Exporting firearms/parts from the USA

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  • Exporting firearms/parts from the USA

    This is the text of a very well researched post from Shooting.com. Before the demise of that forum, I copied it off and saved it for this forum as the original work was well done.

    Firstly, there are two export control regimes for the USA.
    • The International Trade in Arms Regulations (ITARs) are managed by the Department of State on behalf of the US Department of Defense. These are the main controls for export of items that are on the United States Munitions List (USML). The ITARs are constantly evolving, but are re-published on the 1st of April every year.
    • The Department of Commerce Export Regulations (DoC Regulations) regulate exports of the more sporting items such as shotguns, air rifles and scopes.


    These regulations cover all exports. A company can be penalised under the ITARs if they ship a controlled item to an address in the USA - when they know it was purchased using a foreign credit card. This means that freight forwarders are often not suitable, and if caught, you, the forwarder and the original seller are all liable for prosecution - the fines are substantial and federal prison is also available as an outcome.

    In addition to the personal export permits described below, the company that produces the item you wish to export must also have an export licence. These permits start at $2500 per annum and go up according to the company turnover. Many small companies do not bother with export licences as the cost is too much for them to manage.

    WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO EXPORT THE FOLLOWING FROM THE USA TO AUSTRALIA:

    N.B This does NOT detail what is required to import items into Australia. That information may be found elsewhere in this section.

    Complete Firearms (NOT AIRGUNS) - s123.1(a)
    You will need a US export permit.

    Air Rifles and Air Pistols
    You will not need an export permit; airguns are not considered firearms under US Code

    Barrels, Revolver Cylinders, Receivers, Frames and complete Breech Assemblies (actions) - s123.1(a)
    You will need a US export permit.

    Firearm parts not listed above, and magazines, clips and other accessories - s123.17(a)
    No permit required if the value of parts does not exceed $100USD wholesale. Ok to use a mail forwarder if necessary.

    Firearm silencers and suppressors, including flash suppressors - s123.1(a)
    You will need a US export permit. Note that there is a grey (danger) area when it comes to muzzle-brakes that many retailers fear to tread. Mail forwarders probably ok (for muzzle-brakes).

    Riflescopes listed as part of the US Munitions List (USML) - s123.1(a)
    You will need a US export permit.

    Night vision gear - s123.1(a)
    Gen4: Not going to happen as these are an item controlled at a government to government level - they are on the USML.
    Gen3: US export permit required.
    Gen1/2/2+: I believe these are fine, but will need to verify.
    Thermal: Low quality thermal units can be exported, higher resolution and ones designed to be fitted to a weapon are controlled at a government to government level - they are on the USML.

    Optical sighting devices for firearms not covered by above two categories
    You will not need a Department of State ITAR based permit. Dept. of Commerce export controls do not apply for exports bound for Australia.

    Handloading Equipment
    No export permit required.

    Reloading components - brass/bullets/primers/powder - s123.1(a)
    You will need an export permit

    SO WHAT'S THIS EXPORT PERMIT YOU SPEAK OF?

    Quite simply, you buy your gear, have it shipped to (or supplied by) a US federally licensed export agent, pay their fee (per consignment, $250 of which is the fee set by the US State Dept) and have them send it over once you've got the necessary import paperwork sorted out. The best quote I managed to sort was $200, or 15% of total value, whichever was greater. Shipping/insurance was quoted at ~$65 for a pistol and ~$100 for a rifle. Most exporters charge more than this, and I was looking at purchasing the firearms from the exporter at the time, so this is not typical.

    I believe firearms are required to be shipped in a hard-case, which may or may not be an additional expense, and remember that firearms and possibly some parts (depending on your state) may have to be shipped to a dealer, not directly to you, and dealers will charge a fee for the time/expense/undercutting.

    REFERENCES
    This information is taken from the following sections of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/regulations_laws/itar.html:

    The US Code declares the following, which clearly shows that airguns are not considered to be firearms under US Federal Law:
    Quote
    (3) The term "firearm" means
    (A ) any firearm (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to
    or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an
    explosive;
    (B ) the frame or receiver of any such firearm;
    (C ) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or
    (D ) any destructive device.


    Although Department of Commerce licenses are required for shipments of a certain type, of a certain value to certain destination, (see here for a "simple" breakdown) there are only two classifications I can find that apply to firearms. (see this link and search "firearm" or the specific classifications "0A987" or "0A018")

    0A987 - Optical sighting devices for firearms (including shotguns controlled by 0A984); and parts
    Exports fitting this description are controlled for reasons of firearms convention (FC), crime control (CC) and United Nations embargos placed upon Iraq, North Korea, and Rwanda.

