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Firearm Import Regulations

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The firearm import regulations are listed here for most African hunting countries. It includes information on the number of permitted firearms, rounds of ammunition and all the documentation to complete. For the stipulated minimum calibres for various species, go to the individual hunting country page.

South Africa Flag Firearm Import Regulations For South Africa

As an overseas hunter wishing to bring your own firearm(s) into South Africa, you need to comply with the SA Firearms Control Act 2000.

Application can be made in advance by yourself or a third party (recommended) or you can apply on arrival in RSA.

There is no fee required to obtain a firearm permit in RSA. There will however be a charge if a third party is employed to obtain the firearm permit on your behalf.

  • You can temporarily import a maximum of 4 firearms per hunter but not more than 1 of the same calibre.
  • You may only bring ammunition applicable to the firearms that you will be bringing into South Africa.
  • A maximum of 200 rounds of ammunition per firearm is permitted.
  • No person under the age of 21 may bring firearms into South Africa or apply for a temporary import permit in his/her name.
  • The barrel, frame or action is to be marked with the same serial number.
  • Semi automatic shotguns or a custom-made handguns can be bought into South Africa for wingshooting/hunting purposes only.
  • No self-protection firearms are allowed.
  • In-transit permits are required by any passenger spending the night in South Africa or who do not have inter-airline firearm handling, while in transit to another destination country. The same pre-requisites apply as to obtain the normal temporary import permit.
Application Documents
  • Application Form SAPS520
  • Notarised copy of the photograph & signature page of your passport
  • Notarised copy of proof of ownership of the firearm(s) - US Customs Form 4457 or Firearm Licence/Permit from home country.
  • A letter of invitation from your outfitter confirming his outfitter licence number, the hunt dates, location of the hunt, species you will be hunting, and the firearms he suggests you bring for the hunt (appropriate calibres for the species).
Application for semi-automatic shotguns or handguns permit, in addition to the above:
  • A letter of motivation stating the reason for wanting to hunt in South Africa with these firearms. It must be an original request with a good reason otherwise consideration will not be granted.
  • If the handgun is custom-made and is not on the Central Firearms Registry computer, you will need to obtain a letter from the manufacturer stating that the firearm is manufactured for hunting purposes only. The Central Firearms Registry may also request additional information, specifications, pictures of the firearm. Your application can be delayed, so please allow plenty of time.
If a third party makes the application on your behalf, in addition to the above:
  • A letter or a form authorising the application for a permit on your behalf.
  • A copy of your flight itinerary.
SAPS520 Form

It is very important to complete this form accurately or it may be rejected.

  • Download SAPS520 Form.
  • Download SAPS520 Instructions.
  • Complete in BLACK ink only.
  • Date format is YYYY-MM-DD.
  • Not all sections are required to be completed but submit ALL 8 pages.
  • If you are applying on arrival but aim to complete the form in advance for the sake of efficiency, do NOT pre-sign Page 6 Section J - wait until you are in front of the firearms officer so he may witness your signature.
Only complete the following sections:
  • Page 2 Section D - Type of Permit - Tick 5 for temporary permit
  • Page 2 Section E - Particulars of Applicant - parts 1 to 25.4
  • Page 4 Section G - Import/Export Details - parts 1 to 9.2
  • Page 5 Section 1 - Details of Firearms - all parts. Note for 1.7 Barrel serial number is not necessary unless the barrel has a different serial number from the receiver or the only number is on the barrel and not the receiver.
  • Page 6 Section 1 - Declaration by person who is lawfully in possession of the firearm - parts 3 to 4.4
  • Page 6 Section J - Signature of Applicant - parts 1 to 4
Proof Of Firearm Ownership
  • USA Flag US hunters only. Notarised copy of US Customs Form 4457 OR a letter from your local sheriff in the form of an affidavit confirming ownership OR an invoice from the gun shop where you purchased the firearms.
  • Other nationality hunters. A copy of your firearms licence. In addition to this a notarised copy of the documentary proof of export of the firearms in the form of a letter from your local Police or Customs office confirming there is no objection to taking your firearms out of the country. Letter must be on a Police Department/Customs letterhead.

Please note, a notarised copy of a document must be stamped and signed by a notary, stating that the document is a true copy of the original.

