SAPS 520 Question
Didn't know if you all could help me in answering a few questions I have in filling out the SAPS 520 form? I'm not planning on using service for pre-approval. Just have all my paperwork ready to go when I arrive. I've gotten a bit confused as it seems different sites have differing instructions. I did reference the instructions from on here, but they were confusing also.
I'm flying from the States to Johannesburg with Delta Airlines.
I've gotten most of the form filled out except for a few items.
Section E.3 - Identity Number - do I need to supply something like my Social Security number or can I leave blank as I'm a non SA citizen and have filled in my passport number on E.4?
Section F - Owner of Firearms- I am the owner of the firearms and do I need to fill out this section even though it is the same as Section E?
Section I.3 through I4.4 - Is this something I fill out? If so, do I do it prior to arriving at the Police Station?
Finally, I would like to verify the steps when arriving at Tambo International. As I said, I'm flying Delta.
1) Clear Passport/Immigration Control
2) Proceed to carousel and retrieve checked luggage
3) Proceed to airline help/security desk to identify and sign for my rifle case.
4) Proceed the SA Police Station and get my temporary import permit.
5) Proceed through Customs.
Thanks in advance for all your help.
Oh, I do know not to sign the form until all is said and done. :D
If you send me a email or PM with your email address I can email you an example.
What I would also suggest is to make copies of everything as well.
Passport and so on. Sometimes the copy machine at the airport police office doesnt work.
..Heeler I wish I could find my copy of that.. I found everything but!! If you got that permit from a travel agent they should be able to answer all your questions!! I went through Gracy Travel & they sent the form to me with everything highlighted.. I called back once or twice & everything was a breeze when I got to Johannesburg!! Forms were filled out correctly & nothing missing! If I remember right that was how everything went once you got to the airport!!
That's great advice Frederik about bringing extra copies.
Here is some information from an article that I have been working on about this, I hope it helps:
You can download the instructions for how to complete the SAPS 520 Form by clicking here. You can find up-to-date information on importation of firearm(s) into South Africa by going directly to the government web site of the South African Police Service (SAPS) by clicking here. You can also download the instruction on how to complete the South Africa Firearms Permit Form, SAPS 520 directly from the South African government SAPS web site by clicking here.
If you don't have it yet, you will need Adobe Reader to open some of these documents, simply go to http://www.africahunting.com/hunting/adobe_reader.gif to install the free Adobe Reader software.
Thanks all. I have started making copies and placing in a 3-ring binder to bring along with me. And Frederik gave me a very good example.
I used Air2000 for my gun permits and was happy that I did it. The Air2000 guy actually went into the back room of the J'burg cop shop and found my gun case when the guy at the counter said he "couldn't find it" (trying to get a bribe). He also got me to the front of the line and helped me lug all of my stuff to the baggage check in. Well worth the $160 for me.
If you insist on DIY, I attached a set of example completed SAPS520 forms that I used as a model for filling out my paperwork. I pulled them off of some safari operator's website (can't remember which one) a year ago. When I sent my SAPS forms to Air2000, they sent an email back saying that everything was "perfect" and no changes were needed.
Hope this helps...
PS: I only attached 4 pages because these are the only ones you are supposed to fill out if you are coming from the US.
SAPS 520 Form
:thumb:Thanks browningbbr for the completed example of the SAPS 520 Form.
Regarding bribes that go on at the airport in South Africa please note that the issuing of the SAPS 520 is a free service and the South African Police Service in an effort to control bribery asks hunters NOT to pay anybody involved in handling firearms from the time of arrival in South Africa right through until you receive your firearms and permit from the SAPS. Clients that are paying the various airline staff, security staff, or porters involved are actually perpetuating this problem. Please note however that there may be a handling fee charged by airlines and/or security companies for the handling of handguns, and some airlines have started charging a handling fee for all firearms. I suggest checking with your airline with regard to any official fees that may be required.
For the record: I got hit up for money by the SAPS staff at J'burg AND Port Elizabeth, but didn't fall for it. Like Jerome said, it's a free service.
