If you want to bring your own rifle to South Africa on a hunt, you must properly fill out the SAPS 520 Form in order to obtain a temporary firearms import permit. Read on to learn how to fill out the SAPS 520 Form.
The SAPS 520 Form is used by the South African Police Service as an all-encompassing form for all sorts of firearm related transactions.
If you plan on bringing your own rifle to use while hunting in South Africa or plan on transiting South Africa for a hunt in another African country, then you must complete a SAPS 520 Form. Since the form is used for so many different purposes, it is extremely long and can be confusing to fill out for the uninitiated. However, I promise you that filling out the SAPS 520 Form is not as difficult as it seems at first.
There are a number of companies who will help you import a rifle into South Africa for a fee, but if you book a hunt with Big Game Hunting Adventures, we will assist you in the process of importing your rifles free of charge. Send us your completed SAPS 520 Form and the other required documentation at the bottom of this page and we will get your temporary firearm permit pre-approved to save time and hassle when you arrive in South Africa.
This means you’ll be able to get out of the airport and start hunting that much faster!
There are lots of outfitters offering “cheap” or “discount” African hunts out there and hunters who book those sort of trips often get what they pay for. It should be a big red flag if your outfitter is not providing any assistance with your SAPS 520 form. If they aren’t helping you with your rifle import permit, how can you be sure they will guide you on a quality hunt or make sure you’ll get your trophies once you get back home?
Keep reading for step by step instructions on how to fill out the SAPS 520 form.
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Additional Required Documents
In addition to your completed SAPS 520 form, the South African will require the documents below to issue you a temporary firearms import permit.
- US Customs Form 4457 – Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad: You can download the form at the CBP web site here. This form is only required for American hunters. Prior to your hunt, go to a nearby CBP office with this form and your rifles. The agent there will verify that the serial numbers on your rifles match with those on the form and certify your form. The 4457 form will serve as proof of ownership for your rifles in South Africa and will also ensure that you are able to bring them back to the United States upon completion of your hunt.
- Important: Make sure you have the most up to date version of the 4457. The South African Police will not accept an expired or out of date form. The new version of the form is functionally identical to older versions and the only differences between them are the issue and expiration dates. For this reason, many CBP offices use older versions of the form. To avoid any issues with getting your rifle permit approved for your hunt, please print out a copy of the most current 4457 from and get it certified by CBP.
- Copy of your passport (photo and signature page). You must have at least two free pages in your passport and it must be valid for at least six months after your trip is scheduled to end.
- Proof of ownership of the rifles you intend to bring on your hunt. The US Customs form 4457 serves this purpose for American hunters. Hunters from other countries should bring a copy of their firearms license.
- Copy of your flight itinerary.
- A letter of invitation from your outfitter. If you are hunting with us, we will provide it to you upon receipt of your deposit.
Fully automatic firearms and military firearms may not be imported into South Africa. Additionally, you may not bring two different firearms of the same caliber into the country.
If you’re booked on a hunt with us and have questions on how to fill out the SAPS 520 form, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.