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Information for private individuals - Firearms and ammunitions

Published on August 13, 2014
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France has stringent regulations on firearms and ammunition. As a rule, firearms which have no legitimate sporting or recreational use are not permitted entry into France. Under French legislation, weapons and their ammunition fall under eight categories. Firearms and their ammunition are listed under categories I, IV, V, VII and VIII.

Please check the following link: http://www.douane.gouv.fr/articles/...

Categories I and IV (Offensive, Defensive and Competition Firearms):
e.g.:

- machine guns and submachine guns;
- all automatic, semiautomatic and repeating rifles intended for use as military weapons;
- all semiautomatic rifles firing more than 3 shots, repeating rifles firing more than 10 shots and air or gas rifles whose magazines hold more than 5 cartridges;
- practically all handguns (pistols and revolvers), except starter guns and alarm pistols - provided they are not intended to fire bullets or shot;
- the ammunition thereof.

YOU ARE NOT A PERMANENT RESIDENT OF FRANCE AND YOU WISH TO IMPORT DURING YOUR VISIT ARTICLES LISTED UNDER CATEGORIES I AND IV

You may only do so if you are intending to take part in a sporting event organized under the auspices of a member of a licensed Rifle Association. You will have to submit to Customs at the port of entry the official invitation to take part in the event, specifying the dates, venue, types of weapons to be used, etc.

The amount of ammunition allowed into the country varies according to the category of firearms involved. Check prior to departure with the Association responsible for the organization of the sporting event in which you are taking part.

YOU WISH TO IMPORT ON A PERMANENT BASIS ARTICLES LISTED UNDER CATEGORIES I AND IV

You may only do so:

- if you hold - and submit to Customs at the port of entry - a Certificate of Possession ("autorisation de détention") issued by the local "Préfecture" in France;

- if you hold - and submit to Customs at the port of entry - a specific Import Permit ("autorisation d’importation de matériels de guerre - armes et munitions"). In order to obtain it, you should file Form CERFA n° 11192*01 in five copies with:

Direction générale des douanes et droits indirects
Section des matériels de guerre, des armes et munitions et des biens à double usage - Bureau E/2
5-11 rue des deux Communes
93558 Montreuil Cedex
France
Tel: 011-331-57-53-46-80
Fax: 011-331-57-53-45-85

The Form is available in all Customs ports of entry as well as in Customs Infocenters such as:

Centre de renseignement des douanes
Direction générale des douanes et droits indirects
5-11 rue des deux communes
93558 Montreuil
France
Fax: 011-331.57.53.49.37

Customs duties will have to be paid (at a rate of 4.5% to 5.7% according to the type of firearms or ammunition), as well as VAT (at a uniform rate of 19.6%). But if the articles are worth less than 1,200 F, you may qualify for a personal exemption Travelers’Allowances. And, if they have been available for your use for at least 6 months before they are cleared in Customs and provided they are itemized in the list of goods imported into France as part of your moving Settling in France, you may import them free of duty and tax.

Category V (Hunting Firearms):
i.e.:
- shotguns (single shot) such as12-, 16- and 20-gauge;
- centerfire hunting rifles (provided they are not included in categories I or IV);
- weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels more than 48 cm (19 in.) in length or which are more than 80 cm (31-1/2in.) in overall length - provided they are not designed to fire ammunition used in firearms of categories I and IV;
- the ammunition thereof.

YOU ARE NOT A PERMANENT RESIDENT OF FRANCE AND YOU WISH TO IMPORT DURING YOUR VISIT HUNTING ARTICLES FALLING UNDER CATEGORY V

You are allowed to bring into the country two weapons on a temporary basis as well as 100 cartridges for each weapon. No Import Permit is required but the imported firearms and ammunition must be declared orally with Customs at the port of entry.

YOU WISH TO IMPORT ON A PERMANENT BASIS HUNTING ARTICLES INCLUDED IN CATEGORY V

You may only do so if you hold - and submit to Customs at the port of entry - the Import Permit mentioned above ("autorisation d’importation de matériels de guerre - armes et munitions"). Applications should be filed on Form CERFA n° 11192*01, completed in 5 copies and mailed to the French Customs & Excise Service, Office of the Common Agricultural Policy and of the Commercial Policy, Division of War Implements, Arms & Amunition, and Dual Use Items (refer to the above paragraph).

