What U.S. Hunters need to know before taking that International Hunting Trip of a lifetime! This knowledge could save your gear from confiscation or costly import duty.
The last thing anyone who travels internationally to hunt, including Canada and Mexico, is more delays or problems at the airport. If you book your hunting trip direct with the foreign outfitter, you are usually on your own to find out what paperwork is needed for TSA, The Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection, Foreign Customs, etc. When you book your trip thru a professional hunting consultant they will supply you with all of the forms and instructions on how to fill them out.
One of the most important forms the International Hunter will need is the US Customs and Border Control Form 4457. This is a small form (5.5”x4.24”) is proof that the equipment listed on the form was purchased and owned in the United States. The significance of this document is to keep U.S. Customs and Border Protection from thinking you may have bought the items abroad and thus charging you U.S. Duty (Tax) upon reentry into the United States. If you are a hunter and will be carrying a firearm(s), the form will also tell the US Customs and Border Patrol agent that the firearms listed on the From 4457 have been checked thru the U.S. Stolen Firearms database and the firearm is in a “legal” status.
What information goes on a US Customs and Border Control Form 4457?
You will want to put all items of value on your US Customs and Border Control Form 4457. Most important are items with serial numbers. Most international hunting travelers will list their firearms, scopes, rangefinders, binoculars, spotting scopes, etc. Also consider listing any electronic equipment such as laptop computers, iPods, etc. If you are traveling with expensive jewelry or watches, they should be listed as well.
Other information on the US Customs and Border Control Form 4457 is your full name, address, port, date of issuance, your signature and the signature of the U.S. Customs Agent. Remember, your 4457 isn’t valid until you sign it. Make several copies of this form and carry the original with your passport. It’s a good idea to keep a copy in your gun case. Always keep a copy of your passport in your gun case should you lose your original.
How do I get a US Customs and Border Control Form 4457 filled out?
There are two ways to get your US Customs Form 4457 filled out. The first way is to locate a US Customs Officer. You can usually find their office at any International Airport. Some larger cities will have an office downtown you can go to. You will need to make an appointment and physically take all of your articles to the airport or US Customs office so the officer and log them into the form.
The second way is to complete this online which will save you time, hassle and gas money. You can fill out the online form on the Global Sporting Safaris site by clicking here. The form content goes to the US Customs and Border Protection office at the Natrona County International Airport in Wyoming. The US Customs officer there will run your firearms thru the U.S. Stolen Firearms database and do a quick background check to make sure you are legally allowed to travel outside the United States. Then your Form 4457 will be mailed directly to you. There is no charge for this service and you will usually get your Form 4457 in 7 days or less.
When you receive it, sign the form immediately and make your copies. This is one of several steps you can do to reduce stress and potential financial loss on your next International Hunting trip. Your US Form 4457 is good for life. Keep it in a safe place.
About Global Sporting Safaris
Global Sporting Safaris, Inc. is a Full-Service Hunting Booking Agency established in 1991. We have a staff of 7 Hunting Consultants and Fishing Travel Agents with a combined 175 years of experience. We hold Integrity, Ethics and Honesty in high regard and deal with each client in a one on one basis.