Overseas Travel

These items are contributed by Match Rifle shooters as information exchange. No responsibility is taken for the accuracy or value of the information contributed.

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Departing From & Returning To Australia
To leave the country you will need a 'Restricted Goods Permit' from Australian Customs Service and also need to complete a B957 Export Declaration Form. The Restricted Goods Permit you can only apply for within 28 days from the date of your departure and sometimes it takes all of this time to be processed - so apply as soon as you get to 28 days before you leave. They will issue an Export Clearance Number for the firearm and ammunition.

For the Export Declaration Form you will need a 'Customer Number'. So if it is the first time you have travelled overseas with Firearms since 2006, you will need to apply  for registration as a customer in the Integrated Cargo System (B319 form on the Australian Customs website) and they will issue you with a CCM number which needs to go on your Export Declaration Form. The issuing of the CCM only takes a couple of days if you are on email.

You will also need a B709A  Importation of Firearms Certificate which is issued by your State Police Department so that you can get your firearm back into the country on your return. Ring or Fax the Firearms Registration of your State Police force with the details of the firearm. Forms generally take ~ 1 week to be processed.

At your airport of departure you need to take your firearm and all your paperwork, including your Firearms Registration Certificate, Australian Shooters Licence and Passport, to the Airport Police station (usually  located in the International terminal) prior to checking in with your airline. The Police will check that you have an Export Clearance Number and the B709A form to import back into the country and they will check that the serial number on your firearm matches your paperwork

On your return to Australia you need to declare your firearm and any ammunition and Australian Customs Service will want to check your firearm serial number that it matches the B709A paperwork.

If you are taking any PBS medications overseas with you, you need to complete a Medicine Export Declaration. This form is obtained from Medicare and you should keep it with your medications whilst travelling.
Travelling to the UK
You need a Visitor's Firearm Permit from the UK Police. The NRA of GB will organise this for you if you ask them. Forms for this can be downloaded from the NRA of GB website (click here). Costs for 2008 is £25 and it is suggested  that you allow at least 10 weeks for this to ensure that you have it in plenty of time before you leave Australia.

Remember to submit your entry for the Imperial Meeting well in advance. Forms available from the NRA of GB website (see Links)
Airline Check Ins/Customs Clearance
When travelling overseas most airlines ask you to check in 2 hours prior to the scheduled departure time. We always allow 3 hours to get through customs checks and airline checks and check-in procedures. Check in staff generally have to consult a Supervisor to assist with the check in and if they are busy (e.g. have a tour group check in) you can end up at the back of a long line.               
(Contributed - July 2007)
Japan Airlines/Japan
Japan Airlines will carry rifles and ammunition (up to 5kg).The fact that you will be carrying rifle and ammunition in your luggage should be advised at the time of booking so that it is in their system. When travelling to the UK, Japan Airlines (Economy) have a luggage limit of 20kgs, but each time we have asked for additional luggage allowance they have increased this to 30 kg.

Rifles must be in secure case with bolt in separate case. Ammunition must also be separate to the rifle and packed in manufacturer's boxes. Airline will provide a security box for ammunition. No paperwork is required for Japan if only transiting though it is recommended that you fax the Police at Japan Airport as a courtesy with your flight details to advise that you will be transiting with rifles. The fax number is + 81 476 344 811.Even if you are only transiting in Japan, expect to be called to Airline transit counter and to wait whilst they have your luggage rescreened at Japan before being allowed to proceed to next flight. This takes ~ 15 minutes and generally handled with polite efficiency. We have flown JAL a number of times and would recommend them. 
(Contributed - August 2007)
Take A Travelling Companion
It is recommended that you take a non-shooting partner when travelling overseas but restrict them to only taking one small overnight bag so that you can snaffle their luggage allowance and avoid excess baggage costs. This is likely to need high level negotiation skills!
Travel Insurance
When thinking about Travel Insurance have a look at Travel Insurance Direct on the web. They are underwritten by Allianze and they will cover the excess on your hire car (up to A$4,000) in their standard policy - meaning you don't have buy the higher cover through the car hire company. They seem to be about half the cost of comparable policies.
(Contributed August 2007)
Mobile Phone SIM cards
In the UK the Carphone Warehouse offer you a free local (Mobileworld) SIM card with £20 of prepaid calls and you can get a plan that costs very little for calls back to Australia (6p a minute). So it is considerably cheaper than using your Australian mobile carrier and paying international rates on all your calls.
(Contributed June 2006)