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Neilj62

Advice On Buying A Rifle In Europe

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I am after some advice from anyone who has experience of buying a rifle in Mainland Europe and 'importing' it into the UK.

 

I am in the market for a new barrel and action, and seriously considering going out to the maker in Europe, purchasing it direct, and then bringing it home with me (I have 'authority to purchase' on my FAC) but have no idea of what hoops I would have to jump through when I get back to the UK. I am quite au-fait with the process for taking a rifle out of the UK and then returning with it, but I assume that travelling out with no rifle and returning with one will pose a different set of issues😊

 

So if anyone has done this any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated

 

Thanks😊

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I don't know the details, but when you say mainland Europe be aware that the answer if it is a Swiss rifle is likely to be very different to one from the EU. You require an import license to bring in firearms from outwith the EU.

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As far as I am aware:

 

You have to apply for an import licence from UK Customs (as Mac said) and the seller would have to have an Export Licence from the authority that they are controlled by.

 

You'll also need to have it added to your UK FAC for when you arrive back or you won't get very far!!

 

Oh and then when you arrive back be ready with your cheque book to pay the VAT as customs will more than likely ask for that, you'll have to have the bill of sale/invoice so they can calculate the amount.

 

Double check this but I'm pretty sure that its right..

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Not all rifles from Switzerland come proofed, so depending on manufacturer that may be an extra step and cost that has to be included.

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Mac,

 

only if the rifle will subsequently be sold. I believe that personal imports are not required to be proofed before entry.

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Mac,

 

only if the rifle will subsequently be sold. I believe that personal imports are not required to be proofed before entry.

 

OK, I normally only deal with these things from the commercial side, hadn't appreciated that personal imports were different. That's daft!

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An interesting point Tim, which as Mac says is daft! I assume that it would be foolish (if not illegal) to use it in the UK if it hasn't been proofed though?

 

This is turning into a very interesting exchange I'd have to say

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It is odd, but I think there is a logic behind it. The law states that firearms sold in Britain must be proofed before sale, so if a firearm is bought abroad and not subsequently resold in Britain no proof is needed. Proof is after all consumer protection. I think it's largely moot as many European countries have their own proof requirements, and have signed up to the CIP.

 

As for whether proof is actually needed, it's a bit mediaeval; the proof house fire over-loaded cartridges, and stamp the barrel to show it didn't blow up, and is probably won't blow up during normal use.

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Probably, although I have a niggling memory that a different mark is made. But then I can't see many newly made smallbore rifles failing; I think it's more of a problem with shotguns as the barrels are so much thinner.

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OK, I normally only deal with these things from the commercial side, hadn't appreciated that personal imports were different. That's daft!

 

Illogical it may be, but that's the way it is. If you had a barrel re-chambered (physical alteration to a pressure bearing component) or fitted a new barrel you would not have to have the barrel re-proofed unless you sold it. However it's no more illogical than the Proof House proposal a few years ago that all barrels should undergo periodic re-proof. I cannot see the point in carrying out a potentially destructive test when there are now a number of non-destructive alternatives available that would only involve a standard load.

 

As TimS noted, with CIP one does wonder why we need to continue with national testing.

 

Rutty

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Rutty,

 

I'm not sure that is quite true. If you re-chambered the barrel yourself you would not need to reproof, but I believe an RFD would reproof after re-chambering, unless his work did not remove the original proof marks, and certainly would if fitting a new barrel (unless ready proofed).

 

As for the CIP, they do not test, but merely provide the standards for national proof houses.

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but I believe an RFD would reproof after re-chambering

 

Tim that was from personal experience. When I collected the barrel I signed a declaration that I was aware that it required to be offered for proof should i subsequently decide to sell or dispose of it for other than scrap. As it was I took it to the Birmingham Proof House myself; as you could in those days; because it was more convenient than sending it there. However you are probably correct in that most gunsmiths would have it re-proofed to be on the safe side and ensure that they had discharged; and exceeded; their duty of care.

 

Rutty

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If you buying from an EEC country there is no VAT or Excise to pay its paid in that country & is not chargeable again here.

 

Info on importing & NB this ONLY applies to the licenceable parts (barrel, chamber, bolt, action & not furniture, sights, cases, magazines etc)

 

The cost of many Anschutz parts in EEC is the same as in GB but in Euros so at todays exchange rate you save about 25%

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/386164/Notice-to-importers-2864-import-licensing-arrangements-firearms-and-ammunition-2015.pdf

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