How to Travel Internationally with a Weapon/Firearm from Australia
If you are reading this blog then I assume you are looking at traveling with your weapon/firearm. Or, you are looking at coming over to New Zealand with me and the team this March for the 5 day Airsoft and Paintball Scenario tour.
If you are one of the above two then you have come to the right place! Below I outline the exact steps you need to take to travel overseas with your weapons and return with them safely and minimize hassle going through customs. So, let's get to it…
This blog is for licensed firearm owners and their registered firearms (registered under their own name)… If you do not have a license or you want to take a gun that is not registered in your name, then sorry, but you’re up shit creek without a paddle.
- Weapons register
- Valid Weapons license
- Valid Drivers license
- Signed and stamped Goods Exported In Passenger Baggage Form
- Letter from event/competition coordinator
- Country customs firearm check
Check out the deets below and comment on the blog post with any more questions!
Before departing on your trip
Step 1 - Weapons Register
Call weapons licensing and ask them to send you your ‘Weapons Register’. This is the legal document that has every gun that you have registered in your name. It will tell you the category, make, model and the serial number of your firearm. This will have to be with you on departure and (ESPECIALLY) on arrival.
Step 2 - Goods Exported In Passenger Baggage Form
Go to this link and print out this PDF form, https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/EnteringorleavingAustralia/Documents/b263october2012-goodsexportedinpassengerbaggage.pdf
This is a ‘Goods Exported In Passenger Baggage Form’, this is a form that you will need to fill out before you arrive at the airport to depart the country. It states what firearm related gear you are leaving Australia with.
When you arrive at the airport, you will need to head to the customs office and get this document checked off and signed by customs authorities. Here, they will check, stamp and sign the form before you depart Australia.
Upon reentry to the country, you will need to show this form, along with your ‘Weapons Register’, to the customs officers. It will state that the gear you have in your bag whilst returning to the country is the gear that you left with.
On this form, you will need to write EXACTLY what you have relating to your firearm, this includes.
- Barrel insert kits
- Everything EXCEPT telescopic scopes or sights (Keep reading for more details)
The form is pretty self-explanatory, for example, if you have two hoppers, document the exact amount.
Step 3 - Check the country you are traveling to.
Every country is different, in New Zealand, a weapons license is not required for a ‘paintball marker’. So there is no issue entering the country with one, however, if you are taking a rifle or weapon that is not a paintball marker, then you will need to call their customs office and ask the right questions on how to bring a firearm into their country.
Singapore for example; it is illegal to own a firearm and they do not allow citizens to own a weapon in any form. You can still take your paintball marker over for a competition or event, however, a staff member or official from the event you are competing in has to pick up the firearm from the airport and transport it to the field where it will be held and stored until you depart the country. That is just one example, so always make sure you call and inquire with the country you will be visiting.
Step 4 - Letter From Event Coordinators
You will also need to organise with the event/competition coordinators to get a letter confirming that you are visiting the country for that specific reason…. Signed and dated…. Simple!
If you are joining us to New Zealand in March 2018, we will source this letter for you.
Step 5 - Licenses
Make sure you have a valid Driver's License and Weapon Licence that is in date.
Upon Return To The Country
Step 1 - Tick The Box
On your journey home the air hosts will provide you with an importation declaration card, this is where you declare what you are bringing back into Australia. Read the card and tick the box that is next to:
Q.1 “Goods that may be prohibited or subject to restriction, such as medicine, steroids, firearms, weapons of any kind or illicit drugs.”
Tick that baby and answer all the other questions!..
Step 2 - Show All Documentation
When you collect all your baggage you will head through the customs area and hand over your declaration card and customs officers will direct you through for your items to be checked... Now don't freak out, as long as you followed the above and below steps, you will be fine, you won't be thrown into jail…...hopefully.
You will need to show your:
- Driver's License;
- Weapons License;
- Weapons Register;
- Signed and Stamped Goods Exported In Passenger Baggage Form; and,
- Letter from Event Coordinator.
With all the above documentation you will also show your firearms and the gear mentioned on the Goods Exported In Passenger Baggage Form. Customs officers will check your gear and make sure it all matches up.
With all of this checked out, you are back in the country with all the gear that you left with.
Things To Mention And Take Note Of...
- Do NOT alter, change or modify your firearms in any way whilst overseas
- If you wish to take any form of a telescopic scope or sight overseas, you will be required to fill out a ‘Department Of Defence Export Permit’ ORRRRRR, If you are taking more than 5 firearms out of the country per person…. You can find that document here http://www.defence.gov.au/ExportControls/RGP.asp#Apply
- DO NOT Lose any of your documentation whilst traveling, keep it all in its own folder safely in your luggage, it would be handy to take a picture of every document as well, just to be safe.
- Check your weapons license and drivers license will not expire whilst overseas.