Customs duties and VAT will have to be paid, unless you qualify for a personal traveler’s exemptionor you brinng the weapons into France as part of your moving and are eligible for an exemption of duties and tax (refer also to the above paragraph).

Possession of centerfire hunting rifles and hunting combination guns falling into Category V must be registered with the local "Préfecture" in France.

Category VI (cold steel)
i.e.:
- bayonet, saber-bayonet, dagger, dagger-bayonet
- bludgeon
- cross bow
- Ninja stars
- lachrymal aerosol

YOU WISH TO IMPORT ON A PERMANENT BASIS OR DURING YOUR VISIT COLD STEEL ARTICLES INCLUDED IN CATEGORY VI

You may only do so if you hold - and submit to Customs at the port of entry - the Import Permit mentioned above ("autorisation d’importation de matériels de guerre - armes et munitions"). Applications should be filed on Form CERFA n° 11192*01, completed in 5 copies and mailed to the French Customs & Excise Service, Office of the Common Agricultural Policy and of the Commercial Policy, Division of War Implements, Arms & Amunition, and Dual Use Items (refer to the above paragraph).

Customs duties and VAT will have to be paid, unless you qualify for a personal traveler’s exemption or you bring the weapons into France as part of your moving and are eligible for an exemption of duties and tax (refer also to the above paragraph).

Category VII (Firearms for Sporting or Recreational purposes)
i.e.:
- rimfire rifles (other than those listed under category IV), such as 22 long rifles;
- air or gas rifles (other than those listed under category IV);>br> - starter guns and alarm pistols (other than those listed under category IV);
- the ammunition thereof.

YOU ARE NOT A PERMANENT RESIDENT OF FRANCE AND YOU WISH TO IMPORT DURING YOUR VISIT ARTICLES LISTED UNDER CATEGORY VII

You may do so. No Import Permit is required. You just have to declare orally the weapons and their ammunition with Customs at the port of entry.

YOU WISH TO IMPORT ON A PERMANENT BASIS ARTICLES LISTED UNDER CATEGORY VII

No Import Permit is required. But you should declare the imported articles with Customs at the port of entry. Customs duties and VAT may be assessed, unless you qualify for a personal traveler’s allowance or unless you bring the articles as part of your moving to France and are eligible for an exemption of duties and tax (refer to previous paragraphs).

Category VIII (Curios, Relics, Replicas and Unserviceable Firearms)
i.e.:

- any firearm of a model designed prior to 1870 (1886 for French Military firearms) and manufactured before 1892;
- any firearm rendered permanently inoperable, and checked by the Testing Center of Saint-Étienne;
- replicas of models designed prior to 1870 and incapable of firing cartridges with a metallic hull or casing.

YOU WISH TO IMPORT TEMPORARILY OR ON A PERMANENT BASIS ARTICLES LISTED UNDER CATEGORY VIII

Curios or Relics:

No Import Permit is required. But the articles should be moved in-bond (and under cover of a "T1" transit declaration) from the port of entry to a Technical Center for examination and evaluation. The Curio and Relic determination will be made by the:

Centre technique des armes et munitions
Carrefour Zéro nord
Route de Guéry
B. P. 172
18015 Bourges Cédex
France

Unserviceable Firearms:

No Import Permit is required. But the articles should be moved in-bond (and under cover of a "T1" transit declaration) from the port of entry to a Technical Center which has sole responsibility in France for rendering firearms permanently inoperable or for making the determination that imported firearms have been rendered unserviceable in conformity with applicable French rules and regulations:

Banc officiel
5, rue de Méons
Z. I. Molina-Nord
B. P. 147
42004 Saint-Étienne Cédex 01
France

Replicas of Antique Firearms:

No Import Permit is required. But the Replica determination will be made by Customs at the port of entry.

As with firearms included in other categories, Customs duties and VAT may be assessed on imported firearms falling under category VIII, unless you qualify for a personal traveler’s allowance or unless you bring the articles as part of your moving house to France and you are eligible for an exemption of duties and tax (refer to the previous paragraphs).

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