    0A018Items on the Wassenaar Munitions List.
    Exports fitting this description are controlled for reasons of national security (NS), anit-terrorism (AT) and United Nations embargos placed upon Iraq, North Korea, and Rwanda. This description may be read in full here, but for our purposes only applies to certain black powder firearms (and military helmets)

    Of these classifications, only NS1 is applicable to exports destined for Australia (see here), and restrictions only apply once the export is of a certain value. These values are the following:

    Black powder firearms (see below): $1500
    Military Helmets: $1500

    Note that not all BP firearms are controlled (in fact most are not):
    Quote
    c. Muzzle loading (black powder) firearms with a caliber less than 20 mm that were manufactured later than 1937 and that are not reproductions of firearms manufactured earlier than 1890;

    Note: 0A018.c does not control firearms used for hunting or sporting purposes that were not specifically designed for hunting or sporting purposes that were not specially designed for military use and are not of the fully automatic type, but see 0A984 concerning shotguns.


    ie. If the BP firearm is used for sport/hunting, is not fully-automatic and fulfills either the criteria of being designed for hunting/sport use or NOT being designed for military use, no DoC license is required, though of course as an operational firearm, a DDTC export permit is required.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Can anyone give me some guidance on this......

    I'm a USA citizen by birth. I have family in the USA and I visit sometimes. When over there I could legally purchase a firearm as my personal property. Being my personal property, I assume, I would then be allowed to bring it to Australia when I return here so long as I filled out the proper paperwork.

    Now, assuming the firearm is legal under Australian laws, what do I need to do in order to legally bring it into Australia? Or where would I go to get this information?

    Comment


    • Guest's Avatar
      Guest commented
      Editing a comment
      Customs

    • adamjp
      adamjp commented
      Editing a comment
      The firearms registry of the Australian state that you are currently residing in will be a good place to start. You might also want to have a discussion with Customs before you go visit the rellies in the US so that you have lodged the correct paperwork before you come back to Oz with that new rifle.

      You may find that you need to enlist the services of an FFL to export from the USA permanently (check s123.17 and .1 and a customs agent at this end will help matters too. From what I have read, it is unlikely that you will be able to waltz through customs at the airport with your new rifle. It may be temporarily seized to be checked for safety and properly registered in your home state before it can be released to you.

    • Tornado-Technologies
      Tornado-Technologies commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by PKFFW" post=5078
      Can anyone give me some guidance on this......

      I'm a USA citizen by birth. I have family in the USA and I visit sometimes. When over there I could legally purchase a firearm as my personal property. Being my personal property, I assume, I would then be allowed to bring it to Australia when I return here so long as I filled out the proper paperwork.

      Now, assuming the firearm is legal under Australian laws, what do I need to do in order to legally bring it into Australia? Or where would I go to get this information?
      Just because you're a US Citizen, does not mean it's legal for you to purchase firearms in he US. It used to be you had to be a resident of a US State, and the ATF required you to have lived there for 90 days. This was challenged in the Surpreme Court and the current definition is you are a resident if "he or she is present in a State with the intention of making a home in that State." A dealer can only sell handguns to a resident of their State, but longuns can be sold to a Resident of any State. As someone living in Australia and visiting the US, it would be unlawful for you to purchase firearms from a dealer. I suspect you'll have problems with the NICS check too as you won't be on any of the data bases, and will probably get a delay.
      Attempting to unlawfully purchase a firearm from a dealer is a felony.
      Private transactions between individuals again require you to be a resident of the same state as the seller. If they knowingly sell to you as an out of stater both of you are committing felonies. Some states also have other laws regarding private party sales.

  • #3
    A couple of corrections on the info you have. - in red below. Most of the rest looks pretty good though, except for the section where you mention magazines. Technically the $100 limits exists, as long as it isn't a shotgun mag extension tube, is for a sporting firearm and is 10 rounds or less in capacity, else it requires a permit. Most dealers do one anyway on all magazines.
    FYI in order for the US exporter to get an export permit, you're going to need to get you B709 (A or D) first.
    For firearms you'll need to nominate a licensed firearms dealer to receive firearms on your behalf. The B709 Police Confirmation and Certification will be sent directly to the dealer who will collect the firearms from Customs on your behalf. You will need to apply for a Permit to Acquire the firearm, and once this is issued and the firearm is registered in your name, you may take possession of the firearm. Personally for firearms, I recommend just going to the dealer and letting them take care of the import, as most countries also require a Department of Defence International Import Certificate.
    FYI, I can do much better than the export rates you've been quoted. PM me.

