Author Topic: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States  (Read 1244 times)

Offline Tanselman

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Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« on: March 05, 2019, 01:16:30 AM »
Does anyone have experience with shipping an antique American longrifle from Canada back to the United States...to get it back home again? I talked with UPS and FedEx at local stores and the counter personnel were not much help. They don't seem to have good information on the difference between a pre- and post-1898 firearm when it comes to shipping them...nor does UPS's 1-800 number for "International Shipping." Any thoughts would be helpful, such as which carrier does the best job, any issues with stated value (FedEx rates jumped tremendously if valued over $1000, according to the clerk I spoke with), etc.

I did speak to a local FFL gun shop, and they seemed willing to help, but would treat it as a modern firearm with all the paperwork. Maybe that's a good idea if it gets the gun here in good shape, but it seems like there might be a better way since it's a circa 1835 longrifle.  Shelby Gallien

Offline CW Smokepole

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2019, 05:58:55 PM »
Shelby- Canada West Smokepole here in SE TN- (escaped canadian). A percussion rifle is NOT considered a "firearm" by our ruling Authority (BATFE). Just take the bbl off, then box up the stock itself in one box and ship it here as "Antique Gun Parts" then ship the bbl with the cleaning rod in the bore in another box.

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2019, 10:27:41 PM »
Thanks for the information. The gun cannot be disassembled for shipment for two reasons: 1) the current owner is an older gentleman who knows nothing about taking an antique gun apart...all he can do is drop it off at a packaging and shipping place, leaving it up to me to make the arrangements for both packaging and shipping from down here in the U.S.; 2) the rifle has an exceptionally long and very slim forestock with 46+ inch barrel. I would feel a whole lot better shipping it with the barrel in place to protect the delicate forestock. That said, I like the idea of "antique gun parts" for shipping.

I was told DHL shipping would be a good possibility, but I called them and was told they would not ship any kind of firearm, even an antique black powder rifle. So back to UPS, FedEx, or the Canadian postal service. Thanks for your thoughts, and particularly the comment about BATFE not considering an old percussion rifle ca. 1835 as a firearm.   Shelby Gallien

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2019, 01:06:28 AM »
I have shipped longrifles both from Canada to the States, and from the States to Canada.  Use the postal services of both countries...Canada Post and USPS.  Ship it in a good solid wooden crate - don't be cheap.  Pack it in either styrofoam or cushion foam supported so the gun doesn't touch either end of the box.  Ship it without any reference to "Gun", "Firearm" or the like.  Declare it as "Antique muzzleloader with historical significance".  Postal workers, perhaps not so much as courier services, imagine 'weapons of mass destruction' as soon as they see the words "Gun" or "Firearm".  The last ones I mailed cost in the neighbourhood of $75 each way for shipping.  Get a tracking number for sure, and insure it for what it is worth.  Again, don't cheap out.  When it comes to you here in Canada, Canadian Border Services will likely slap fees on it according to it's declared value...they don't take chances that revenue will be missed, considering it a purchase by you from an American.  On the back of the Customs papers is instruction on recovering your fees...it'll take some time and a letter from the American shipper that it is your property simply being returned to you, and isn't eligible for taxation.  Have your American shipper provide the letter attached to the box with attention CBS (Canada Border Services - important documents enclosed)  That way, if they read it, and usually they ;do not, you may escape the BS of having to pay taxes on your own stuff.  Is it a nuisance?  Absolutely, but it is possible.  My last experience with this sort of thing involved getting David Rase to cut a barrel channel for me in my own wood, and then getting it mailed back to me in Canada.  It all worked out fine.
D. Taylor Sapergia
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Offline Tanselman

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2019, 04:13:09 AM »
Thank you for the detailed response, suggested wording on paperwork, and eliminating the parcel services in favor of using the post offices. That's a huge help. This rifle will be shipped from Canada to the United States. If you don't mind, I have another question:

Does the shipping crate need to be made so it can be opened by the Canadian Border Service, or anyone else, or can it be a completely screwed/sealed shut?

