Do it yourself SAPS 520

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by Therack, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. Therack

    Therack AH Enthusiast

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    I plan to book with a guest house in Johannesburg that offers an airport meet and greet included in the room cost. The SAPS 520 is an extra $100.00. Should I do my own 520 and save the $100??
     
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  2. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    The $100 for permits ahead of time is worth it. If you've never been thru the process at Joburg, take notes for your next trip. Its not a terrible task to do it yourself if you have the time and are prepared. I've done it both ways.
     
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  3. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I've done it both ways. It comes down to how comfortable and confident you are, and how much time you have.
     
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  4. Therack

    Therack AH Enthusiast

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    On a previous trip I had the permit service with the meet and greet. Would I get the permit before my departure or would I pick it up at the airport in Joberg? I would be much more comfortable doing it myself if I had the permit sent to me ahead of time.
     

  5. SafariA

    SafariA AH Veteran

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    This is not a big issue . If your Outfitter supply you with the right paperwork you should not have to much trouble. Where you might save some time is if on that day there are a lot of guns coming through . If you stay at a Guest House I guess you have a next flight or Outfit only pick you up the next day. The applications normally needs to get to these the people about 30 days before your trip should you decide to do the pre issued permits ! Either way as some others said not big issue !
     
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  6. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    We've discussed this elsewhere, I think. There is no doubt you can do it yourself. but if problems arise, you might wish you had someone around who could assist.

    I had paid the money a couple of years back when my rifles showed up but the ammo did not. The airline said the ammo had been on the plane, but no one could find the case. My helper - from AfricaSky - took me the back way to the luggage office, made the clerk pay attention (he was pretty much ignoring everyone), worked with them until the ammo case was found, and then took me and the case the back way back to the Firearms Office and got it cleared. If we had not gone the back way I'd have had to go out of the airport and back in, which would have taken lots of time, even if I had known where I was going. Which I wouldn't have. And note, you can't really lose your cool with these people, but your helper can make things happen that you likely could not (at least not without a substantial "inducement.")

    As insurance, it's pretty cheap, and provides lots of comfort.
     

  7. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    If you can demonstrate reasonable ability to use a pen with black ink and follow instructions, do it yourself.

    To each his own! :)
     

  8. Mekaniks

    Mekaniks GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    In my opinion $100.00 is cheap insurance
     
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  9. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    I agree but as mentioned take good notes and follow them next time. You can do it yourself but the speed of having it already done for you is worth the $100
     
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  10. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    My first and only trip I had a service take care of it for me. I don't plan on taking rifles with me if and when I go back but if I did take a rifle I would use a service again.

    There is something about having someone right there that knows the process and short cuts that makes that $100 sound very cheap.
     
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  11. David Johnston

    David Johnston AH Senior Member

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    Easily done yourself but if you are paying for an expediting service through Jo'burg such as Afton Guest House they will send you a completed example as a guide. It is quite a simple procedure. If transfer times are tight for connecting flights then I would pay to use the meet and greet service. We were delayed out of Heathrow which cut our transfer time to Port Elizabeth dramatically but even with only just over an hour to collect weapons and transfer terminals we made the flight with rifles and ammo. Superb service although sprinting through the terminal I had my doubts we would make it!!
     

  12. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    The @riflepermits.com site has all the instructions and documents you need to print off, fill out and send by scanned documents back to Henry. In addition to these documents, you need a letter of invitation from the outfit you are hunting with, certified color copy of your passport, certified copy of your Customs form 4457 document, copy of your air ticket itinerary. Scan and send all of this to Henry. Send $120 from your bank to Henry's Dallas Bank of America account. And you are done. Much faster than it sounds. Henry will will send you a permit by email a few days before departure and then meet you at the airport. As an earlier poster said, you now have someone to call if there is a problem!.......Use only BLACK ink, blue ink will void the SAPS form. And no I don't know why!!!!
     

  13. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Agree, especially with what you are already spending to get there and hunt!
     

  14. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Well worth it especially if in a hurry for connections. They grab you and whisk you thru the process, take you to your gate, help you check luggage etc. Don't forget the language barriers. Your guy will do all the talking for you, which is especially helpful if hard of hearing like I am. Its the best $100 you can spend.
     
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  15. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    People sometimes seem to get this the wrong way round.

    Can anyone with even modest intelligence and a black pen fill out the form themselves: Without a doubt.

    Can anyone who is at least moderately polite and has $20 in their pocket get their firearms through the process: Absolutely.

    Is it easier if you do this in advance and get the permit before you show up: Assuredly.

    But we live in an imperfect world. Take it as a given that:
    • You will be tired after one or more lengthy flights;
    • Even if the people speak English, as they do in South Africa, you may find you have difficulty understanding some of them;
    • Those with whom you deal may be looking for some acknowledgement of their existence (even though the sign says there is no charge for the permit);
    • If anything goes wrong it will take you some time to get it fixed up, and you likely have better things to do.
    Dealing with the bureaucracy isn't a contest, or proof that you are a seasoned traveller or whatever. This is about making your life easier. Think about it this way. If you have done it yourself, and problem arises, I guarantee you you'll wish you'd paid the $100. On the other hand, if you paid the money and everything goes smoothly, I equally guarantee you you won't be kicking yourself for having wasted $100.

    This is Africa for heaven's sake. Problems are the lifeblood of the place! Just read a few of the forums here! Why take the risk the first hour you are on African soil? Sure, most people can do this themselves, and have. Just read the threads. But you're here to have a great time. So let someone else worry about this. Take out a cheap insurance policy, and meet your outfitter with a smile on your face. You'll both be happy you did.
     
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  16. JGRaider

    JGRaider AH Fanatic

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    I'm with Hank...spending the $100 for preapproved permit is a no brainer, and last year was a great example. We got to the SAPS office during a shift change. A couple of rifle cases showed up, but several didn't. My rep from Africa Sky went back behind the counter somewhere and found our two cases out on the beltway somewhere, just left there by shift change event. He brought them in and we were off , while the other 6 guys were standing there without a clue. I'd rather have been in my shoes than theirs.
     
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  17. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Same thing happened to us in Namibia in 2007. Standing around waiting for luggage, no show. Rifles came in but luggage not. Left and went to camp, found out next day that our bags were just outside the door of the ramp to the carousel and nobody bothered to put them thru, they just sat there. It happens.
     

  18. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    NO doubt +1
     

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