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Overseas Travel and Visitor Information

This page contains information relating to overseas travel with guns and information for visitors from outside the UK that wish to shoot here.

Map of UK with Staffs whiteFind out more about visiting other countries with licensed weapons or receiving visitors with their licensed weapons from the sections below:

Taking Licensed Weapons Abroad - European Union 

If you hold a shotgun or firearms certificate and you wish to take your weapons abroad within the European Union, you will need a European Firearms Permit (EFP). The EFP is issued free of charge, upon written application to your local firearms licensing unit where you will need to specify what weapons you will be taking with you. An EFP cannot have an expiry date later than the expiry date on the firearms or shotgun certificate on which the weapons are held. Before taking your weapons abroad, seek advice from the embassy or consulate of that country. Even within the European Union other documents may be required in addition to the permit. All weapons must be declared to customs and to the travel company carrying you, whether by land, sea or air.

GB Residents Visiting Northern Ireland

You must have a Northern Ireland Certificate of Approval. You need to send a full copy of your valid GB firearm certificate with the application - the firearm, shotgun or co-terminous certificate.

In Northern Ireland air guns are also considered firearms. You must include these on your application even though they will not be recorded on your GB certificate.

There is no charge for this documentation. Apply at least 4 weeks before your expected date of arrival. Contact the Police Service of Northern Ireland for further information.

Travelling into South Africa

If you are the holder of a shotgun or firearms certificate and you wish to take your weapons to South Africa, a valid letter of approval from the Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police is also required. The letter is issued free of charge, upon written application to your local firearms licensing unit. You will need to specify what weapons you will be taking with you.

What could going to Syria mean?

The Assad regime now has a law stating that the punishment for illegally entering its territories is a prison sentence of 5 to 10 years. For more information and advice about travelling to Syria click here [2MB] .

Visiting Britain With a Firearm or Shotgun - Visitors Permits

Under Section 17 of the Firearms Act 1968, a visitor to Great Britain may, if granted a visitor's permit, have in their possession firearms, shotguns or ammunition without holding a certificate.

The holder of a visitor's firearms permit may have in their possession (but cannot purchase) any firearm and they may purchase, acquire or have in their possession any ammunition to which Section 1 of the 1968 Act applies.

The holder of a visitor's shotgun permit may have in their possession, purchase or acquire shotguns and is exempt from the requirement to produce a shotgun certificate when purchasing cartridges.

Both permits are valid for up to 12 months and must show the full details of weapons covered and, in the case of a firearms permit, details of the quantity of ammunition to be purchased/acquired and held. Territorial and other such conditions that would appear on a normal firearms certificate, will usually be imposed on a visitors permit. Separate permits for different police force areas are not required as visitors' permits cover the visitor throughout Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales.)

Applications must be made on behalf of the visitor by a person resident in that police force area. In most cases a private sponsor will be a certificate holder, but this is not a requirement. The sponsor may be a private individual or they may make the application in the capacity of a club, shooting syndicate, country estate or shooting organisation. Group applications can be made for parties of between 6 and 20 people provided they are all shooting at the same location and at the same time or are participating in the same event or competition. In such circumstances a reduced fee is payable. Applications should be made at least 6 weeks in advance of the required date to allow the proper enquiries to be made. The information required must be provided by the sponsor to whom all enquiries will be made. Members of EU countries must be in possession of a European Firearms Pass, which must be forwarded with Form 107 - Application for a Visitors Firearm/Shotgun Permit [44KB] .

Purchase of a Firearm in Another Country

If you wish to purchase a firearm in another EU country you require an Article 7 authority. You should write to the Firearms Licensing Unit not less than fifteen working days before the date of your departure requesting it. No photograph is required, nor is there a fee for this service.

If you have further questions please contact us.

Click here to use our Step-by-Step Firearms License Guide