At Johannesburg (Oliver Tambo) International Airport (Terminal 1):
  • On arrival, the firearms will be removed from the aircraft by security staff and brought to the baggage hall where you must identify them. The firearms officer will then carry it to the firearms office. There, the firearms will be kept under lock and key.
  • The hunter will first go through Immigration, then collect his luggage, proceed through customs and then move on into Terminal 1 and the firearm office. There the hunter will be issued with his firearms after a check to ensure that the serial numbers and make correlate with the personal data of the hunter. The final step is the issuing of the SAPS525 or temporary import permit.
  • On departure, the firearms are checked in at the check-in desk and tagged for the flight. You then carry them through to the firearms office which is located before the main security check area. You check the serial numbers and ammunition with the officer and leave them there. You then proceed through security and immigration into the departure hall.

Tanzania Flag Firearm Import Regulations For Tanzania

Application for your firearm import permit for Tanzania must be made in advance so that it is at the airport on your arrival. If it is not, you will not be allowed to take your firearms out of the airport.

Application will be made on your behalf by the outfitter.

A fee is payable to obtain a firearm permit. Depending on the outfitter, it is between US$200-300 per firearm.

  • Each hunter may import up to 3 firearms into Tanzania.
  • Handguns, semi automatic and automatic firearms are strictly prohibited.
  • Maximum amount of ammunition permitted is 200 rounds per firearm.
  • Minimum calibre allowed for dangerous game (lion, buffalo & elephant)is .375H&H Magnum.
  • Minimum calibre on all other game is .240.
Application Documents
  • Copy of passport photograph/details page.
  • Copy of proof of ownership of firearm. US Customs Form 4457 for US hunters or Firearm Licence/Permit for hunters of other nationalities. Both documents must include the firearms you intend bringing into Tanzania.
  • 6 passport photographs. (If sending via email, 1 photo will do)

Your outfitter will ask you to send the above documents to him either via email or post. He will also need to know:

  • Exact number of rounds of ammunition to be brought into Tanzania.

Please note, some outfitters are happy to accept the details (make, action, calibre & serial number) of your firearms just supplied in writing by yourself. Sending documentary proof (Customs Form 4457/Firearm Licence) will avoid any clerical errors in the serial numbers, at least on your part.

At Dar es Salaam International Airport:
  • On arrival, you proceed through Immigration to the Baggage Hall where a representative of your outfitter should meet you.
  • After retrieving your baggage and firearms, you proceed to the Customs desk where an officer will check the serial numbers and the Tanzanian firearm permit which the representative will have ready. The officer may also count your rounds of ammunition.
  • If you have more than a total of 100 rounds of ammunition, the officer may decide to charge you ammunition tax, payable there in US$ cash.
  • On departure, the company representative will meet you before check-in and take you to the firearms office. He will have your firearm export permit which is checked against the serial numbers and your ammunition may be counted by the officer. Once done you take the firearms and check them in with the rest of your baggage as usual.

Botswana Flag Firearm Import Regulations For Botswana

Application for your firearm import permit for Botswana must be made in advance so that it is at the airport/border crossing on your arrival.

Application will be made by your outfitter on your behalf.

There is a fee of about US$150-200 per firearm to obtain an firearm import permit for Botswana.

  • Only 2 rifles and 1 shotgun per hunter are allowed into Botswana
  • A maximum of 100 rounds of ammunition per firearm is permitted.
  • Handguns, semi automatic or military style firearms are prohibited.
Application Documents
  • Download Botswana Firearm Permit Application Form.
  • Copy of passport photograph/details page.
  • Copy of proof of ownership of firearm. US Customs Form 4457 for US hunters or Firearm Licence/Permit for hunters of other nationalities. Both documents must include the firearms you intend bringing into Botswana.

Your outfitter will usually send you the application form and will expect it completed and returned with the other documents in plenty of time before your hunt.

Please note, you will need to complete the South African firearm import procedure if you are going to be in-transit with no interline baggage transfer or overnighting in Johannesburg.

On arrival in Botswana you will be required to pay an import tax on ammunition - in Botswana Pula cash only.

Namibia Flag Firearm Import Regulations For Namibia

Application for a Namibian Temporary Import firearm permit must be made by yourself on arrival in Namibia.

There is no fee required for the issuing of a firearm permit.

  • There is no limit on the number of firearms that can be imported into Namibia, though NAPHA recommend 2 firearms per hunter.
  • Handguns, semi automatic and automatic firearms are prohibited
  • A maximum of 80 rounds of ammunition is allowed per firearm.
  • Only ammunition for the specific calibre firearms is permitted.

On completion of the permit application form at the airport in Namibia, your permit will be issued.

