BIG NEWS for International Hunters

Traveling with firearms can be both difficult and confusing for international hunters. Last week, however, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) updated their website to reflect new policies benefitting international travelers with firearms. This update reflects the distinction between a permanent export of firearms and ammunition and a temporary export, such as bringing hunting rifles overseas. SCI is celebrating this big news for the hunting and shooting sports communities! 

This update is long overdue and removes cumbersome red tape for hunters, clearly distinguishing between commercial and recreational use permitting. Specifically, the update states: 

ā€œBefore permanently exporting any firearms and/or ammunition with a valid DDTC or BIS export license or a qualifying license exemption, the traveler, or an agent acting on the travelerā€™s behalf, must file the Electronic Export Information (EEI) using the Automated Export System (AES) or the Internet-based system AESDirect, which is publicly available and free of charge. In addition to filing the EEI in AES or AESDirect, prior to export, all firearms, ammunition, and additional mandatory documentation (e.g., certifications, foreign import permits, proof of AES filing such as the Internal Transaction Number) must be presented to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authorities for visual inspection at the port of departure from the United States.

The temporary export of firearms are governed by the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) administered by the BIS. When it comes to the temporary export of firearms in checked luggage aboard commercial aircraft, travelers must file a CBP form 4457; filing in the AES is no longer required, under license exception Baggage (BAG) (15 CFR 740.14). Pursuant to the BAG exemption, a traveler can take up to 1,000 rounds of ammunition out of the United States without having to file in AES, and pursuant to law, DHS is authorized to inspect all outbound and inbound luggage and passengers. Travelers are responsible for complying with firearm import laws of the country to which they are travelling.ā€

SCI will continue to work to decrease bureaucratic restrictions and red tape for hunters. For more information on requirements for traveling with firearms, please visit ICEā€™s guidance here. For all SCI members in need of assistance with international hunting, traveling with firearms, or other questions, please visit the Hunter Hotline here. SCI is always First for Hunters!  

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