Having been called out to the Firearms Section of the SAPS Border Police on more than one occasion particulary late at night to identify firearms in order to have permits issued I must urge all visitors with firearms to South Africa to please ensure that the Makers Name, Serial Number and Calibre on their firearm is clearly visible and not hidden under scope bases, under the stock, etc.
It particulary helps the "gentlemen" at the Firearms section to identify your firearm and issue the required permits if they can see this information without difficulty or having to take your firearm "to the back" to show a superior officer, accidents do happen and stocks or scopes can be broken as a result.
So do consider having the serial number and calibre inlaid in gold or silver (or even plain old paint) to make their (your) job easy as it will save you time money and frustration.
While you may not be using the services of a professional greeting service to get your firearms through, I would certainly advise anyone travelling into OR Tambo to have their PH meet them there.
We had a run in with airport officials the last time we went through the airport; because of the gun case, I guess they assumed we would be carrying cash. We had SAA staff and a couple of other people loitering about hit us for money and if our PH wasn't around, not sure how it would have turned out. Two people were arrested and I ended up at the police station downstairs making statements with only minutes to spare to get on the plane.
I'm sure this was a one-in-a-million incident, but even as an experienced traveller, I felt quite vulnerable when the people who were supposed to be looking after me where the ones causing the trouble! If your PH happens to speak a couple of the local languages, you're in good hands.
I'm not sure what Anne' of Air2000 Hunter Support charges but haveing worked with them a number of times I can only say they are great and will smooth things up for you. As far as I know she has offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Sorry if this has been covered before and I missed it in my search. My Tikka T3 does not have a number on the barrel, only the receiver. Should I leave that portion of the form blank, or do I put "SAME" as in the example above?
I would just leave it out if I were you and only fill in the number on the receiver. Important things to remember when travelling in Africa with firearms include:
• Make sure the serial number and calibre are clearly visible.
• Make sure your ammunition has the correct head stamp
• Bring a copy of your firearm licence, or other documentation, proving ownership.
• Bring your firearm in a sturdy gun case and not just stuck into your suitcase.
My wife took her T/C encore that had a custom 7mm barrel with no serial number to the RSA last year. She wrote "same" on the SAPS520 form and had no issues at firearms control. I'm not certain this was correct, but it worked for her.
According to the "new law" the barrel frame and or reciever needs a serial number, the important thing to remember is the number and calibre must be clearly visible. It will save you whole lot of trouble and not to mention frustration.
Here we work on F.A.S.T. time i.e Flexible, African, Standard Time in other words the Europeans and Americans may make the watches but the Africans have the time so things can move slowly :)
No Barrel serial number
I am leaving this Thursday (May 12) for South Africa, and my Browning Medallion 375 H&H has no serial number on the barrel. Any updates on the procedure, or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Few rifles other than military have barrel serial numbers. Just go with the receiver number, thats all you need.
If it is anything like the serial number on my Browning, you might want to bring a magnifying glass and a flashlight to help the man read it.
I'll have my binoculars:D And I always carry my old man glasses:glasses:
Originally Posted by Bert the Turtle
Thanks for your help.
I have sent an email to Air 2000, does anyone think they are worth the cost??
I think it's kind of like insurance. When you need it, it's well worth paying for it, but when not it seems terribly expensive. When I went last year the gentleman from the Afton GH that picked my wife and I up went to the SAPS office with us. Now I don't know what he said to them, but I sure got the feeling it smoothed things over. We were in and out of the SAPS office within 15 minutes, maybe less. Now I didn't pay anything to Afton to perform any service here, but were I to do it again, I think I would.
Originally Posted by Wyohomeboy
The form itself I found no problem having completed. But having someone there who knows the ropes seems worthwhile. It sounds simple that if you're being asked for a bribe by a SAPS officer to hold your ground and fight the problem. But it's after a very long flight, a stressful situation, yada yada yada, perhaps it just makes sense to see this as just one more cost to avoid a problem.
I may be mistaken but I think I've read that if you use one of these services, it essentially puts you at the front of the line which could in fact save you hours at the airport. That alone could make it worth the cost.