ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

27 CFR 47.45: IMPORTATION
OF SURPLUS MILITARY CURIO OR RELIC FIREARMS

Importers of surplus
military curio or relic firearms must submit originals of all appropriate
statements supporting the Form 6 application.

ATF Ruling 2001-3

The Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has received inquiries from firearms importers
concerning supporting documents required to be submitted with applications
to import surplus military curio or relic firearms. Importers often rely
upon documents obtained by the foreign shipper or seller and have asked
whether copies of the documents, rather than originals, may be submitted
with the application. For the reasons stated below, ATF has found that
importers of surplus military curio or relic firearms must submit originals
of all appropriate statements supporting the application.

ATF has the authority
pursuant to section 38 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), 22 U.S.C.
2778, and implementing regulations, to approve import permits, as well
as to deny, revoke, suspend, or revise import permits without prior notice
whenever the proposed importation is found to be inconsistent with the
purpose or in violation of section 38 or its implementing regulations.
See 27 CFR 47.41, 47.44(a).

Under the AECA and
implementing regulations, it is the policy of the United States to deny
licenses and other approvals with respect to defense articles and defense
services originating in certain countries or areas as determined by the
Department of State. This policy applies to countries or areas with respect
to which the United States maintains an arms embargo. See 27 CFR
47.52(a). Nonetheless, applications for permits to import articles that
were manufactured in, or have been in, a proscribed country or proscribed
area may be approved where the articles:

  • Are covered by
    Category I(a) of the Import List (other than those subject to the provisions
    of 27 CFR Part 179);
  • Are importable
    as curios or relics under the provisions of 27 CFR 178.118;
  • Were manufactured
    in a proscribed country or area prior to the date the country or area
    became proscribed, or, were manufactured in a non-proscribed country
    or area; and,
  • The articles have
    been stored for the five year period immediately prior to importation
    in a non-proscribed country or area.

22 U.S.C. 2778(b)(1)(B);
27 CFR 47.52(e).

Any persons seeking
to import articles under these provisions must explain and certify how
the firearms meet the applicable criteria. The certification statement
must be executed under the penalties of perjury. In addition, the statement
must be accompanied by documentary information both on the country or
area of original manufacture, and on the country or area of storage for
the five year period immediately prior to importation. Such
information
may, for example, include a verifiable statement in the English language
of a government official or any other person having knowledge of the date
and place of manufacture and/or the place of storage. ATF reserves the
right to determine whether documentation provided is acceptable, and to
require the submission of additional documentation as may be necessary.

27 CFR 47.52(f).

To ensure the lawfulness
of the importation of surplus military defense articles, ATF must be able
to rely upon the validity of import permit applications and all supporting
documentation. This documentation includes but is not limited to appropriate
and verifiable documentation of the above-referenced:

(1) Importer certification
statement;

(2) Statement on the country or area of original manufacture; and,

(3) Statement on the country or area of storage for the five year period
immediately prior to importation.

In the past, import
permit applicants have submitted photocopies of the required statements.
ATF has become aware that, in some cases, the photocopies are fraudulent.
To assist ATF in confirming the validity and authenticity of these statements,
importers must submit original statements in support of all import
permit applications. Consistent with the purpose of section 38 of the
AECA and implementing regulations, ATF will deny all permit applications
that fail to include the above-described original statements.

Held, all
importers submitting permit applications to import surplus military defense
articles, importable as curio or relics, must provide with the permit
applications originals of all necessary supporting statements. ATF will
deny permit applications when applicants fail to provide appropriate original
statements, as ATF finds that copies are not acceptable documentation
within the meaning of 27 CFR 47.52(f).

Date signed: October
31, 2001