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Cpt. Alex

Need advice bringing RIFs in the UK

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Hello everyone,

I'm fairly new to this forum, in fact i registered today so please be gentle.
So i have a problem. In my country, we do not have restrictions regarding how an airsoft gun looks, i.e. no orange tips, no bright paint, and neither is any license or defense required. So all my current gear is in military colors, black and OD green. That being said, my problem is that this year I will be moving to England with my family, and I'd like to bring my guns with me. I have read and am familiar with UK airsoft law, and I understand that I have to have a UKARA license or similar defense in order to own guns in military colours. Obviously I do not have that, since I've been airsofting outside the UK and I'm really not keen on painting my RIFs. I spoke to some people who have traveled with airsoft guns, and I have made all the preparations they advised: I have a hard shell gun case, i have disassembled to an extent my replicas and I have even put a piece of red tape on the barrels just in case. The main question is, am I allowed to bring my RIFs to the UK, considering I do not have a defense, or should I leave them until I get one? Also in the event I can bring them, would I be allowed to play with them in order to earn a defense, or not?

 

Thank you in advance for your answers.

 

Cheers

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First off, welcome!

 

Once you have the RIFs in the UK you don't need a defence to own or use them. The issue will be importing them in the first place.

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Not a license. It's a defence.

Welcome,

 

To bring your RIFs into the UK you need defence. That means proof that you are an airsofter. If you have a game booked or a club/site membership in your country with some paperwork, that is defence. How happy customs is to accept that defence is up to them. Heck, even photos of you playing airsoft is defence.

UKARA membership is just the most recognised one of the defences.

 

However, the VCRA only applies to RIFs in this case. It doesn't say anything about RIF parts. You can disassemble the guns and bring them in. However you are not allowed to reassemble them until you have defence. Someone with a defence can reassemble them (manufacturing a RIF) and gift them to you. Ok, it's not the nicest way to do it but this is allowed by the law.

 

Or do what I did. I got a spare stock and foregrip for my main gun, painted them bright green thus it was an IF I didn't need a defence to import. I played my 3 games with it, got UKARA number and imported the rest of my stuff.

 

Orange tip is US, that won't help here. Guns must me 51% bright painted if you want to import them without defence (and you are over 18).

 

One more thing: if you are flying, check what they allow. Of course RIF parts aren't allowed in hand baggage but usually allowed in the checked in baggage.

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I would contact the UK Border force by e-mail and ask them what they need. Give them as much info as you can, including mode of travel, vehicle details and port of arrival. Add too the address you lived in abroad, any Airsoft membership details from abroad that can be verified. Also include where you are moving too and evidence of your date of birth.

 

Keep all emails.

 

If they say they are happy keep the e-mail and produce it to the Border Agency when you arrive.

 

I would also be inclined to go through the items to declare channel if you are driving. Saves any hassle if they do a random check on you. It will be hard to get the search team off the roof if they find what they think are weapons in the car before you say anything. Could be messy.

 

If flying be directed by Border Agency. Don't turn up unannounced to the Airport with RIFs in your baggage. That would be a bad day at work for a number of people.

 

 

CBH

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Do it before brexit (if it happens).


As I've heard customs pretty much wont accept anything but a valid UKARA number.


Best bet is to spray it.

 

 

finally, welcome! :)

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Thank you for all the advice.

To Samurai: Sadly, airsoft is fairly new to my country and we don't have any specific rules. We don'd have paperwork, site subscriptions or anything like that. Basically you just go and play, as long as it's not in public view. We do have a small community that manages games and events, but it's not a certified company. As for means of travel, I will be flying and i have indeed checked what i need to do in order to transport my replicas, i.e. store them in a hard shell case and put them with the main baggage, as well as declare upon departure and arrival.

 

To comicbook hero: This could be useful, I will contact the UK border agency and ask them about the procedure. But like I said, there are no sites that offer membership in my country, so I have no way of proving that I am an airsofter, except for some old photos and my former team's identification dog tags.

To two_zero: Sadly, Brexit happens today, if I am not mistaken. I will be arriving in August.

