Importing Service

Meplat Firearm Services provides an importing service that allows you to obtain firearms, firearm accessories and ammunition components from overseas suppliers that are not available from Australian retailers or distributors. Let us handle the import permits, export licences and all the Australian Border Force (formerly Australian Customs & Border Protection Service), DAFF BioSecurity (formerly called Australian Quaratine & Inspection Service) and Police importation documents for you.

Below is an outline of the process and requirements, designed to provide you with both understanding and transparency of what is involved in importing. Please take the time to read through it.

Importing Costs

Currently, low volume importing is very expensive due to the low value of the Australian dollar against other currencies, especially the US$, as most of our imports are from the United States. Meplat Firearm Services charge a fee for the importation of firearms and firearm parts due to the work and associated costs involved in arranging the import and export documentation and clearing the items through Aust Border Force. This fee forms only part of the total cost of the imported item. In order to keep costs as low as possible, MFS generally ships individual items as part of a larger consignment, as the fixed importing costs can be spread across more items. This reduces the landed cost of each individual firearm or part. You should also be aware that any consignment with a total value of $1,000 or more that is imported is subject to arrival GST of 10%, charged by the Aust Border Force. This is regardless of whether individual items contained within the consignment are less than that amount, and regardless of whether they are new or second hand.

Currently (as at 13 September 2017) the effectve exchange rate is around US$0.780 to the Australian dollar. Don't confuse the official exchange rate with what you actually get when you send money overseas. Depending on your bank, the rate can be reduced by 2.5 - 4 cents. We use a foreign exchange company and typically pay around 2.2 cents. Based on the exchange rate listed above, here are some examples of what firearms (based on longarms - handguns will cost slightly less) and firearm parts will cost you delivered, against their purchase costs (note that actual costs could vary and depend on things like weight and exchange rates at both time of purchase and import):

Item US$ Cost A$ Deliv'd Cost Item US$ Cost A$ Deliv'd Cost Item US$ Cost A$ Deliv'd Cost
Firearm US$250 A$1,135 Major Part US$50 A$315 Minor Part US$25 A$160
Firearm US$500 A$1,580 Major Part US$100 A$395 Minor Part US$50 A$200
Firearm US$1,000 A$2,495 Major Part US$200 A$555 Minor Part US$75 A$240
Firearm US$2,000 A$4,260 Major Part US$400 A$880 Minor Part US$100 A$280

 

For low value items, the fixed costs can be more than the cost of the item. Apply a poor exchange rate to that, and the cost of importing the items increases greatly. Single importing (i.e. not as part of a consignment) could cost significantly more. As we always tell customers, if you can buy the item you want in Australia, then do it, as it wll be quicker and cheaper. Typically, items already in Australia have been imported in bulk by a wholesaler or distributor at wholesale prices. This greatly reduces their landed cost per unit. If we import something specifically for you, it is usually at retail cost. However, if what you want is just not available in Australia, importing at least gives you the option of obtaining it.

Costs payable include:

1.       Item purchase price;

2.       US shipping from supplier to exporter;

3.       Export costs from US, including exporter fees (percentage) and State Dept export licence fee (proportional);

4.      Telegraphic transfer fees (proportional - both to send and to receive funds internationally)

5.       Shipping from US to Australia (proportional);

6.       Landing charges (proportional);

7.       GST (charged on the combined value of purchase, export fees and shipping, for any consignment of value $1,000 or more);

8.       Import Duty (applicable to some items, see below);

9.       Aust Border Force and DAFF BioSecurity processing and inspection fees (proportional);

10.     MFS import fee (fixed cost); and

11.     Postage cost to your local dealer (unless you can pick up from Adelaide - cost is dependant on your location, and your item size and weight.).

Actual cost calculations depend on a number of factors:

1.       Exchange rates at time of item purchase and import;

2.       Shipping cost depends on the weight of the item and current air freight prices;

3.       US export fees depend on the cost of the item, and also the number of items being imported in the same consignment.