If you would like to complete the form ahead of arrival, download Namibia Firearm Permit Application Form

Please note,though it is not necessary for the firearm import procedure, it is a good idea to carry your home firearm licence and/or US Customs Form 4457 while hunting in Namibia.

The South African firearm import process will be necessary if you are going to be in-transit with no interline baggage transfer or overnighting in Johannesburg.

Mozambique Flag Firearm Import Regulations For Mozambique

The Mozambique temporary firearm import permit must be obtained in advance, on your behalf by your outfitter.

A fee of US$150-300 per per hunter, depending on the number firearms and ammunition.

  • Only 2 rifles and 1 shotgun per hunter are allowed into Mozambique
  • Semi automatic, automatic firearms or military style weapons are prohibited
  • A maximum of 60 rounds of ammunition per firearm is allowed
Application Documents

Your outfitter will request information from you and will submit the application on your behalf as all official correspondence takes place in Portuguese.

  • Copy of the photograph/details page of your passport
  • Passport photographs x 4
  • Proof of firearm ownership - US Customs Form 4457 or firearm licence

Please note, you will need to complete the South African firearm import procedure if you are going to be in-transit with no interline baggage transfer or overnighting in Johannesburg.

Ensure you get a South African multiple entry permit as you will require the same permit on your return from Mozambique.

Zimbabwe Flag Firearm Import Regulations For Zimbabwe

Application for a temporary firearm import permit for Zimbabwe can be made on arrival at the port of entry.

There is no fee for issuing a firearm permit.

  • Handguns can be imported as a back up on a normal hunt or as a primary hunting arm. No handgun hunting is allowed on Parks estate but is fine on tribal land or on Save Conservancy. It's recommended to get a handgun permit in advance via your outfitter.
  • Automatic firearms are prohibited and it is inadvisable to bring semi-automatic firearms into Zimbabwe.
  • A maximum of 100 rounds of ammunition per firearm is allowed
Please Note:

According to EU Regulation (EC) No 314/2004 (Article 14 Annex 1, Item 12) the importation of firearms and ammunition, including those for hunting/sporting purposes, from the E.U. into Zimbabwe is prohibited. European and British airlines will not carry firearms of any kind on flights direct to Zimbabwe. If you want to take firearms into Zimbabwe and you are flying from an EU country, it will be necessary to get 2 sets of tickets issued - one set for Johannesburg and another set for the onward flight to Zimbabwe.

The above includes the Netherlands who will not permit hunters with firearms to transit who are ticketed to Zimbabwe .

Canada has also implemented a ban on all firearms going to Zimbabwe, which includes hunting firearms. Go to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada for full details.

The US Travel Advisory states:

  • U.S. citizens who are temporarily carrying firearms and ammunition into Zimbabwe for purposes of hunting, and who cannot qualify for an exemption under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), may need an approved temporary export license (DSP73) from Department of State's Office of Defense Trade Controls.

You will need to clear the firearms in RSA, so will need to complete the RSA firearm import procedure. There will be no interline handling of firearms in this situation.

To speed up your airport firearm import process in Zimbabwe, download Zimbabwe Firearm Permit Application Form Page 1 and Zimbabwe Firearm Permit Application Form Page 2

Print Page 2 on reverse of Page 1 and make triplicate copies

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Burkina Faso Flag Firearm Import Regulations For Burkina Faso

Application for your firearm import permit for Burkina Faso must be made in advance so that it is at the airport on your arrival.

Application will be made by your outfitter on your behalf.

There is a fee of 50 Euros per firearm to obtain an firearm import permit for Burkina Faso.

  • Only 2 firearms per hunter are allowed into Burkina Faso
  • A total maximum of 50 rounds of ammunition is permitted. No more than 100 shotgun cartridges are allowed to be imported.
  • Handguns, semi automatic or military style firearms are prohibited.
Application Documents
  • Copy of passport photograph/details page.
  • Copy of proof of ownership of firearm. US Customs Form 4457 for US hunters or Firearm Licence/Permit for hunters of other nationalities. Both documents must include the firearms you intend bringing into Burkina Faso.

Cameroon Flag Firearm Import Regulations For Cameroon

Application for your firearm import permit for Cameroon must be made in advance so that it is at the airport on your arrival.

Application must be made at the Cameroon Consulate.

There is a consular fee of $553 to obtain a temporary firearm import permit for Cameroon.

The permit must then be sent to your outfitter to obtain your hunting licence.

