Firearm Imports

For Firearms Shipped into the USA from Foreign Countries

Thank you for choosing Simpson Ltd as your firearms importer. To help this process go as smoothly as possible, here are some general guidelines. To apply for your license, you can fill out our on-line PDF application form by clicking here.  Or submit the following information, which is required:

  • Name, address, phone and FAX of foreign seller.
  • Name, address, phone and FAX of foreign shipper, if needed.
  • Name, address, phone and FAX of U.S.A. end-user.
  • Name, address, phone and FAX of U.S.A. FFL Dealer, if different than end-user.
  • Manufacturer & country of manufacture, Model, Type (RI = rifle, SG = Shotgun, PI = pistol, RE = Revolver, RI/SG = Combination or Drilling), Caliber, Barrel length in inches, Overall length in inches, New or Used and value in US Dollars for each firearm.
  •  End use of firearms (ie. collection, resale, sport shooting, consignment sale, etc.) 

Surplus Military or Police Curio & Relic (SMPCR)

For any firearms that are categorized as Surplus Military or Police Curio & Relic (SMPCR) models, additional documentation is required. One of the requirements the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) has for this type of firearm is that it must have been in the country of exportation for at least the last five (5) years. You will need to provide a letter from someone in the country of exportation certifying they have been there for "at least the last 5 years". This "5 Year Letter" must be an original document.  We can provide a sample "5 Year Letter" upon request, or click here. We can also generate a 5 Year Letter to send to your contact for their signature and have them mail it back to us. You may need to provide a receipt or other document showing they have been in the foreign country for at least 5 year, but do not submit this information unless we ask for it.


After we receive these documents, we will apply for your license. An approval can take 8-16 weeks to get back from the BATF, sometimes longer. The clearer the supporting documentation is, the quicker they seem to process the application.

We cannot guarantee approval for every firearm you want to import. There are some guns that cannot be imported. This includes assault weapons, many U.S. Military weapons, machine guns and most .25, .32 and .380 caliber pistols. Pistols with a barrel length of 3" or less are denied. The U.S. Department of State is constantly changing the list of "friendly" countries from which we can receive guns, which can affect approval. We cannot currently import firearms manufactured in China or Russia.

We will email the foreign shipper a copy of the approved import permit and give them instructions on packaging, addressing and documents to put on the parcel.


Many countries require Air Freight shipments for firearms, especially for larger quantities. Some countries allow Air Parcel Post for firearm shipments. If so, the shipping costs will probably be lower. Check with your local service first, and notify us if your firearms are to be shipped via Air Parcel Post. Some of the shipping details will be different. Note that the maximum amount of insurance available for Air Parcel Post is usually less than for air freight.

When your guns are shipped to us, please have them shipped in sturdy containers that can be opened by U.S. Customs, if needed, and resealed. Most parcels are not opened by Customs, unless our instructions have not been followed.

What is it going to cost?

Our fee for processing your import license is $100 plus $75.00 for each firearm, with a minimum fee of $250.00. This includes the cost of Laser Engraving the import marks upon arrival. This fee needs to be received before we can submit your application. $100 is refundable in case of rejection from the BATF. All other fees are not refundable for any other reason you may not receive your firearms. If we need to re-crate your shipment for shipping to the U.S. end-user, there may be an additional handling fee of $10.00 per gun.  We accept cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard or American Express.

There are additional fees that we have little control over. They include all shipping costs from the foreign shipper to us, brokers fees, storage fees, insurance, duty, etc. Some of these costs need to be paid by the shipper at the time of shipment. Please do not send them freight collect. When your shipment arrives in U.S. Customs, we must pay duty, customs broker fees and shipping to us. We will bill those actual costs to you (or charge a credit card, if you desire) along with the additional freight to get them from us to the U.S. FFL holder. The brokers fees are usually between $250 - $350. The duty is approximately 3% of the value of the shipment. The firearms will be shipped after these fees have been paid. You will be liable for these fees, even if there is an error made by our agents or customs personnel.

Firearm Laser Engraving

U.S. law dictates that we place our "Import Mark" on all modern firearms (those manufactured after 1898) we import. The required information is our name, city, state, country of manufacture, caliber, model and serial number if not already on the firearm. This will be done as discreetly and professionally as possible.

Please Note:

Once we have an approved import permit, Simpson Ltd or our bonded Customs Broker must present the original Import Permit and all other paperwork to US Customs to clear the shipment. The owner or shipper cannot clear or hand carry the items through U.S. Customs. This is a Federal liability for us, and we will be forced to report infractions.

We realize this can be a long, drawn-out and frustrating process at times. Processing and approvals can take several months. An import application can come back in as little as 3 weeks, while another one, submitted the same day, may take 10 weeks. Getting an export permit from some countries can be harder than others. Because of these variables, which are beyond our control, we cannot give you a schedule as to when your items can be shipped or when they will arrive.

Thank you for letting us serve as your U.S. firearms importer. We will try our best to make this sometimes treacherous process as smooth as possible.

For more information, you can send an e-mail to Nica at

Click Here for Online PDF Import Application

Click Here for Sample 5 Year Letter