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Transporting disassembled RIF split via airport luggage and parcels - yay or nay?

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There seem to be a lot of threads about importing RIFs without UKARA but I don't seem to be able to find answer to this very specific question. I just wanted to ask whether anyone tried it and if it is viable option.

 

I live in UK for several years now and only recently my living schedule (work, uni, car etc.) allows me to get back into airsoft (as it stands I don't have UKARA yet simply due to time it requires to get it as my first game in the UK was played last week on a rental which is a bit pricey when you add it up multiple times...). Back in my parents house in another EU country I own several RIFs and was wondering if I could just disassemble them and bring piece by piece over? I'm gonna be flying back to visit them in November so I thought I could pack some parts in my on-board luggage (gearbox, and some other bits), mail other parts to myself (stock, hand guard, etc.) and reassemble them here and just take to events no problem - I came to such conclusion after reading about VCRA and UKARA FAQ that I don't need UKARA to purchase or otherwise import RIF parts, just can't do entire RIFs. Is that right? Am I missing something here? Is there any specific AEG part that would prove problematic?

 

I was considering plasti-dipping it but I'm a bit afraid that it may be problematic to come off cleanly and/or damage my rather expensive replicas (RealSword among the others). And before you ask why not just waiting 3 months for UKARA - I suppose I could... but I would also like to play NOW and not spend equivalent of a new replica in the process for rental costs or wasting money on two tone I won't be able to easily get rid off later on...

 

Anyone experienced on the subject?

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I don’t see why you can’t import the parts BUT technically you’re commiting the offence of manufacturing a RIF if you put them together.

 

Chances of getting caught? Seriously low

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If anyone does know, they've been keeping quiet on it.

 

My purely personal view is that you'd have to be very unlucky to have components or even an assembled RIF spotted on its way in to the UK, let alone stopped, unless you go out of your way to label the package as such.

 

However, what I'd never do is try and take a metal gearbox sprouting wires into flight luggage.  Nobody needs that kind of hassle. Heck, I was once grilled about a couple of soapstone rocks that I had in a backpack, and that was before The Terrorists had failed to change our way of life (now step into the perv-scanner, sir).

 

The lowest risk solution I can think of it to ask if anyone at the local site is prepared to take delivery for you, using their UKARA number.  Crazy thought, have you asked the site owner if they'd be prepared to accept it for you?  They can't all be grumpy old gits... ;)

 

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If it were me i'd just split it in half (top receiver/ lower) and just post it a few days apart in separate packages

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This is an interesting topic, oddly enough I had recently written down my opinion on importing RIFs into the country where skirmishers have originally skirmished in a different country, obviously this is a bit different considering the gap in time between when you skirmished in your previous country and today.

 

I have a mixed opinion, especially given the time gap. Anyhow, here are two possible routes I've thought up.

 

  1. Play the three games as a hire/guest, be put on the UKARA register, then fly back to your previous country and retrieve your RIFs.
  2. Play one game as a hire/guest, then fly back to your previous country and retrieve your RIFs - along with proof of prior ownership. You will not be registered with UKARA, but you will at the very least be legally entitled to retrieve your RIFs (and show proof of it), by the letter of the law.

 

As long as you have informed your chosen airline of your intentions (they will deal with the arrangements), and as long as you have made sure that they are below the respective limits for FPS (1.3J/2.5J except for 1J for NI) - and follow the instructions given by your airline/security, you should not encounter any issues.

 

You could split it down for parts and import it - but I personally would still declare this before you fly, if only for the convenience of X-ray folk not being scared of gun shaped things in the bag.

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By breaking it down and importing in different packages you are evading the customs process.

It may go unnoticed or it gets noticed and a pattern emerges as different parts arrive

 

If your Import is legitimate then it is legitimate in one piece.

 

UKARA is not the legal requirement, it’s just one scheme to show that you are a ‘skirmisher’ who plays in valid insured sites. 

 

When someone buys from overseas a RIF (or even just a package from Asia) flags up.