  • Only 2 firearms per hunter are allowed into Cameroon
  • A maximum of 50 rounds of ammunition per firearm is permitted.
  • Handguns, semi automatic or military style firearms are prohibited.
Application Documents
  • Copy of passport photograph/details page.
  • Copy of proof of ownership of firearm. US Customs Form 4457 for US hunters or Firearm Licence/Permit for hunters of other nationalities. Both documents must include the firearms you intend bringing into Cameroon.

Ethiopia Flag Firearm Import Regulations For Ethiopia

Application for your firearm import permit for Ethiopia must be made in advance so that it is at the airport on your arrival.

There is a fee of US$200 per firearm to obtain an firearm import permit for Ethiopia

  • Only 2 firearms per hunter are allowed into Ethiopia
  • A maximum of 50 rounds of ammunition per firearm is permitted.
  • Handguns, semi automatic or military style firearms are prohibited.
Application Documents
  • Copy of passport photograph/details page.
  • Copy of proof of ownership of firearm. US Customs Form 4457 for US hunters or Firearm Licence/Permit for hunters of other nationalities. Both documents must include the firearms you intend bringing into Ethiopia.

Central African Republic Flag Firearm Regulations For Central African Republic

Application for your firearm import permit for CAR must be made in advance so that it is at the airport on your arrival.

There is a fee of 800 Euros per hunter to obtain both a firearm import permit and hunting licence for CAR.

  • Any number of firearms are allowed into CAR with a calibre of over 6mm, 1 rifle of a calibre below 6mm and 1 shotgun.
  • Any amount of ammunition per firearm is permitted. (This will be restricted by airline regulation)
  • Handguns, semi automatic or military style firearms are prohibited.
Application Documents
  • Copy of passport photograph/details page.
  • Copy of proof of ownership of firearm. US Customs Form 4457 for US hunters or Firearm Licence/Permit for hunters of other nationalities. Both documents must include the firearms you intend bringing into Central African Republic.
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Zambia Flag Firearm Import Regulations For Zambia

Application for your firearm import permit for Zambia must be made in advance so that it is at the airport on your arrival.

There is a fee of US$200 per hunter to obtain firearm import permit.

  • A maximum of 3 firearms per hunter are allowed into Zambia.
  • Any amount of ammunition per firearm is permitted. (This will be restricted by airline regulation)
  • Handguns, semi automatic or military style firearms are prohibited.
Application Documents
  • Copy of passport photograph/details page.
  • Copy of proof of ownership of firearm. US Customs Form 4457 for US hunters or Firearm Licence/Permit for hunters of other nationalities. Both documents must include the firearms you intend bringing into Zambia.

Benin Flag Firearm Import regulations For Benin

Application for your firearm import permit for Benin must be made in advance so that it is at the airport on your arrival.

There is a fee of 800 Euros per hunter to obtain firearm import permit and hunting licence.

  • A maximum of 2 firearms per hunter are allowed into Benin.
  • A maximum amount of 50 rounds of ammunition per firearm is permitted. (This will be restricted by airline regulation)
  • Handguns, semi automatic or military style firearms are prohibited.
Application Documents
  • Copy of passport photograph/details page.
  • Copy of proof of ownership of firearm. US Customs Form 4457 for US hunters or Firearm Licence/Permit for hunters of other nationalities. Both documents must include the firearms you intend bringing into Benin.

Uganda Flag Firearm Import Regulations For Uganda

Application for your firearm import permit for Uganda must be made in advance so that it is at the airport on your arrival.

There is usually a fee charged to obtain the firearm permit.

  • A maximum of 2 firearms per hunter are allowed into Uganda.
  • There is no stipulated maximum amount of ammunition permitted into Uganda, however this will be restricted by airline regulation
  • Handguns, semi-automatic or automatic firearms are prohibited. Silencers are not permitted for hunting.
  • Issuance of the firearm permit is often done in 3 days, but at times can take a week or more.
  • The permit is then e-mailed to the hunter so he may make a copy and carry it with him on arrival in Uganda.
  • On arrival, the firearm(s), ammo and Temporary Import Permit are presented to the Police Officer at the airport, who then issues the Temporary Licence.
  • On departure, the Police Officer completes the firearm exit forms.
Application Documents
  • Copy of passport photograph/details page.
  • Copy of proof of ownership of firearm. US Customs Form 4457 for US hunters or Firearm Licence/Permit for hunters of other nationalities. Both documents must include the firearms you intend bringing into Uganda.

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