Firearms - Guides - Importation & Verification of Firearms, Ammunition and Implements of War - Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET)

General Information

Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET)

Note: ATF no longer administers the Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET) provisions of law. That authority rests with the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade Bureau (TTB) within the U.S. Dept. of Treasury. Accordingly, the following information is provided to help increase importers’ awareness of the tax and their possible liability for the tax depending on the nature of their operations.


First imposed on February 25, 1919, Section 4181 of the Internal Revenue Code imposes an excise tax on imported firearms and ammunition when the importer sells or uses the firearms or ammunition (FAET). A tax if 10 percent of the sales price is imposed on pistols and revolvers, and a tax of 11 percent of the sales price is imposed on other portable weapons (e.g., rifles and shotguns) and ammunition. The excise tax is not imposed again unless the firearms and ammunition are further manufactured. At one time, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) was responsible for collecting FAET. However, since January 2003, this responsibility rests with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), U.S. Dept. of Treasury.

Who is Liable for FAET

Under most circumstances, the person who causes and directs the importation of the firearms and/or ammunition will be liable for the FAET. For the purposes of FAET, the importer is any person who imports firearms or ammunition (shells or cartridges) into the U.S., or who withdraws such articles from an FTZ or CBW for sale or use in the U.S.


There are certain situations where the importation of firearms or ammunition may be exempt from FAET. Information regarding these exemptions may be obtained at or by contacting TTB’s National Revenue Center (see below).

Taxable Activities

Any activity conducted in the course of trade or business that would require an FAET tax return, ATF Form 5300.35, Federal Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax Return, may require the importer to make a deposit in addition to the need to file an ATF F 5300.35. Refer to ATF Form 5300.27, Federal Firearms Ammunition Excise Tax Deposit, for further information on when a deposit is required.

FAET Inquiries

For further information concerning FAET, please contact TTB’s Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax Unit within their National Revenue Center.

Department of the Treasury

Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax Unit

8002 Federal Office Building

550 Main Street

Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 USA

Voice 1-800-398-2282

Voice 1-513-684-3817


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Last Reviewed August 2, 2019