Abady Law Firm, P.C. – Customs and Import/Export Attorney Blog

Learn the Basics of Customs and International Trade Policy and Procedure

Archive for March, 2015

Hunters Traveling With Firearms and New Requirements by CBP

We have received inquiries regarding changes to the enforcement procedures for individuals traveling abroad with their firearms. Previously, if an individual was traveling with not more than three non-automatic firearms and not more than 1,000 cartridges of ammunition (provided this is for the person’s exclusive use and not for re-export or other transfer of ownership), the individual would complete U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP” or “Customs”) Form 4457 and present it to Customs.  Now there have been changes in CBP enforcement procedures for such articles which have targeted those who use firearms for hunting trips or sporting events.

CBP is responsible for the enforcement of Department of Commerce and Department of State regulations when it comes to the export of certain controlled items. Specifically, the export regulations for handguns, rifles, associated parts and components, and related ammunition are found in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) administered by the Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC).  Additionally, the export regulations for sporting shotguns (barrel length of 18 inches or more), muzzle loading firearms, associated parts and components, and related ammunition are found in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) administered by the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).

All persons who travel from the United States to a foreign country with firearms and/or ammunition must comply with all applicable laws and regulations governing the lawful exportation of these controlled items. This includes understanding whether or not you are required to obtain a license prior to permanent or temporary export.  Thus, one should contact an attorney experienced in handling such matters to determine what type of license or license exemption you fall under.

I determined the type of license or license exemption I require, now what? 

Per U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Website (https://www.ice.gov/cpi/faq):

Before exporting any firearms and/or ammunition with a valid DDTC or BIS export license or a qualifying license exemption, the traveler, or an agent acting on the traveler’s behalf, must file the Electronic Export Information (EEI) using the Automated Export System (AES) or the Internet-based system AESDirect which is publicly available and free of charge. In addition to filing the EEI in AES or AESDirect prior to export, all firearms, ammunition and additional mandatory documentation (e.g., certifications, foreign import permits, proof of AES filing; such as the Internal Transaction Number) must be presented to [Customs] authorities for visual inspection at the port of departure from the United States.

If you failed to file an EEI you can read about the consequences here.

UPDATE: “U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced today [April 27, 2015] that it is returning to its previous system of facilitating the international transport of personal firearms and ammunition, after meeting with representatives from the NRA, firearms industry and sportsmen’s groups, and key members of Congress.” Read more: http://www.ammoland.com/2015/04/nra-scores-important-victory-for-american-hunters-and-sport-shooters/#ixzz3YYQJnDcN

For more information about this blog post, please contact Abady Law Firm, P.C. and speak with our customs lawyer at (800) 549-5099. Also visit www.customsesq.com to chat with a customs lawyer — who has insight into the federal agency export requirements — about your company’s export situation and to schedule a consultation.  To chat with us, click the bottom right corner tab of our homepage.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Export Issues and Enforcement

We are seeing many Automated Export System (“AES”) violations as of late, especially with FedEx, DHL, and UPS shipments. As a result, please find information below regarding the export regulations and enforcement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”). 

What is the Automated Export System?

CBP published the Trade Act regulations in the Federal Register on December 5, 2003. The rule requires advance transmission of electronic cargo information to CBP for both arriving and departing cargo. In the Federal Register notice, CBP identified the AES  as the system for transmission of advance electronic export data for all modes of transportation.

On June 2, 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau published amendments to Title 15, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 30, Foreign Trade Regulations, mandating the filing of export information by the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (“USPPI”) or its authorized agent through the AES or AESDirect for all shipments where a Shipper’s Export Declaration (“SED”) was previously required.  SED information filed to AES became known as Electronic Export Information (“EEI”).

When do you need to prepare the EEI formerly SED to be filed with CBP?

  • Shipment of merchandise under the same Schedule B commodity number is valued at more than US$2,500 and is sent from the same exporter to the same recipient on the same day. (Note: Shipments to Canada from the U.S. are exempt from this requirement.)
  • The shipment contains merchandise, regardless of value, that requires an export license or permit.
  • The merchandise is subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, regardless of value.
  • The shipment, regardless of value, is being sent to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria.
  • The shipment contains rough diamonds, regardless of value (HTS 7102.10, 7102.21 and 7102.31)

What happens if you fail to file the EEI or file the EEI late?

The absence or late filing of the Electronic Export Information in the Automated Export System (AES) or late filing of AES commodity data subjects the shipment to seizure.

If my goods get seized by U.S. Customs for an AES violation what do I do?

Read the following blog post for details about the U.S. Customs seizure process here and contact a professional experienced in such matters.

Additionally, look for the following language in your Notice of Seizure and Information to Claimants Non-CAFRA Form that would indicate an alleged AES violation:

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Resource Information

For more information about this blog post, please contact Abady Law Firm, P.C. and speak with our customs lawyer at (800) 549-5099. Also visit www.customsesq.com to chat with a customs lawyer — who has insight into the Notice of Seizure — about your company’s export situation and to schedule a consultation.  To chat with us, click the bottom right corner tab of our homepage.