SCI has been informed by the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA) that the South African Police Service will accept U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Form 4457s without expiration dates only if they are issued in 2017.
Last week, we alerted you that PHASA had notified us that the South African Police Service’s Central Firearms Desk had announced that they would no longer accept United States Department of Homeland Security Certificates of Registration, commonly known as CBP Form 4457s, if the date in the top right hand corner of the form had expired.
SCI received many questions from members who are in possession of Form 4457s that have no expiration dates. SCI learned that CBP has been issuing at least two different types of Form 4457s. At local offices (e.g., in airports), CBP officials have been issuing Form 4457s without expiration dates, but the Form 4457s downloadable from the CBP website bear an expiration date in the upper right hand corner.
SCI’s Hunter Advocacy Department contacted PHASA for clarification about how South Africa would treat Form 4457s that have no expiration date. PHASA advised us that the South African Central Firearms Control Register will only accept Form 4457s without an expiration date if the form was stamped in 2017.
PHASA acknowledged that South Africa has previously accepted forms without an expiration date and stamped prior to 2017. However, PHASA’s communication with the Central Firearms Control Register confirms that, effective immediately, South Africa will no longer accept those forms.
Many SCI members have correctly notified us that CBP has allowed those traveling with firearms to use the same Form 4457 on multiple occasions. However, South Africa is not bound by U.S. practices and has the ability to apply rules and restrictions that are different than those imposed by the U.S.
The new Form 4457 can be found online here. SCI members with questions about the process for obtaining a valid Form 4457 should contact the Customs and Border Protection Information Center directly. The CBP Info Center is open Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time. You can ask your question via email or by calling (877) 227-5511. If you are outside the U.S., you must call 1 (202) 325-8000.
Those needing additional assistance may contact SCI’s Office of Hunter Advocacy at (202) 543-8733 or may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCI also encourages members to defer to PHASA’s recommendations and their travel protocols when hunting in South Africa. PHASA recommends hunting clients pre-apply, through a reputable, registered meet-and-greet agency, for temporary import/export of firearms and/or transit permits.
SCI recognizes that this new information from South Africa poses new obligations for hunters who wish to travel with their firearms. SCI will continue to work on this issue to independently confirm this new information from South Africa and to hopefully find ways to lessen the burden on U.S. hunters planning travel to South Africa.