Again, thanks for your help in this matter. Shelby Gallien



Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2019, 04:42:17 AM »
I always screw down the lid with sheet rock screws - lots of them, and mark the top as 'OPEN FROM THIS SIDE'.  I don't apply packing tape and have never had customs/homeland security, open my parcel.
D. Taylor Sapergia
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Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2019, 07:46:34 AM »
My apologies for dragging this old topic back up...but I need some final advice.

After 6 months of communications, I have finally had a well-constructed shipping crate built up in Canada to ship an American Kentucky rifle back down to the United States. I received very valuable information on shipping from Canada to the U.S. in prior posts, and we have followed that advice closely...including using the suggested declaration: Antique muzzleloader with  historical significance."  But now as we prepare to ship the rifle, we have a couple more questions that I would appreciate thoughts on, before we screw the crate shut and put it in the Canadian Post. Specifically,

1. Other than the standard Canadian shipping documents and declarations filled out for shipping a ca. 1835 antique "muzzleloader" to the U.S., is there any documentation or other paperwork that should be INSIDE the crate with the rifle? It doesn't seem so to me, but I wanted to ask, before the crate is sealed and shipped.
2. We are insuring the item and getting a tracking number from Canadian Post Office, but I have also heard that I should have it shipped by express mail (or something similar to that) which is a lot more expensive but gets the antique down here a lot quicker (two or three days) with less chance of loss or something else happening to it. Have any of you heard this before? What is the best type/level/style of Canadian Post Office shipping to use?
3. Does anyone knowledgeable with shipping from Canada to the U.S. have any other thoughts or suggestions, or anything I might be missing in preparation for shipping, before we close the crate and send the antique rifle on its way?

Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated, since we are about to repatriate a good, early American rifle back to the States and want to avoid any and all border problems....if possible.  Shelby Gallien
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 07:53:03 AM by Tanselman »

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2019, 02:25:20 PM »
Shelby,
Several years ago I bought 2 antique percussions from a man outside Toronto. Called local border agents and the woman gave me all kinds of grief, had to have signature of the American that made the rifles stating they were American made rifles. Finally hung up and decided to stop on the border on way up. Border agents told me no problem just declare them on way back.

On way back I declared both, had them in sleves in the trunk. Border agent pulled one out of case and took into building across the road, he was in their less than five minutes came back handed me the rifle and said have a nice day! I asked if he wanted to see the other rifle and he said no. End of story.

I suggest you add that the rifle was made in America by US Army (??) and let it go. Should not be a problem unless you get an agent like the one that wanted me to get signature of a man that made an 1840's percussion rifle!
Dennis
"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend" - Thomas Jefferson

Offline Cades Cove Fiddler

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2019, 04:42:33 PM »
 ??? ???... Perhaps a road-trip might just be easier,...???

Online WESTbury

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2019, 06:15:10 PM »
Tanselman---Just curious, what type of gun is it? Sounds like a fowler or Long Land Bess with a 46" barrel.
"We are not about to send American Boys 9 to 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian Boys ought to be doing for themselves."
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Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2019, 04:23:52 AM »
I have always used the least expensive level of shipping by Canada Post, to the States.  You get a tracking number and can follow it along its journey.  But I have had 100 % success and absolutely no hassles.

D. Taylor Sapergia
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Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2019, 06:09:45 AM »
I appreciate all of your comments. Two comments come to my mind:

1. Type of gun - I prefer not to discuss details at this time, until gun gets safely down here. At that time I will post pictures and explain why it's significant enough to take all this time and effort to get it back here.

2. Mr. Sapergia...can you tell me on how long it normally took to get your shipments to their destination in the U.S.?

Thanks again,  Shelby Gallien

Online WESTbury

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2019, 02:36:19 PM »
Shelby----- Understand your caution on the gun completely.