4.       US export fees can also vary from exporter to exporter. The exporter used may vary, depending on the origin (supplier) of the goods.

If you were to import the item yourself, you would have to pay all costs except for the MFS import fee (item 10.), and possibly also an import broker's fee on top (depending on which State you live in). However, you would then need to do all the export paperwork yourself and then, either submit your Customs import declaration when your consignment arrives, or (depending on your State) engage an import broker to do the Customs clearance for you. If MFS do the importing, then we handle all the export and import documentation.

Importing though us is usually cheaper than trying to import it yourself. If you were to import the firearm yourself as a single item, you cannot utilise any savings that occur when a consignment is imported. For example, the US State Dept charge a US$250 documentation fee for any export licence issued for firearms or firearm parts. This applies whether you import one firearm / part or 20 in the consignment. So, if your rifle was one of 10 in a consignment, then you only pay the proportional documentation fee (10% = US$25) for your firearm, whereas if your firearm was the only item in the consignment, you pay the full US$250.

US exporters typically charge export fees in a range between 5% – 15%. The ones that charge lower export fees are generally those who will only export items that they supply themselves. If you want items from more than one supplier and can't import all your items through the one exporter, the cost of importing more than one consignment may outweigh the cost of going with an exporter who charges a higher fee, but will accept items from various suppliers.

Wherever possible, MFS will include as many import items as possible into each consignment (within a reasonable timeframe) to reduce the proportion of fixed costs on each item. This makes the total import cost less for each item, and as such providers a lower total cost to you.

MFS Import Fees

For our work in arranging the export and import paperwork and Customs clearance, we charge you a fixed import fee per item. This fee is not dependent on the cost of the item (i.e. it is not a percentage fee based on the item value). The fee charged per item may be reduced if you order more than one item within the same consignment. Also, firearms are charged at a separate rate from less expensive firearm accessory items (but which still need export & import paperwork & Customs clearance). Please note that the MFS Import Fee is all that we make from the transaction, but forms only part of the total cost estimate that we will provide you. The other exporting and importing costs associated with importing your item (outlined above) are payable by you, and these are included in the total cost estimate we will give you before you commit to the purchase..

Firearms / Actions Major Firearm Parts Minor Firearm Parts
No. of Firearms Fee Per Firearm Total Import Fee No. of Items Fee Per Item Total Import Fee No. of Items Fee Per Item Total Import Fee
1 $275 $275 1 $100 $100 1 $50 $50
2 $170 $340 2 $70 $140 2 $35 $70
3 $135 $405 3 $56 $168 3 $29 $87
4 $110 $440 4 $48 $192 4 $24 $96
5 $97 $485 5 $43 $215 5 $21 $105
6 $86 $516 6 $38 $228 6 $19 $114
7 $78 $546 7 $34 $238 7 $17 $119
8 $73 $584 8 $31 $248 8 $16 $128
9 $69 $621 9 $29 $261 9 $15 $135
10 $63 $630 10 $27 $270 10 $14 $140
11 $63 $693 11 $27 $297 11 $14 $154
12 $63 $756 12 $27 $324 12 $14 $168

Import Fee Notes:

1.    A firearm action with a serial number is charged as a firearm, as the paperwork requirements are exactly the same.

2.    Firearm parts are non-serilaised parts including stocks, barrels, trigger assemblies, magazines, sights etc. Major parts are considered to be larger items like barrels and stocks, which need to be posted separately, while minor items are small items that we can easily add to a box containing other import items (i.e. projectiles or other parts).

3.    To obtain the reduced import fee rates for multiple firearms / parts, they must be included in the same consignment and be sent to the same customer / dealer.

4.    Multiple identical firearm parts purchased from the same supplier will count as one item (e.g. if we buy 3 identical pistol magazines for the same pistol from the same seller, they will count as one item, attracting a single import fee).