The buyer may have arranged for their UKARA details to be on the package. If we ignore any import VAT/duty then it clears customs for VCRA purposes and is released, if no details are listed on the package then the handling agent sends a quick questionaire asking if there is a RIF in the box and if there is a VCRA defence

 

In your case there should be no import vat/duty as you already owned it overseas (but that doesn’t 100% guarantee there won’t be import vat/duty due on preowned goods

Your VCRA Defence is that you already are a skirmisher overseas and are moving here with the intent to continue to play - at legitimate sites

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 Next time your home why not just break them down , put the none electrical parts aside to bring home in your luggage , package up the gearboxes/receivers and all the others ‘gun looking parts’ and get your parents to send them too you periodically ? Your an EU citizen as are your parents (not a retailer) there sending them to there son who’s in the UK which is still (just about) in the EU so I can’t really see a big problem my self .

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We have a new guy who just joined our team (which contains 5 airsofters) at work recently and he's from Poland, when he found out that some of us played airsoft he was asking how he could retrieve his several guns from back home and bring them over the to the UK as he has no defence (UKARA), he used to be an avid almost weekly airsofter back in Poland where apparently its a massive sport.

 

Now we all work in a certain category of Law and it all got us thinking, obviously the easiest and least intrusive route would be to play with some rentals and get UKARA but like OP, he wants to play with HIS guns NOW.

We considered that ownership of a RIF is not an offence nor does it require a UKARA so he could just drive home, pack them up and drive back but you all know what customs are like and how difficult they can be be especially in this day of terrorism.

 

The other option we thought would be that he uses one of us (who has UKARA) as his legitimate receiver and he posts the RIFs from his home in Poland to us, ensuring that the power of the gun is at or below legal limits, we receive the RIF and hand it back over to him. In reality there is no change of ownership and he goes to play.

 

He has accepted that this is a viable option, I have informed him to send only 1 RIF as a test before sending the rest over, maybe not as one big bulk and when he gets UKARA he can send the rest to himself or just drive home and bring them in.

 

I would be interested in hearing the rest of the forums thoughts?

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15 minutes ago, Shizbazki said:

We have a new guy who just joined our team (which contains 5 airsofters) at work recently and he's from Poland, when he found out that some of us played airsoft he was asking how he could retrieve his several guns from back home and bring them over the to the UK as he has no defence (UKARA), he used to be an avid almost weekly airsofter back in Poland where apparently its a massive sport.

 

Now we all work in a certain category of Law and it all got us thinking, obviously the easiest and least intrusive route would be to play with some rentals and get UKARA but like OP, he wants to play with HIS guns NOW.

We considered that ownership of a RIF is not an offence nor does it require a UKARA so he could just drive home, pack them up and drive back but you all know what customs are like and how difficult they can be be especially in this day of terrorism.

 

The other option we thought would be that he uses one of us (who has UKARA) as his legitimate receiver and he posts the RIFs from his home in Poland to us, ensuring that the power of the gun is at or below legal limits, we receive the RIF and hand it back over to him. In reality there is no change of ownership and he goes to play.

 

He has accepted that this is a viable option, I have informed him to send only 1 RIF as a test before sending the rest over, maybe not as one big bulk and when he gets UKARA he can send the rest to himself or just drive home and bring them in.

 

I would be interested in hearing the rest of the forums thoughts?

 

Ownership is not an offence, importing is.  You're loopholing it but the whole setup is a joke anyway!   If he's going to use them to play then per the writing of the 'permitted activities' defence he's good to go. 

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So how did this story ended up? I am in the same situation now.

To split them apart? 

As I was reading about your laws, etc. for me looks all legal if I bring my toys to UK

I play since 2005 so what defences do I need?

Importing by definition means bringing (goods or services) into a country from abroad for sale.

I don't sell them, are mine already!

 

 

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37 minutes ago, andrey said:

So how did this story ended up? I am in the same situation now.

To split them apart? 

As I was reading about your laws, etc. for me looks all legal if I bring my toys to UK

I play since 2005 so what defences do I need?

Importing by definition means bringing (goods or services) into a country from abroad for sale.

I don't sell them, are mine already!

 

 

“Import” isn’t just on a commercial basis, by bringing them here you will be importing them 

But they will be fine to bring as long as the power is UK legal

 

You should not need to split them up, and if you do then it will look a bit suspicious 

 

As an existing player you could have some photos etc, and the details of any sites near your destination.

You do not have to have UKARA but if you are able to arrange some games then have your guns sent then that’s fully covered

You could have a go at contacting the UKBA/Border Agency to let them know you are an airsofter and intend to bring your existing equipment and to play here, see what they say and bring copies of correspondence when you arrive 

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