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For all types of firearms, prior to entry into the US, a US import permit must have been issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

  • For temporary imports into the US, Canadian applicants must complete Form 6NIA (ATF F 5330.3D): https://www.atf.gov/file/61581/download, Application and Permit for Temporary Importation of Firearms and Ammunition by Non-immigrant Aliens. It can take up to 12 weeks to process an application, so it is advisable to apply for a permit well in advance.

  • For permanent imports into the US, Form 6 (ATF F 5330.3A):  https://www.atf.gov/file/11381/download must be completed.

All U.S. firearm sales (dealer or private) must go through a Federal Firearm License (FFL) holder. For non-immigrant aliens (not a resident) the FFL will ship the firearm to Canada (You cannot take Possession in the United States).

Reference: https://www.atf.gov/qa-category/nonimmigrant-aliens

A list of firearms exporters can be found here:
http://www.gunbroker.com/Support/SupportFAQView.aspx?FAQID=1110&NoCount=1

In order to bring a restricted or non-restricted firearm into Canada as a new import, an individual must be at least 18 years old and have a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) with the licence privileges for the class of firearm that is being imported. A Possession Only Licence (POL) does not allow individuals to import a newly acquired firearm, though it does allow the re-importation of one that was temporarily taken out of Canada.

For more information visit:
http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/fs-fd/import-importer-eng.htm and http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/pub/bsf5044-eng.html

Both temporary and permanent exports of either Restricted or Non-Restricted firearms to the US may be made without obtaining an export permit.

All exports of Prohibited firearms to any destination, including the US, must be authorized in advance with an export permit.

Applications to export Prohibited firearms to the US must include a copy of the US import permit that specifically identifies the firearm to be exported. Additional supporting documentation, such as a cover letter, registration certification for the firearm(s) in question and valid firearms licence, must be included in the export permit application, as described above in the General Notes.

For more information visit: http://www.international.gc.ca/controls-controles/firearms_armes_a_feu/other-autres/license-demande.aspx?lang=eng

Visitors to Canada may import non-restricted firearms for legitimate purposes such as:
sporting or hunting during legal hunting season

  • use in competitions

  • in-transit movement (ie. Moving in the most direct route possible from Point A to Point B)

  • personal protection against wildlife in remote areas of Canada, as long as the customs officer is satisfied with the circumstances that warrant the firearm being imported

  • 200 rounds duty free for hunting purposes, or up to 1500 rounds duty free for use at a recognized competition

There are two options:

OPTION 1: Non-Resident Firearm Declaration

  • The declaration is available at border crossings, but can be downloaded and filled out prior to arrival.

  • The declaration is good for 60 days. It costs $25 CA and is paid at the point of entry.

  • You can receive an extension to your declaration from the Chief Firearms Office for the province you are visiting. To extend your declaration, call the Canadian Firearms Program at 1.800.731.4000. The extension must be granted prior to the 60-day expiry and requires no additional fee.

  • You must be at least 18 years old to bring a firearm into Canada.

  • The declaration is only valid for the person who signs the declaration.

  • Firearms temporarily imported, using a confirmed Non-Resident Firearms Declaration, must be removed from Canada on your departure.

  • Prior to entering Canada you must do the following:

  • Download the declaration which can be found here: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/form-formulaire/pdfs/5589-eng.pdf

  • Fill out three copies

  • DO NOT sign the form(s) as they must be signed in front of the customs officer.

  • Leave areas on the form that you do not understand blank.

  • If you have more than three firearms, you need to fill out another form found here: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/form-formulaire/pdfs/5590-eng.pdf

For US Citizens – prior to departing the United States it is important to note:

  • If firearms or other high value items have not been registered with US Customs, stop at American Customs prior to entering Canada and complete Customs Form 4457, which can be found here http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/CBP%20Form%204457_0.pdf .

  • To make things easier, you can register certain items with CBP before you depart – including watches, cameras, laptop computers, and firearms – as long as they have serial numbers or other unique, permanent markings.

  • DO NOT BRING FIREARMS INTO THE CUSTOMS STATION UNLESS REQUESTED

  • The form may be processed ahead of time and remains valid and re-importation of the registered articles for as long as the document is legible. The certificate is not transferable. It takes only minutes to complete. Customs will require make, model and serial number.

  • You can contact the regional U.S. Customs office in your region and arrange to have this done prior to your trip.

Entering Canada:

  • If you are a U.S. Citizen, have your Customs Form 4457 as it will be needed upon your return to the USA.

  • At Canadian Customs, declare your firearms and ammunition. You will be directed into the customs building.

