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Why you need a U.S. Customs Form 4457

Updated on February 21, 2013

What U.S. Hunters and Fisherman need to know before taking that International Trip of a lifetime! This knowledge could save your gear from confiscation or costly import duty.

The last thing anyone who travels internationally, including Canada and Mexico, is more delays or problems at the airport. If you book your hunting or fishing trip direct with the foreign outfitter, you are usually on your own to find out what paperwork is needed for TSA, The Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection, Foreign Customs, etc. When you book your trip thru a professional hunting consultant or fishing agent, such as Global Sporting Safaris, Inc., they will supply you with all of the forms and instructions on how to fill them out.

One of the most important forms the International Hunter or fisherman will need is the US Customs and Border Control Form 4457. This is a small form (5.5”x4.24”) is proof that the equipment listed on the form was purchased and owned in the United States. The significance of this document is to keep U.S. Customs and Border Protection from thinking you may have bought the items abroad and thus charging you U.S. Duty (Tax) upon reentry into the United States. If you are a hunter and will be carrying a firearm(s), the form will also tell the US Customs and Border Patrol agent that the firearms listed on the From 4457 have been checked thru the U.S. Stolen Firearms database and the firearm is in a “legal” status.

What information goes on a US Customs and Border Control Form 4457?

You will want to put all items of value on your US Customs and Border Control Form 4457. Most important are items with serial numbers. Most international hunting and fishing travelers will list their firearms, scopes, rangefinders, binoculars, spotting scopes, etc. Fisherman will list their fishing rods, reels, etc. Also consider listing any electronic equipment such as laptop computers, iPods, etc. If you are traveling with expensive jewelry or watches, they should be listed as well.

Other information on the US Customs and Border Control Form 4457 is your full name, address, port, date of issuance, your signature and the signature of the U.S. Customs Agent. Remember, your 4457 isn’t valid until you sign it. Make several copies of this form and carry the original with your passport. It’s a good idea to keep a copy in your gun case or fishing rod or reel case. Always keep a copy of your passport in these cases in case you lose your original.

How do I get a US Customs and Border Control Form 4457 filled out?

The best way is to locate a US Customs Officer. You can usually find their office at any International Airport. Some larger cities will have an office downtown you can go to. You will need to make an appointment and physically take all of your articles to the airport or US Customs office so the officer and log them into the form.

When you receive it, sign the form immediately and make your copies. This is one of several steps you can do to reduce stress and potential financial loss on your next International Hunting or Fishing trip. Your US Form 4457 is good for life. Keep it in a safe place.

Global Sporting Safaris, a full time Hunting Consultant and Fishing Agency based in Casper, Wyoming.


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