Again, thank you all for your advice

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Thank you for all the advice.

 

To Samurai: Sadly, airsoft is fairly new to my country and we don't have any specific rules. We don'd have paperwork, site subscriptions or anything like that. Basically you just go and play, as long as it's not in public view. We do have a small community that manages games and events, but it's not a certified company. As for means of travel, I will be flying and i have indeed checked what i need to do in order to transport my replicas, i.e. store them in a hard shell case and put them with the main baggage, as well as declare upon departure and arrival.

 

To comicbook hero: This could be useful, I will contact the UK border agency and ask them about the procedure. But like I said, there are no sites that offer membership in my country, so I have no way of proving that I am an airsofter, except for some old photos and my former team's identification dog tags.

 

To two_zero: Sadly, Brexit happens today, if I am not mistaken. I will be arriving in August.

 

Again, thank you all for your advice

 

 

Do you have any trusted family or friends in that country which could hold the guns? And ship them after about 4 months or less once you have a UKARA number? All your kit, including magazines will be fine to bring in, obviously depressurise gas magazines if flying.

 

This way is the lowest of effort, though if you can do what samurai suggested, that seems expedient.

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To two_zero: Sadly, Brexit happens today, if I am not mistaken. I will be arriving in August.

yea.. I was just being a jerk, sorry about that! Thou if it happens, the actual leaving would not be today, the process of leaving will probably being some time soon thou.

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Okay, so after asking around and contacting the UK Border agency, I have concluded that the safest way to import my replicas is to paint them. So thank you all once again for the kind advice and I hope to see you on the field.

 

Cheers

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How about sending them there?

What requlations are saying about this?

Let's say I will post the package in my name from me in one country to me in UK? Will I need UKARA? I do not buying anything?

Cheers :)

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Thank you for reply. So I am a player, I have some photos from my games, have my booking come nvirmations etc. Now if I post the replica to myself how, how and when will ask for this defence?

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Thank you for reply. So I am a player, I have some photos from my games, have my booking come nvirmations etc. Now if I post the replica to myself how, how and when will ask for this defence?

 

They will hold the package and use whatever contact information is provided to get in touch with the addressee.

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Thank you for reply. So I am a player, I have some photos from my games, have my booking come nvirmations etc. Now if I post the replica to myself how, how and when will ask for this defence?

 

Border force will seize the parcel and send you a letter, if you don't send them a valid UKARA number within 3 months they'll destroy them.

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Hey Alex,

Welcome!

 

Where are you from? Im in Ireland and have the same scenario as yourself l. I've traveled to the UK, Sweden & Czech Republic with my gear. So I've been through the hoops.

 

Are you bringing it temporarily to play or are you moving to the UK?

 

When travelling here are my steps.

1) Register with your national airsoft body (Irish airsoft association in my case)

2) Your gear must be kept in a hard shell lockable case for travel (when flying but overall its good practice).

3) Notify the site you're going to play at and request an invite to play (headded paper and contact details if possible)

4) Notify your airline and ask for the process(from this point on your wording and refferences need to be exact. Your gun is now "Shooting sports equipment" and your BB's are "small plastic pellets" (ammunition if they ask you is live ammo for real guns and not your BB's)

5) When you go to checkin quietly tell the person at the desk you would like to check in a firearm. (do not for the love of God walk up to the counter and blurt out "I've got a gun") At this point you will usually be collected by someone and brought for a private check-in.

6) remember if you have a RIF expect that some people will be supprised at how realistic it is and have concerns (remember the gun is under 1 joule amd not classed as a firearm) be calm dont get adjitated people dont want to be the person who let in the next terrorist so it can get tedious.

7) while at the airport working with the authorities when your case is open always ask permission to touch the gun or the cases contents.

8) carry extra locks on your carry on. Ive had customs cut my locks off twice to check it and you'll need them for te way back.

9) if your traveling by boat. You must keep the case and contents locked in your car or give it to security to hold during the voltage.

 

Enjoy your trip!

And remember these days security is on alert and people are scared so just be vigilant and don't do anything stupid that can get you into trouble.

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