All SCI members who plan to travel with their firearms outside of the U.S. should be aware that there has been some recent confusion about U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s (CBP) willingness to accept Form 4457 for the temporary export of firearms. Although the CBP website continues to state that CBP will accept Form 4457 for temporary export and re-import of firearms/ammunition, the website hosted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) states that Form 4457 may no longer be used for that purpose. https://www.ice.gov/cpi/faq#wcm-survey-target-id
SCI has heard reports that CBP officials at some ports are refusing to accept Form 4457 when hunters/shooters attempt to use them upon returning with their firearms/ammunition to the United States.
SCI members who encounter this problem should respectfully inform the CBP agents that CBP does accept Form 4457 for this purpose. If necessary, SCI members can provide the CBP agent with the following language from the CBP website:
If providing language directly from the CBP website does not suffice, SCI members are advised by CBP to request to talk to the agent’s supervisor and if that is insufficient to immediately contact CBP Program Manager, David Garcia, whose telephone number is 202-344-3277. If Mr. Garcia does not answer his phone, callers are instructed to contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCI members should also be aware that the CBP has posted a new, downloadable Form 4457 on their website with an expiration date of 9/30/2022. For those who have encountered problems abroad with using a Form 4457 with no expiration date or with an expired expiration date, this new form may alleviate those obstacles.
In 2015, SCI, together with several other hunting and recreational shooting organizations, fought CBP’s efforts to require those traveling with firearms/ammunition to use AESDirect, an electronic registration system. In response, CBP agreed to suspend their plans to abandon the use of Form 4457. Last year, CBP proposed new regulations concerning the export of firearms and SCI emphatically commented in support of the continued use of Form 4457 and in opposition to conversion to the AESDirect system.
SCI will continue to work, together with other hunting and recreational shooting organizations, to advocate for the suspension of the electronic registration system requirement and continued utilization of Form 4457.