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European Firearms Pass

posted 23 Oct 2020, 09:28 by Tony Cattermole
The following message has just been received from the Home Office.

"It is now clear that EFPs will not feature in any agreement with the EU. This means that from 1 January 2021, GB certificate holders will no longer be able to apply for an EFP or use one to travel to the EU with their firearm or shotgun. The situation will be different in Northern Ireland where, in line with the NI Protocol, NI certificate holders will still be able to benefit from EFPs.”

We expect further information from the Home Office about what this will mean in practice, which we will share when received.

We have sent the following response from BSSC:-

"Given that it is likely that negotiations over a wide range of matters will continue to unfold between the UK and the EU in the years to come, we would wish the prospect of a bilateral agreement on adoption of the EFP (such as is the case with Switzerland) to remain on the agenda going forward.
The other issue is the question of recognition by the police of the EFPs of visitors to the UK from Europe in establishing their bona fides for the granting of British Visitor Permits. It seems to us that it makes a great deal of sense for forces to continue to rely on an EU citizen’s EFP for this purpose, rather than to ignore the EFP and turn instead to national documents which are most unlikely to be in English and will, in the case of Greece and Bulgaria, not even be in the latin alphabet. We know that it has been a preferred position of UK forces to continue to rely on the EFP for this purpose, and we would welcome clarification on what the position will be going forward. It makes no sense at all for forces to refuse to recognise a potential visitor’s EFP, which has of course been issued by their local police, simply on the basis that it bears the EU flag."

This is the formal notice from the Home Office

Changes to EFPs
When the UK transition period ends, from 1 January 2021 residents of Great Britain will no longer be able to apply for a European Firearms Pass (EFP) or use one to travel to the EU with their firearm or shotgun.
Residents of Northern Ireland will still be able to request an EFP and to use it to take a lawfully owned firearm to an EU country, including the Republic of Ireland, from 1 January 2021.

What this means for your members

Before travelling, GB residents will need to check and follow the licensing requirements of any EU country they will be in with a firearm from 1 January, as well as UK import and export controls. This includes if you are in an EU country on 1 January.

Countries may have varying lead times for applying for licenses, so we recommend checking requirements well ahead of travelling.

If you’re sponsoring an EU visitor bringing a firearm to GB, you should apply to the local police force for a visitor’s permit like now but will not need to produce the visitor’s valid EFP. Visitor’s permits issued before the transition period ends will stay valid until they expire.

Next steps

Any enquiries about travelling with firearms after the end of the transition period may be answered by the H O guidance on GOV.UK

More news follows as soon as we have it.

Derek Stimpson