is the same procedure you should do for the flights on your way to South Africa. Ensure each and every leg is accounted for.
- If your final destination is South Africa, you will need to apply for, and receive, a temporary firearm import permit as well as clearing Customs.
- For more information on this permit, contact Luke@GerhartOutdoors.com for detailed instructions and tips on how to make this procedure as fast and easy as possible.
Flying through Amsterdam with Rifles to NB
- You need to apply for, and get, permits for each leg of your travel. The permit you receive to fly through the Netherlands does not apply to any flights on your return trip. That flight itinerary requires its own permit. The permit application can be submitted digitally and downloaded at the following link: Dutch Consent Form
- Do not forget that you can fill out additional information to submit details of each firearm you're travelling with. This is for Question 7. If more assistance is needed, feel free to visit the Dutch Customs website.
Further Documentation To Submit With Your Application
Along with the application, you are asked to enclose a copy of the hunting licence or accreditation or authorization and a copy of the passport or identity card of the consignor with the application.
- The 'accreditation' or 'authorisation' is essentially the official invitation letter provided by your outfitter. This letter needs to be on an official company letterhead detailing the hunt location, duration, and contact information for the outfit. Along with this information, any hunting or outfitter license numbers must be provided. This is the same letter you will use to get the temporary firearms permit in South Africa.
- If you need a copy of your Invitation Letter for a hunt to South Africa through Gerhart Outdoors, contact Luke at Luke@GerhartOutdoors.com and he will facilitate it for you.
- Make a copy of your passport photo & details page. as well as the US Customs CBP 4457 Form.
After the document is complete, the application can be submitted along with any supplemental documents via email to email@example.com or send it to the following address by postal mail: Belastingdienst/Douane Groningen/team Centrale dienst voor in- en uitvoer, Postbus 3070, 6401 DN Heerlen, The Netherlands.
Traveling through London, UK with Firearms
- If your flight arrives and departs at the same airport in the United Kingdom, you will have to make arrangements with the airline for your firearms to be transferred from gate to gate. You will not be allowed to take possession of your firearm(s).
- If your arrival and departure take place at different airports (Heathrow and Gatwick), you will not be allowed to take possession of your firearm(s) to transport between airports. You will need to arrange transportation with a bonded courier service that is licensed to carry firearms and ammo between arrival and departure points.
- A source to locate a courier for this service is British International Freight Association .
Traveling through Dubai, UAE with Firearms
- Before you travel with firearms through Dubai, you will need to get clearance from both the Airport Police Department and the Department of Civil Aviation.
- If flying Emirates, you will be required to complete the Emirates Airlines Details of Weapons form.
- You cannot get approval for transit with firearm(s) through Dubai on Emirates Airlines until after this form is cleared by both the Airport Police and the Dept. of Civil Aviation.
- The form can be downloaded at the following link as well as instructions on where to send the completed form. Airline Firearms Regulations for Emirates
- If a stayover in Dubai (not the airport) is part of your itinerary, the Airport police will keep possession of the firearm(s) during your adventure into Dubai. You will receive a contact number and a receipt for the firearm while it is being kept on your behalf. If Dubai International is your point of transfer in and out, the firearm will be transitioned to your next flight automatically.
Traveling through Germany with Firearms
The German authorities have not been able to lock down and confirm whether or not a permit is outright required for transition through their airports. We advise that you contact them prior to any travel through the country to ensure compliance with any current regulations. Below is the most current information we were able to locate.
- As of late 2018, passengers who wish to travel through Frankfurt, Germany with firearm(s) must acquire a transfer license through Frankfurt's Weapon Authority. All permit applications and approval are online and can be found at the following link. Online Application.
- The fee for the permit is 20 Euros, payable with PayPal or Credit Card. Any documents necessary for the issuance of the permit to complete the application are able to be downloaded directly through the application applet. Once approved, an email will be sent with the permit. You need to print this permit and certificate to show hard copy documents to the customs agents in Frankfurt airport.
- Customs will confirm the make, caliber, and serial number of the firearm with the permit to ensure they match. This is done at the Red Customs area in Frankfurt Airport.
- Much like with Dubai, if you are planning on doing some time in Germany outside of the airport, Customs will keep your firearms and ammunition for you. You will receive a claim ticket for your firearm(s) and ammo which you MUST NOT LOSE as it is the only way to claim your property at the check in for your next flight. You will not personally take possession of your firearm(s) at this time. They will transition to your flight for you via airport staff.
Traveling through France with Firearms
- Upon last review, up to two hunting firearms are allowed with up to 100 rounds of ammunition for each, are allowed to travel with you into France. At the time of this posting, no Import Permit is required, but you are required to declare these firearms and ammo with Customs upon entering the country. It is advised that you confirm that this practice is still current law by contacting the French Embassy.
- In past years, I was unable to fly with ANY ammo (spent casings or souvenir fired bullets) in my checked baggage. Ammunition needed to be in it's own suitcase. Upon arriving in Atlanta from Paris, I simply put that little bag into my other checked baggage and was fine.