European Firearms (Travelling Guidance)
Please see the page below for guidance on travelling into Europe with your guns. Please bear in mind, the regulations are different for each country, and so for specific guidance please consult the national firearms authority prior to travel.
The paperwork that shooters used to travel with and which is used all over Europe is called an EFP (European Firearms Pass).
The EFP was taken away from UK shooters when Brexit was delivered, so even though some of us still have EFP’s that have not yet run out, you are not allowed to present them.
Please see GOV.uk webpage for a general overview HERE
For International Competitions
- The World Federation holding the championship will provide on their website a Gun Declaration Form GDF (usually termed something like ‘Declaracion de Armas’ or ‘Firearms Import Form’). These forms have to be completed and sent back to the required email address along with a copy of the passport and the shotgun certificate. There will be a deadline date for submitting the form. People who miss the deadline date will not be able to get their shotguns into the country. It is non-negotiable.
- All shooters will need a formal invitation to the competition from the World Federation. Normally these can be a generic form that you download from the championship page, or you will be sent an individual one with your name on it, depending on the Federation holding the event.
- Some Federations will process your GDF and email a formal permit to you, from the police, and received before you travel (like Portugal). Other Federations will have your permits at the airport police customs (like Spain). It is important to know which process is being used when you enter the competition. If you have been sent a permit you will have to present it to the police at the airport customs. No excuses for not having the permit will be accepted. It is a good idea to have the important paperwork in both hard copy and saved to the phone. (Phone can run out of battery and paperwork can be forgotten so keep it in 2 places).
- It is happening more and more now, that the airport customs in the country you are flying to ask for proof of your 3rd party liability insurance, so all those travelling should go on their CPSA dashboards and print off their name specific insurance certificate and membership card. The generic insurance document will not suffice.
- Anything can happen when you are travelling abroad with guns that can make a perfect storm. You could be stopped by police at a championship or whilst travelling to a hotel etc. You may be asked for your paperwork, which might be in your hotel safe. It is a good idea to have in your phone the following pictures:
- One clear picture of the outside of your gun case, and one of your gun inside the gun case, in case it gets lost and you need to show proof to airport, or police who are searching for it etc .
- A picture of your shotgun certificate, because if it is lost abroad, very few people will remember the things like certificate number, gun number or expiry dates, which might be needed to solve a problem.
- A picture of your permit from the country that allows you to travel inside the country with a gun.
- A picture of your liability insurance.
Business / Personal Trips
When travelling for hunting trips or visiting manufacturers, to have gun repairs or to be fitted for new stocks etc. The people arranging the trip will advise you regarding the gun declaration form as these will be private trips to the country and not as part of an international competition.
Points 2, 3, 4 and 5 above will still apply but when reading the above just substitute ‘World Federation’ with name of the company arranging a hunting trip, or the name of the manufacturer that you are travelling to see for a new stock, gun repair etc .
Some countries outside of Europe may require special visa requirements to enter their country. The Federation or your Hunting Agent should advise you when they are needed.
If you are just going on holiday and wanting to go shooting at a clay range in the country you are visiting, please seek guidance from the local firearms authority of that country, as the requirements differ throughout Europe.
Also be aware that Europe will start requiring a visa type form from 2024. It is called ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System). It will be an online system and the visa should be dealt with by email return. Payment probably around £6, we are still waiting for confirmation when they launch. (It was supposed to be May 2023 but is now delayed until 2024 (if their systems are ready by then).
If you are planning to stay longer than 90 days in a 180 day period then you will need a formal visa, applied for through the Embassy of the country you are going to, and 3 months in advance.
With the ETIAS, people should be warned that a lot of online fake companies have started appearing online already, so shooters should only go to the official site