Recently, the State Department and Homeland Security has decided to enforce a little known policy that required anyone temporarily exporting a firearm for the purposes of hunting to file the Electronic Export Information (EEI) using the Automated Export System (AES) to acquire an Internal Transaction Number (ITN). The ITN is evidence to Customs Border Patrol that you filed with AES and upon returning to the U.S. you can prove you originally had the firearm when you left. This process using AES requires that you obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) via the IRS as much of the language is about commercial transactions of importing and exporting firearms.
Now without confusing the heck out of everyone, we contacted the State Commerce Department as they regulate the movement of shotguns with barrels over 18 inches in length and according to their website, those who are taking three or less shotguns out of the country for the purposes of hunting are exempt from requiring this ITN number. Good news indeed for bird hunters. In fact there is a quiz you can take that will give you this very same information and you can find it all here. Futhermore, under the Federal Code of Regulations 740.14(e) shotguns with barrels lengths of over 18 inches receive an export license exception.
While the State Department and Homeland Security makes policy related to the regulations of firearms, it is Customs and Border Patrol that must implement the enforcement and procedures to comply. With our thorough investigation we have found that many in Customs are unaware of this new policy and are confused themselves as to how to enforce it. So our suggestion is to print out the Commerce Directive on the ICE website and take it with you along with your Customs Form #4457 that is still required when taking your shotgun out of the country.
Unfortunately those who are taking rifles and pistols out of the country must obtain this ITN number through AES, which as previously stated requires an EIN number. You may find it easier to enlist your broker in this process or go to this link to find out more. During our research we have found that Coppersmith Logistics has taken the lead role in this process as you can pay a fee of $50.00 and they will help you acquire your ITN number. Jackie O’Connor is heading up this program and you can e-mail her at [email protected]. Trek highly recommends Coppersmith for our trophy shipping and are very reliable.
We regret the inconvenience this may cause our big game hunters and will continue to monitor this situation as it evolves as there are clearly some issues that are not fully addressed, like what roles do airlines play and what if you do not have a Customs office nearby.
Stay Tuned- The Trek Staff