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US CBP Complicates Hunting Travel to South Africa

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has complicated travel to South Africa for hunters taking firearms on safari. That’s because the agency has returned to issuing a Customs Form 4457 with an expiration date in the top right corner, which can cause South African authorities to reject hunters’ firearm import applications.

The South African authorities will not accept a Form 4457 with a past expiration date for a firearm importation. (They also require that the form be stamped for the same year of travel to South Africa.) Historically, CBP has not posted a new Form 4457 until well after the previous one has expired (sometimes six to nine months later). That leaves many hunters going to South Africa without the ability to comply with South African requirements to import a firearm.

The expiration date on this form is not actually associated with a period of approved use for travelers, rather, it is strictly for internal governmental use. Regardless, South African authorities treat it as an expiration of the firearm owner’s approval to travel with the firearm listed on the form.

SCI had previously resolved this issue in 2022 with the assistance of Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, who managed to have CBP remove the expiration date entirely. But on May 10, 2024, CBP posted a new form with an expiration date of September 30, 2024.

SCI members who need a version of Form 4457 without an expiration date may download one at safariclub.org/firearm-import-requirements/. Members with questions may contact SCI’s Hunter Information Service at [email protected].

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