    Originally posted by adamjp" post=5053
    This is the text of a very well researched post from Shooting.com. Before the demise of that forum, I copied it off and saved it for this forum as the original work was well done.

    Firstly, there are two export control regimes for the USA.
    • The International Trade in Arms Regulations (ITARs) are managed by the Department of State on behalf of the US Department of Defense. These are the main controls for export of items that are on the United States Munitions List (USML). The ITARs are constantly evolving, but are re-published on the 1st of April every year.
    • The Department of Commerce Export Regulations (DoC Regulations) regulate exports of the more sporting items such as shotguns, air rifles and scopes.


    These regulations cover all exports. A company can be penalised under the ITARs if they ship a controlled item to an address in the USA - when they know it was purchased using a foreign credit card. This means that freight forwarders are often not suitable, and if caught, you, the forwarder and the original seller are all liable for prosecution - the fines are substantial and federal prison is also available as an outcome.

    In addition to [s]the personal[/s] export permits described below, the company that produces the item you wish to export must also be registered with the DDTC (Directorite of Defense Trade Controls) [s]have an export licence [/s]. This registration [s]These permits start[/s] starts at $2250 [s]$2500[/s] per annum and goes up based on the amount of exports. go up according to the company turnover. Many small companies do not bother with export licences as the cost is too much for them to manage.

    WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO EXPORT THE FOLLOWING FROM THE USA TO AUSTRALIA:

    N.B This does NOT detail what is required to import items into Australia. That information may be found elsewhere in this section.

    Complete Firearms (NOT AIRGUNS) - s123.1(a)
    You will need a US export permit.

    Air Rifles and Air Pistols
    You will not need an export permit; airguns are not considered firearms under US Code

    Barrels, Revolver Cylinders, Receivers, Frames and complete Breech Assemblies (actions) - s123.1(a)
    You will need a US export permit.

    Firearm parts not listed above, and magazines, clips and other accessories - s123.17(a)
    No permit required if the value of parts does not exceed $100USD wholesale. Ok to use a mail forwarder if necessary.

    Firearm silencers and suppressors, including flash suppressors - s123.1(a)
    You will need a US export permit. Note that there is a grey (danger) area when it comes to muzzle-brakes that many retailers fear to tread. Mail forwarders probably ok (for muzzle-brakes).

    Riflescopes listed as part of the US Munitions List (USML) - s123.1(a)
    You will need a US export permit.

    Night vision gear - s123.1(a)
    Gen4: Not going to happen as these are an item controlled at a government to government level - they are on the USML.
    Gen3: US export permit required.
    Gen1/2/2+: I believe these are fine, but will need to verify.
    Thermal: Low quality thermal units can be exported, higher resolution and ones designed to be fitted to a weapon are controlled at a government to government level - they are on the USML.

    Optical sighting devices for firearms not covered by above two categories
    You will not need a Department of State ITAR based permit. Dept. of Commerce export controls do not apply for exports bound for Australia.

    Handloading Equipment
    No export permit required.

    Reloading components - brass/bullets/primers/powder - s123.1(a)
    You will need an export permit

    SO WHAT'S THIS EXPORT PERMIT YOU SPEAK OF?

    Quite simply, you buy your gear, have it shipped to (or supplied by) a US federally licensed export agent, pay their fee (per consignment, $250 of which is the fee set by the US State Dept) and have them send it over once you've got the necessary import paperwork sorted out. The best quote I managed to sort was $200, or 15% of total value, whichever was greater. Shipping/insurance was quoted at ~$65 for a pistol and ~$100 for a rifle. Most exporters charge more than this, and I was looking at purchasing the firearms from the exporter at the time, so this is not typical.

    I believe firearms are required to be shipped in a hard-case, which may or may not be an additional expense, and remember that firearms and possibly some parts (depending on your state) may have to be shipped to a dealer, not directly to you, and dealers will charge a fee for the time/expense/undercutting.

    REFERENCES
    This information is taken from the following sections of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/regulations_laws/itar.html:

    The US Code declares the following, which clearly shows that airguns are not considered to be firearms under US Federal Law:
    Quote
    (3) The term "firearm" means
    (A ) any firearm (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to
    or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an
    explosive;
    (B ) the frame or receiver of any such firearm;
    (C ) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or
    (D ) any destructive device.