5.    Import Fee is exclusive of GST. 10% GST will be added.

Extra Costs:

1.    If you are ordering a custom build rifle or stock through us (extra liaison with customer & gunsmiths)        $100

2.    If you are importing a Cat C or D firearm / parts (additional applications and statutory declaration for AG's Dept application)     $75

3.    If you are importing a firearm as a single item consignment                                                             $50

Importing Process

The process for obtaining your required item will depend on the supplier and the exporter. Generally for US imports now, the preferred option once you have located the item you wish to purchase, is to inform us of the details and let us do the rest. Our US exporter will purchase the item on your behalf, and warehouse it until we have a full consignment ready to ship. negotiate the sale of the item with the seller, advising them that payment will be made by a US based Federal Firearms Licence (FFL) exporter. This is preferred because it greatly streamlines the export paperwork on the US side and also because it often avoids supplier issues. Many suppliers (especially private sellers) will only accept payment from US credit cards or US based bank accounts anyway (also most sellers won't want to deal with you if they think that they will have to do the exportng themselves, as very few hold export licences). Our exporter holds a Federal Firearms Licence (FFL) to buy and sell in the US and to export firearms overseas. Before the exporter makes the purchase, we will invoice you for the initial purchase costs and once paid, the exporter will proceed with the transaction.

Some exporters are also retailers, but will only export items that they supply themselves and won't accept items for export that have come from another supplier. The exporter that we maily use will purchase and accept goods from various suppliers, and essentially becomes the new supplier once the goods have arrived at their facikity and been entered into their books. When being exported, all goods in a consignment need to be in the name of the same importer, which will be MFS.

Customs Import Duty Rates

Some items will attract Import Duty, applied by the Australian Border Force (as Customs is now called). Items manufactured entirely in the US are subject to the US Free Trade Agreement and as such, are duty exempt. The rates of Import Duty applicable to typical firearm items are listed below:

Item Duty
Complete Firearms Free
Firearm Parts 5%
Shotgun Barrels Free
Loaded Ammunition 5%
Ammunition Components Free
Reloading Dies 5%
Accuracy Tools Free

Requirements of You

The requirements of you are:

1.         Ensure that the item is legal / able to be registered in your state / territory (enquire with your State / Territory Police firearms section);

2.         Provide MFS with details of the item you are after including the model number and where it can be purchased (please note that MFS does not engage in searching for items for you);

3.         Transfer the initial purchase cost of the item to MFS or exporter as directed, so that MFS or the exporter can purchases the item from the supplier;

4.         Nominate a local firearms dealer near you and supply their details (including dealer licence number) if the item is a firearm or controlled firearm part, for MFS to ship to;

5.         Pay the residual amount (shipping costs, landing charges, GST etc.) when the item has arrived at MFS and is ready to ship to you / your local dealer; and

6.         Apply for a permit to acquire the firearm in accordance with your State / Territory laws, as per any other firearm. This will be from your nominated local dealer if the firearm is being sent there.

Note:  MFS will only import firearms for you that are legal in the jurisdiction in which you live, and only provided that you hold the appropriate licence. Before we commence an import, we may request that you provide written permissions from your state police confirming that you are able to register certain firearms and firearm articles.

This should provide you with enough information to be able to determine if importing through MFS will suit your needs. Direct importing from the US through MFS may well likely be  faster than it is to special order items through an Australian retailer (who in turn orders through large distributors). However, importing is still a slow process, thanks to the layers of paperwork and permits required, on top of the time it takes to fill a consignment. It does allows you to obtain items from overseas that no Australian distributor may import.

While individuals can do personal imports themselves, the requisite paperwork is fairly involved and time consuming, and if unfamiliar wth the requirements and process, things can go wrong. In some states it is a legal requirement to utilise an import broker anyway. This is why most people do not import directly themselves.

Call or email us to discuss what importing requirements you may have.

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