Will be looking forward to your photos. Best of luck on the shipment, hope it arrives safe and sound.
"We are not about to send American Boys 9 to 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian Boys ought to be doing for themselves."
      Lyndon B. Johnson Oct 21, 1964

Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2019, 03:59:06 PM »
As long as you have the customs declaration form in an envelope on the outside of the package, you should be fine.

Most times when I ship south, they don't bother opening the package, and sometimes don't even open the "To Whom it may Concern" envelope!

Offline bcowern

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2019, 07:01:29 AM »
Tanselman,

Sorry for the late reply.

I can't speak to the US regulations.

In Canada, percussion and flintlock firearms, manufactured prior to 1898, are considered to be Prescribed Antique Firearms. This exempts them from the requirement to have a license to possess. Flintlock rifles manufactured after 1897 are also exempt, but not flintlock pistols or percussion firearms.

Canda Post has their own set of regulations regarding the shipping of firearms through them. As far as I can tell, they make no exemption for Prescribed Antique Firearms. Some of the shipping requirements are locked case, and trigger lock!

My concern would be payment of a claim for damage or loss if their regulations are not followed.


From the Canadapost.ca website:

5.2
Firearms (including imitation and replica firearms)

International destinations:
Under no circumstances can Firearms be mailed as defined by the Firearms Act:

   •   Section 16 - non-contract
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/sor-98-209/FullText.html

   •   Section 15 - contract
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-98-210/FullText.html

Canada:
Please contact the Canadian Firearms Centre at cfc-cafc.gc.ca or by calling 1-800-731-4000 to determine whether it is permissible to ship your firearms.

When it is determined permissible to ship firearms, they must be shipped as follows:

Customer Type
Service To Be Used

Consumer
Regular Parcel with Signature option.

Contract customer
Expedited Parcel with the Proof of Age (18 or 19) option using EST. Visit Section  Mail addressed to children of Policies for an age of majority by province or territory listing.

Customers who wish to ship firearms must:
   •   unload the firearms - there cannot be any ammunition in the firearm or in the package (bullets, cartridges and other ammunition are dangerous goods)
   •   attach a secure locking device to the firearms
   •   lock the firearms in a sturdy, non-transparent container, and
   •   remove the bolt or bolt carrier from any automatic firearms (if removable).

Firearms cannot be shipped via air and cannot have any markings on the outside of the packaging. The customer is solely responsible for meeting all Canadian Firearms Centre regulations.

https://www.canadapost.ca/tools/pg/manual/PGnonmail-e.asp#1389620

If it were me, I would be tempted to use the services of a licensed firearm import/export service such as Borderview, Irunguns, Aztech Armory, Prophet River Firearms, etc.

Would love to hear of your shipping experience whatever method you use. The method you are using makes the risk of loss or damage minimal. I would put Prescribed Antique on the Customs Declaration.

Best Regards
Bradford




« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 07:06:45 AM by bcowern »

Online WESTbury

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2019, 02:15:34 PM »
Tanselman--If it were at all feasible, I would make the trip up to Canada to pickup the gun.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 05:50:23 PM by WESTbury »
"We are not about to send American Boys 9 to 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian Boys ought to be doing for themselves."
      Lyndon B. Johnson Oct 21, 1964

Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2019, 05:48:55 PM »
BCowern,

I have had no trouble whatsoever sending an antique down to the US from Canada.
Not even mention of a locked case or trigger lock.
I agree, one swallow doesn't make a summer, but I have shipped some pretty expensive stuff south and No worries.
I do make sure I place the US Customs declaration on the outer package, but even that is not even opened at times.

I am just telling you this, as all the forms, and regulations you mention may scare someone off.
Tracked and insured, plus signed fo,r is all that is required.
(Along with the customs declaration form)

Below is the US customs declaration if you do not have it, Shelby;

"To whom it may concern,

 The enclosed firearm was manufactured in or prior to 1898 and meets the definition of an antique firearm under Title 18 Chapter 44 section 921 (a) (16) of the Gun Control Act of 1968. For the purposes of importation under Part 47, this firearm is defined as not a firearm in Subpart B section 47.11. Part 178 Subpart G 178.115 makes the importation of this firearm an exempt importation. No ATF Form 6 import license is required.