    Although Department of Commerce licenses are required for shipments of a certain type, of a certain value to certain destination, (see here for a "simple" breakdown) there are only two classifications I can find that apply to firearms. (see this link and search "firearm" or the specific classifications "0A987" or "0A018")

    0A987 - Optical sighting devices for firearms (including shotguns controlled by 0A984); and parts
    Exports fitting this description are controlled for reasons of firearms convention (FC), crime control (CC) and United Nations embargos placed upon Iraq, North Korea, and Rwanda.

    0A018Items on the Wassenaar Munitions List.
    Exports fitting this description are controlled for reasons of national security (NS), anit-terrorism (AT) and United Nations embargos placed upon Iraq, North Korea, and Rwanda. This description may be read in full here, but for our purposes only applies to certain black powder firearms (and military helmets)

    Of these classifications, only NS1 is applicable to exports destined for Australia (see here), and restrictions only apply once the export is of a certain value. These values are the following:

    Black powder firearms (see below): $1500
    Military Helmets: $1500

    Note that not all BP firearms are controlled (in fact most are not):
    Quote
    c. Muzzle loading (black powder) firearms with a caliber less than 20 mm that were manufactured later than 1937 and that are not reproductions of firearms manufactured earlier than 1890;

    Note: 0A018.c does not control firearms used for hunting or sporting purposes that were not specifically designed for hunting or sporting purposes that were not specially designed for military use and are not of the fully automatic type, but see 0A984 concerning shotguns.


    ie. If the BP firearm is used for sport/hunting, is not fully-automatic and fulfills either the criteria of being designed for hunting/sport use or NOT being designed for military use, no DoC license is required, though of course as an operational firearm, a DDTC export permit is required.

    Comment


    • CE
      CE commented
      Editing a comment
      What about a rifle stock?

  • #4
    Can anyone tell me, which mail forwarding company will post parts to Australia?

    Comment


    • #5
      Boyds, Manners, McMillan and Basner stocks come out of the USA without problems every day.

      Magpul, Tapco and similar stocks for AR15/M4 type rifles will often be stopped.

      Hence my question. What stock?

      Comment


      • andyjm79
        andyjm79 commented
        Editing a comment
        It looks like the $100 limit may have been raised to $500 since last year?

        § 123.17 -- Exports of firearms and ammunition.
        (a) Except as provided in § 126.1 of this subchapter, District Directors of Customs shall permit the export without a license of components and parts for Category I(a) firearms, except barrels, cylinders, receivers (frames) or complete breach mechanisms when the total value does not exceed $ 500 wholesale in any transaction.

        S126.1 seems to apply to certain countries:

        This policy applies
        to Belarus, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, North
        Korea, Syria, and Venezuela. This policy
        also applies to countries with respect
        to which the United States maintains
        an arms embargo (e.g., Burma,
        China, and the Republic of the Sudan)
        or whenever an export would not otherwise
        be in furtherance of world peace
        and the security and foreign policy of
        the United States.

    • #6
      An update on riflestocks.

      Riflestocks are NOW controlled items and require an export permit unless their wholesale value is under $100 USD. The only exception to this is if the stock is in use by the US Military in which case it is an ITAR controlled part and requires an export permit.

      Almost nothing is under $100USD, and many stocks made for the M4 Carbine are now ITAR controlled.

      Comment


      • Tornado-Technologies
        Tornado-Technologies commented
        Editing a comment
        Originally posted by adamjp" post=240527
        An update on riflestocks.

        Riflestocks are NOW controlled items and require an export permit unless their wholesale value is under $100 USD. The only exception to this is if the stock is in use by the US Military in which case it is an ITAR controlled part and requires an export permit.

        Almost nothing is under $100USD, and many stocks made for the M4 Carbine are now ITAR controlled.
        adamjp, stocks are Category 1H as per the US Munitions list and have always been controlled by ITAR as long as I can remember. Nothing has changed. Use by the US military makes no difference at all as to a stock's ITAR classification.

    • #7
      Originally posted by Tornado-Technologies" post=240538
      adamjp, stocks are Category 1H as per the US Munitions list and have always been controlled by ITAR as long as I can remember. Nothing has changed. Use by the US military makes no difference at all as to a stock's ITAR classification.
      your memory does not go back very far at all...

      Of the US stock manufacturers, only Boyds chose a risk averse interpretation of the ITARs.

      McMillan, Manners, HS Precision, Bell & Carlson, MPI, Basner, Treebone, Richards Microfit, etc. all chose to export without licences. Some consulted their legal advisors and conclude that the ITARs were not sufficiently specific, some just went and did it anyway as they were not exporting 'key items'. This changed in mid-2014 when the US Dept. of State announced a determination that stocks would henceforth be considered controlled items under ITARs in accordance with a broad interpretation of USML 1H.

