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SomeBlokeWithNoMoney

Question about travel with an RIF

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so iv got a friend that wants to come to the uk and play some airsoft but lives in Swedan and i was wondering what is the deal with declaring weapons and stuff for travel in and out of the uk?

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Travelling by car/plane/boat? All he would need is a valid defence, but considering he's from Sweden I doubt he has a UKARA. 

 

Would he be able to get confirmation from the site he is intending to play at that he is  an airsofters coming over to play at their site on X date? Not sure if this would count as a defence, but hopefully one of those who have done it before can help confirm this!

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I would honestly contact customs in writing to clarify this. The VCRA defence applies to the sale, manufacture or - in this case - import. If he signs up as a member of the site - or perhaps asks to be a "visiting member" if he's not going to come for several games (some sites have similar rules to UKARA in that you play 3 games over 2 months etc etc). Proof of this, along with documentation outlining the VCRA act and the specific defence that he then falls into, should be sufficient for customs. I would however also check the rules for Sweden for getting back again :P

 

I think he should get in touch with customs to make sure he has his communication with them in writing - I would construct it to first enquire about the VCRA Act in relation to imports (and thus get them to confirm that the airsoft gun falls under that category), THEN enquire about the "member of a registered insured airsoft/skirmishing body" (and thus get them to confirm that he's eligible for the defence), and then when it's clear, print all that out and make sure he has it with the gun case.

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17 hours ago, AshOnSnow said:

I would however also check the rules for Sweden for getting back again :P

 

Mmm, I recall a $CELEBRITY_AIRSOFTER saying that British Airways had no problem flying his guns from Austria to the USA, but then point-blank refused to fly them back again on the return leg.

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(I honestly think the best thing is to just borrow a gun over here rather than faff about with customs)

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If they have their return flight/boat/car booked with the same amount of bags ie they are bringing their kit over, staying for a game or two over a few days and then going home with the same kit they are technically not importing it. What you will need to do it get an invitation from the sites he wishes to play at on headed paper, have a ticket of the events, etc to prove that they is coming for a specific event/game days and then going back they should be fine.

 

This was the way a lot of my mates brought their gear over from Ireland when going to any big events here in the UK...all without UKARA memberships. If you are bringing it back, you are not importing it, plus you can own an RIF with UKARA, you just can't buy, import or sell them.

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Sounds reasonable.  Can you confirm that they were actually searched/declared their RIFs and that Border Farce cheerfully waved them through?

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5 hours ago, BernieMac said:

If they have their return flight/boat/car booked with the same amount of bags ie they are bringing their kit over, staying for a game or two over a few days and then going home with the same kit they are technically not importing it.

......

5 hours ago, BernieMac said:

 

If you are bringing it back, you are not importing it, plus you can own an RIF with UKARA, you just can't buy, import or sell them.

That technicality counts for import duty/import vat etc

It still needs to be legal in the UK

The 'bring in & return' part may cover a technicality on the VCRA import.

As UKARA isn't part of the legislation then information on the site or sites being visited might cover enough for bringing RIFs for skirmishing in proper venues with public liability insurance etc 

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3 hours ago, Rogerborg said:

Sounds reasonable.  Can you confirm that they were actually searched/declared their RIFs and that Border Farce cheerfully waved them through?

Even if not declared at the border or searched by border force/customs they will have been seen behind the scenes

 

Always ensure that it's within airline policy to carry and packed appropriately, and ideally declared or at least confirmed as to whether it is anything of interest

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20 minutes ago, Tommikka said:

......

That technicality counts for import duty/import vat etc

It still needs to be legal in the UK

The 'bring in & return' part may cover a technicality on the VCRA import.

As UKARA isn't part of the legislation then information on the site or sites being visited might cover enough for bringing RIFs for skirmishing in proper venues with public liability insurance etc 

 

Fair enough point, I am only going off of what others have done in the past. Most people I know would generally get the ferry over which is easier to bring that sort of kit over in.

 

Its a little old but this is the reference/guide anyone I know who has done it would have used:

 

http://www.irishairsoft.ie/useful-links/playing-abroad/

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I have flown Europe - UK many times with RIFs. Never had any problems, but i am UKARA registered. I do travel with the Easyjet rules and VCRA bill printed out. I have had to show this to check-in staff sometimes to persuade them its kosher, and i usually go through red lane and declare the RIFs to customs. The worst thats happened is a 10min wait while they check what i've shown them is correct.

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