Shipping/carrying ammunition to Alaska
I thought I might share some information about the finer points of shipping ammunition to Alaska.
First option is to ship it to a West Coast port, typically one in the Seattle area, such as Fife, WA, and having it sent via barge up to Alaska through the use of the services of a freight forwarding company. This avoids the complexities of dealing with Canada. My club has used American Fast Freight in the past without any problems; other reputable companies exist. Downside is that unless you can pick it up at the Anchorage terminal at the port, shipment within Alaska can get pretty "salty".
Another option, if you are planning a drive up the Al-Can Highway, is to carry it through Canada with you. This is surprisingly straightforward from a customs point of view. The following information was obtained from a senior official in the US Customs Service here in Alaska, who asked questions of the Canadian customs folks to get the whole picture. I therefore consider this extremely reliable, but I am not an attorney, and as with all free "legal advice", my advice here is worth exactly what you paid me for it......
First, you need to have a bill of sale, establishing the sales price of the ammunition, as well as any shipping costs....seems the Canadians may want to factor shipping costs into the value of an item. Then, prior to leaving the US, you stop in at the border station for US Customs, and complete and execute a Form 7512B <Click for link to form>, "United States-Canada Transit Manifest" with US Customs prior to entering Canada.
The Canadians allow importation of up to 5000 rounds of ammunition without a permit. Above that amount, and you will need to obtain an explosives import permit from the Canadian Government prior to import.
They have certain ammo restrictions, such as no pistol hollowpoint ammunition, no incendiary, AP, etc. You should be fine with plain-jane ball ammo in rifle and pistol calibers. If you want to import specialty bullet ammo, etc, you must contact the government there first before trying to enter Canada to see if they will grant you a permit.
You present the executed Form 7512B at Canadian customs when crossing. Solely at the discretion of the Canadian customs agent, you may be assessed duty on the ammunition (perhaps 10%, especially if the ammunition originated outside the US or Mexico.....NAFTA to the rescue), so be prepared to pay the duty. You pay the duty, and keep the receipt. You then complete your trip through Canada, and when exiting Canada, present your receipt for duty paid (if any) to Canadian Customs at your port of exit, and you will have your duty refunded.
You then present your Form 7215B to US Customs when re-entering the US, and that is it. US Customs has essentially no issues with allowing re-importation of trans-shipped ammunition presented along with a Form 7215B, which I must admit I found mildly surprising.
Be aware that, as always, you are subject to search by Customs agents whenever you cross a border. A good attitude will help minimize any hassles. Also, be sure to have the ammo packed in your vehicle so that it is easily available for inspection. Also, keep in mind that transportation of firearms through Canada is subject to much stricter restrictions, surprisingly enough, than ammunition.....don't be surprised if the Customs Agents asks you lots of questions about whether you are carrying any firearms. If you are relocating to Alaska, having receipts/invoices/manifests showing shipment of your firearms by FedEx or UPS or your moving company to your new Alaskan address may be handy to have available.
Geal ‘us dearg a suas!
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