 This firearm is being imported for personal use and is not for resale. This firearm is exempt from duties as an Antique under HTS 9706.0000.60."
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 05:54:04 PM by Pukka Bundook »

Offline JV Puleo

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2019, 10:13:00 PM »
I'll add that Pukka and I did a trade some months ago. I shipped him a flint double and he shipped me a flint rifle. We had no problems at all. The declaration he mentions was attached to the box and obviously unopened. I've gone back and forth to the UK with antique guns many times and the only problems I've had are with customs officers who don't know the law. (Usually the American ones.) To obviate that, I now make copies of the pertinent laws (from the internet) and put them in the box. They only want to cover their a--es and love official-looking paperwork.

On one occasion I included a letter from a friend, a British RFD (Registered Firearms Dealer) stating that the gun was an antique. Of course, I had to write it because my friend knows very little about 18th-century stuff but that satisfied the customs.


Offline bcowern

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2019, 11:15:39 PM »
Pukka Bundook,

I don't think you would run into any problems on the US side.

On the Canada side, if the shipper contravenes the Canada Post Firearm Shipping Regulations, I think the only downside would refusal to payout a damage or loss claim. Even if the regulations are followed, I can easily imagine Canadapost and USPS pointing their fingers at each other as to who is responsible for the damage or loss! Firearms are often shipped within Canada in contravention of the Canadpost regulations, which are different for a business as opposed to an individual. Chances of getting caught are minimal. I think parcels are sometimes scanned before exit from Canada.

I'm not sure what the consequences of contravening the Firearms Act (part of the Criminal Code in Canada) regarding international shipment of a firearm by post would be. There is no specific mention of Prescribed Antique Firearms. Canada's Firearms Act is a poorly drafted, complex, illogical, and often contradictory piece of legislation.

https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/sor-98-209/FullText.html

Shipping by Post

16 An individual may ship a firearm by posting it only if
      (a) the firearm is a non-restricted firearm, restricted firearm or prohibited handgun;
      (b) the destination is within Canada; and
      (c) the firearm is posted using the most secure means of transmission by   
post that is offered by the Canada Post Corporation that includes the requirement to obtain a signature on delivery.
      
SOR/2004-277, s. 4

Contacting the Canadian Firearms Centre at: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/index-eng.htm  or by calling 1-800-731-4000 to determine whether it is permissible to ship your firearms should clear up questions about the international shipment of a a Prescribed Antique Firearm by post.

I have not done this yet, and after reading your post, I am assuming you have.

Wishing Tanselman luck.

Best regards


I am just telling you this, as all the forms, and regulations you mention may scare someone off.
Tracked and insured, plus signed fo,r is all that is required.
(Along with the customs declaration form)





« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 11:20:57 PM by bcowern »

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2019, 01:13:24 AM »
Pukka or JV...Can one of you who have shipped antique firearms from Canada to the U.S. clarify one detail for me?

When the US Customs Declaration "is placed on the outer package," can you explain exactly what that involves? It sounds like I put the US Customs Declaration statement in a separate envelop, mark it "To Whom It May Concern," and attach that envelop to the outside of the shipping crate. Is that correct?

Also, we took the lock out of the antique Kentucky rifle, since we have no trigger lock to fit it without possibly damage. Do we need to mention the lock has been removed to prove/verify the antique rifle is inoperable?

Thanks to all of you for your comments on this subject. Shelby Gallien

Offline Bob McBride

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Re: Longrifle Shipment from Canada Back to United States
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2019, 03:24:59 AM »
The PO should have a clear invoice sleeve for the declaration. I think some just stick as well. I declare ‘antique flintlock parts’. It doesn’t have the dreaded ‘firearm’ or ‘gun’ to freak out a sensitive and ‘parts’ seems to have a soothing effect as well. Leave nothing blank on the declaration that is applicable.

I also write in large red sharpie “fragile- glass tubing” on the box.
-Bob

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