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Email from C.B.S.A Clarifying Airsoft Importing

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Old November 25th, 2014, 21:53   #1
Jordan Mammoliti
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Exclamation Email from C.B.S.A Clarifying Airsoft Importing

WARNING: LONG POST AHEAD

Right, so I had some questions about importing this beautiful Sniper Rifle from the U.S. that I couldn't find anywhere so far in Canada, so I decided to contact the CBSA to clarify some stuff & I got an email.

I'm going to post the relevant information of the email

It clearly says that all AIRSOFT GUNS that RESEMBLE A REAL GUN are automatically CONSIDERED REPLICA FIREARMS

"Prohibited devices (which include replica firearms) are listed in Tariff Item (TI) 9898.00.00 of the Customs Tariff. The importation of goods listed in TI 9898.00.00 is prohibited unless an exemption to that tariff item applies. According to the Criminal Code, replica firearms are defined as:

· “any device that is designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, a firearm, and that itself is not a firearm, but does not include any such device that is designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, an antique firearm."

Based on the above definition, it has been established by case law that many airsoft guns may meet the definition of a replica firearm for the purposes of the Criminal Code and the Customs Tariff and may not be imported into Canada.

In general:
· Airsoft guns, with a muzzle velocity of less than 111.6 m/s (366 fps) and resembling with near precision an existing make and model of a firearm, other than an antique firearm, will be classified as a replica firearm.

· Airsoft guns, with a muzzle velocity above 111.6 m/s (366 fps), will be classified as firearms and therefore, by definition cannot be replica firearms.

· Those with a muzzle velocity of greater than 500fps and a muzzle energy over 5.7 Joules are controlled firearms and would be subject to licensing and registration requirements applicable to the appropriate class of firearm (non-restricted, restricted, prohibited).

Each importation of an airsoft gun will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine whether it exactly resembles or resembles with near precision a real firearm of an identifiable make and model. If there is a determination that classifies an airsoft gun as a replica firearm, the onus will be on the importer to prove that the particular device does not meet the elements of a replica firearm. If an item is allowed into Canada, applicable duties and taxes will apply. The rate of duty depends on the item and country of origin."

To summarize, if your Airsoft gun is considered "Uncontrolled" Firearms (which I will now explain), you should be able to bring it across the border with no problem, providing you can some how prove that it isn't one, with paper work or video or some type of evidence. However, you will still probably need to pay Duties, etc.

Now, I was told to also check out : Memorandum D19-13-2
This explains the Importing and Exporting Firearms, Weapons and Devices


"Prohibited Devices

[...]

Replica firearms

49. "Replica firearm" is defined as any device that is designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, a firearm, and that itself is not a firearm, but does not include any such device that is designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, an antique firearm.

50. For a device to be a replica firearm it must meet ALL THREE REQUIREMENTS:

(a) it cannot be a firearm, meaning it does not discharge a projectile with sufficient energy to cause serious bodily injury or death to a person. If the device is a firearm, then it cannot be a replica firearm (and vice versa);

(b) it must resemble exactly, or with near precision, a real existing firearm of an identifiable make and model. With respect to visual examination, note that the maximum observing distance is one at which the equivalent make and model of the firearm can be identified. This distance will vary from one firearm make to the next. For example: A Luger pistol has a very distinctive silhouette as compared to other makes and is therefore more readily identified from further away. The examination of the object is something more than casual, but less than detailed. The device does not need to be so close that markings are identifiable; and

(c) it cannot be designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, an antique firearm (see paragraph 5 of this memorandum)."

YOUR AIRSOFT GUN WILL PROBABLY NOT MEET CRITERIA A, EH?

Now, this is where I will explain the "Uncontrolled" Firearms status:

"Uncontrolled" firearms

5. "Uncontrolled" firearms are those devices that, although falling within the definition of a firearm in the Criminal Code, are exempt from specific legal requirements of the Firearms Act and its regulations, as well as from other legislative provisions. "Uncontrolled" firearms do not fall under Tariff item No. 9898.00.00, and are generally admissible into Canada. "Uncontrolled" firearms should not be subdivided into any of the non-restricted, restricted, or prohibited classes. The following types of firearms are deemed "uncontrolled":

[...]