  • DO NOT BRING FIREARMS INTO THE BUILDING UNLESS REQUESTED!

  • It is up to you to convince the agent that you have a valid reason to have a firearm

  • It’s recommended that you have a shoot program or shoot magazine that lists the shoot.

  • Hunters should have their hunting license or receipt from an outfitter.

  • If visiting a club or friends to target shoot, have club name or friends’ address information.

  • Traveling from Washington to Alaska is common and should not present a problem, however, handguns will not be allowed!

  • A registration number will be placed on the application. If you did not download an application, one will be provided. Each time you enter Canada; the Canadian Border Services Agency will complete Section E an issue a new confirmation number.

  • Once the form is processed, you will be required to pay $25CA. Most border crossings accept credit cards. Your credit card company will handle the exchange rate automatically.

OPTION 2:

  • Obtain a Canadian Firearms License (Possession and Acquisition License)
    Any individual over the age of 18 can take the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and acquire a Possession and Acquisition License (PAL).

  • Leave your firearms at home, and once you arrive in Canada you can apply for a Possession and Acquisition License (PAL).

  • To obtain a PAL you need to pass the Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC) and the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course (CRFSC) if you plan on bringing restricted firearms (ie. handguns or military style firearms) into Canada.

  • Once you pass the CFSC (and CRFSC) you can complete and submit your application for a PAL. You will need two references for your application that have known you for three years or more. Your references do not need to reside in Canada but they do need to sign the form and the signatures MUST be originals. Your references also cannot be your spouse or partner.

  • If you do have a spouse or partner, they will need to be notified that you intend to obtain a PAL and they will need to sign the form as well and could be contacted by the Canadian Firearms Program.

  • When the processing site receives your application, it takes on average 45 days for you to receive your PAL in the mail. You cannot register or transport any firearms until it is fully processed and you receive it.

  • The fee for a PAL is $60CA for the Non-Restricted class of firearms and $80 for both classes (Non-Restricted and Restricted). You cannot transport firearms that would be deemed prohibited into Canada. For more information regarding prohibited firearms, contact the Canadian Firearms Program at 1.800.731.4000.

  • Upon receiving your PAL you can then register your restricted firearms to your license and can either contact a licensed carrier who is able to transport firearms internationally to bring them in or you, or you may bring them into Canada yourself. You CANNOT have firearms sent to you through regular mail or regular courier.

  • If you also intend to move restricted firearms into Canada, you will need an Authorization to Transport (ATT) in addition to your PAL. The ATT is issued by the Chief Firearms Officer of the province and is free of charge.

Any time you personally transport a restricted or prohibited firearm within Canada, you need an Authorization to Transport (ATT) from the Chief Firearms Officer of the province where the firearm is located or where it will be entering Canada. You do not need an ATT for firearms that are being shipped by licensed carrier or for non-restricted firearms that you are transporting yourself.

Reference: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/faq/trans-eng.htm#d1

It is also important to follow the guidelines set forth in the firearms safety course regarding safe transportation and storage of firearms.

You may ship restricted firearms, non-restricted firearms and prohibited handguns from one Canadian location to another Canadian location if you use the most secure method offered by Canada Post that requires a signature upon delivery. Prohibited firearms, other than prohibited handguns, and firearms being shipped across the Canadian border, must be shipped by an individual or carrier company licensed under the Firearms Act to transport those classes of firearms.

You are required by law to ship firearms unloaded and in a safe and secure manner to deter loss, theft and accidents.

Reference: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/faq/trans-eng.htm#d3

If you have a valid Canadian firearms licence authorizing you to possess that class of firearm, you can apply by calling 1-800-731-4000 or by submitting an Application for an Authorization to Transport Restricted Firearms and Prohibited Firearms, form RCMP 5490, to the Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) of Alberta:

Chief Firearms Officer
701-10065 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
T5J 3B1

Mailing Address: 
1114 109 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta
T5G 2T4

Fax number: 780-495-7970

If you are a non-resident and are using a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration to bring a restricted firearm to Canada for an approved purpose , you should contact the applicable CFO in advance to apply for an Authorization to Transport (using form RCMP 5490). The CFO offices can be contacted by phoning the Canadian Firearms Program’s contact centre at 1-800-731-4000. The hours of operation of the contact centre are Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. nationwide.

Reference: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/faq/trans-eng.htm#d2

An Authorization to Transport (ATT) is a document obtained from the Chief Firearms Officer that allows you to transport a restricted or prohibited firearm from one location to another in Canada given that you are licensed to possess these classes of firearms. You do not need an ATT for firearms that are being shipped by licensed carrier or for non-restricted firearms that you are transporting yourself.

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