      McMillan announced it like this...

      Important Notice: August, 2014
      Due to recent determinations at the US Department of State, McMillan Fiberglass Stocks now require an export license to ship fiberglass stocks internationally.

      An export license may cost up to $250.00 US Funds. McMillan understands that there may be varying country requirements and wishes to make the export process as painless as possible, but you can use your own exporter.

      To export out of the US you will need to purchase an export license and certain countries also require an import license, which we will need a copy of it. If an import license is not required, then a document must be signed stating so. The export license is usually valid for 1 year and it can be for one stock or for multiple stocks (open license) being shipped to the same address.

      McMillan has an onsite export manager with experience in exporting internationally. Additionally, we have agreements with several international partners in various countries that can facilitate the export process.

      Please contact Mary Jo McMillan if you have any additional questions at [email protected]
      When this came out, a number of people here in Australia had to wait for stocks and pay more for stocks they had ordered from McMillan as there was no Australian export permit in place. These permits took several months to get sorted. Sadly, it made McMillan stocks far more expensive than they previously were.

      Comment


      • Tornado-Technologies
        Tornado-Technologies commented
        Editing a comment
        Originally posted by adamjp" post=240566
        Originally posted by Tornado-Technologies" post=240538
        adamjp, stocks are Category 1H as per the US Munitions list and have always been controlled by ITAR as long as I can remember. Nothing has changed. Use by the US military makes no difference at all as to a stock's ITAR classification.
        your memory does not go back very far at all...

        Of the US stock manufacturers, only Boyds chose a risk averse interpretation of the ITARs.

        McMillan, Manners, HS Precision, Bell & Carlson, MPI, Basner, Treebone, Richards Microfit, etc. all chose to export without licences. Some consulted their legal advisors and conclude that the ITARs were not sufficiently specific, some just went and did it anyway as they were not exporting 'key items'. This changed in mid-2014 when the US Dept. of State announced a determination that stocks would henceforth be considered controlled items under ITARs in accordance with a broad interpretation of USML 1H.

        McMillan announced it like this...

        Important Notice: August, 2014
        Due to recent determinations at the US Department of State, McMillan Fiberglass Stocks now require an export license to ship fiberglass stocks internationally.

        An export license may cost up to $250.00 US Funds. McMillan understands that there may be varying country requirements and wishes to make the export process as painless as possible, but you can use your own exporter.

        To export out of the US you will need to purchase an export license and certain countries also require an import license, which we will need a copy of it. If an import license is not required, then a document must be signed stating so. The export license is usually valid for 1 year and it can be for one stock or for multiple stocks (open license) being shipped to the same address.

        McMillan has an onsite export manager with experience in exporting internationally. Additionally, we have agreements with several international partners in various countries that can facilitate the export process.

        Please contact Mary Jo McMillan if you have any additional questions at [email protected]
        When this came out, a number of people here in Australia had to wait for stocks and pay more for stocks they had ordered from McMillan as there was no Australian export permit in place. These permits took several months to get sorted. Sadly, it made McMillan stocks far more expensive than they previously were.
        I'm not doubting what you're saying, but the definition for the category that includes stocks hasn't changed in the 10 years I've been a licensed exporter.
        Like a lot of other manufacturers of firearms parts, I'm guessing they were just ignorant of the law, and either got visited by the Department of Homeland Security or they put an ITAR compliance plan in place based on legal counsel.
        Generally when you put a compliance plan in place you submit a letter to the State Department for a determination of your products. As they are Category 1H, they got told that.
        It's pretty cut and dried:
        Category 1H. "Components, parts, accessories and attachments for the articles in paragraphs (a) through (g) of this category."
        Rifles are Category A, so if you make "Components, parts, accessories and attachments" for them, they're covered by ITAR unless the State Department advises you otherwise. The only way around it is to get a exemption for your product. This is done by submitting a Commodity Jurisdiction Request. General though, when you do this the State Department will just change the jurisdiction so that it's covered by the Export Administration Regulations, which are governed by the Commerce Department aka Bureau of Industry and Security and now you're dealing with another licensing agency. Unlike the State Department, BIS licenses don't cost $250, but they take a lot longer to process (like 6-7 times longer). For larger shipments where the $250 State Department license fee is spread over a large amount of items, it's preferable to have something regulated ITAR rather than EAR.
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