(d) Low muzzle velocity/energy guns – Any barrelled weapon that is not designed or adapted to discharge projectiles at a muzzle velocity exceeding 152.4 metres per second (500 feet per second) and at a muzzle energy exceeding 5.7 Joules, or to discharge projectiles that are designed or adapted to attain a velocity exceeding 152.4 metres per second (500 feet per second) and an energy exceeding 5.7 Joules. Both thresholds of 152.4 mps and 5.7 Joules must be exceeded for the firearm to be considered "controlled". This requirement exempts firearms that fire below the threshold velocity with a standard projectile, but exceed the threshold velocity when fired with a high-velocity projectile.

Basically, all Airsoft Legal Airsoft guns find themselves in this category, neither Replica Firearm nor Controlled Firearm.

TL;DR VERSION HERE:

Basically, ALL Airsoft guns that are "Uncontrolled" Firearms (meaning that they shoot more than 366 FPS with evidence) should not have any problem whatsoever entering Canada, as they are an exempted item from Tariff 9898 something something (refer yourself to Orange Coloured Text).

Now guys, please support our Canadian Retailers if you ever want the price of Canadian Airsoft Guns to go down! I know that posting this may have, eh, gave some people some importing thoughts but the only reason why I DID THIS is because I can't find this rifle in Canada >:|

-Jordan
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Old November 25th, 2014, 22:04   #2
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Hello new member.
A bit hypocritical of me, but I think I'll post the comment I can feel coming from the veteran forum lurkers to save them the energy to post it.
"Get AV'd, and you might plausibly, even probably, be able to find it here in Canada."
That said, could a forum veteran please verify his information?
Thanks.
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Old November 25th, 2014, 22:05   #3
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You are new here. This info is over 5 years old. It has been posted countless times on this forum.
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Old November 25th, 2014, 22:11   #4
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Nothing new here.
A quick search will reveal all that information and everything about the process of legally purchasing good quality airsoft.
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Old November 25th, 2014, 22:23   #5
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This is common knowledge among airsofters since we've been beating this info into people's heads for the last 2 years.
I think it's an excellent reference of information if nothing else.
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Old November 25th, 2014, 22:28   #6
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Great work putting the post together though, has all the key points and you actually interpreted everything correctly!
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Old November 25th, 2014, 22:37   #7
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Even though this isn't new info, that's actually a pretty clear and concise post. Should have a home in the FAQ section, IMO.
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Old November 25th, 2014, 22:38   #8
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Yup it's old news indeed

Still it's nice to see newcomers doing their homeworks properly and get a note above average :P

I give you an "A" :P
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Old November 25th, 2014, 23:39   #9
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Great you did the research and got the right answer. last time I went to the CBSA to self clear a gun from the US (damn UPS brokerage charges should be criminal) I had to explain it all to the CBSA agent there.
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Old November 25th, 2014, 23:42   #10
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UPS brokerage SHOULD be illegal. We should write to our MP's
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Old November 25th, 2014, 23:46   #11
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UPS brokerage SHOULD be illegal. We should write to our MP's
Damnit we should! Any brokerage fee over $10 should be illegal. I mean come on, it doesn't take that much time for some clerk on a computer to enter the data. Then the fact that the brokerage fees go up based on the value of the goods when it's the exact same amount of work for a $30 item as a $3000 item is fricking ridiculous!
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Old November 26th, 2014, 00:37   #12
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A newbie registered this month of November came to a dedicated Canadian airsoft site to lecture us, the members of said website, about the laws of our activities.

You would think we would know our own statutes...
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Old November 26th, 2014, 00:58   #13
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while it's old news, it's the most up to date version of what's stated in the regulations. Some places were still quoting the memorandum and the notice about the drop to 366, while others discussed if it was 500 or 5.7J or 500 AND 5.7J

It's all here, nicely summarized so folks don't have to go looking.


That said, getting AVed here and supporting vendors in canada that worked hard with the community and authorities to get this info clarified over the years is definitely appreciated by many.
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Old November 26th, 2014, 01:05   #14
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considering this community has been around for more than 15 years, I'd say "yeah, we know," but it's good to know you know. I'm pretty sure most vet players and members know all this by heart, but hey! This is the front page: a quick refresher for the new guys wouldn't hurt, right?
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Old November 26th, 2014, 02:08   #15
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Quote:
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UPS brokerage SHOULD be illegal. We should write to our MP's
Damn right!
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