If in doubt, contact the country's customs and border patrol agency before arrival to find out what items might be restricted. This is typically published online.
And declare the items, if you are uncertain if they are restricted, or you know they are restricted, when you clear customs. They may or may not take custody of the item and return it when you depart, or if it is illegal they may just confiscate it permanently. Their country, their rules, simple enough to become knowledgeable of the local rules by asking, and to thence comply.
By way of example, the link below is the USA Customs and Border Patrol webpage that details the long list of prohibited and restricted items
. Goes way beyond merely weapons.
Here in Montana, it is customary to carry large canisters of bear spray when walking about outside of a town as one never knows when one may have a close encounter, but bear spray is a restricted item in many States and countries and one could be arrested as it is crime to carry. My vehicles all have bear spray canisters in them to have if we go for a hike, I forget to remove them when I leave the state and say drive to California
to visit family
. Bear spray is a far more effective deterrent than a gun when dealing with the bruins. Bear Spray is considered a pesticide and the product needs to registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]. Regulated similar to mosquito repellant. The maximum bear spray strength allowed by the EPA is 2.0% capsaicinoids.
Whereas in California
bear spray is restricted: California laws do not require a license
to carry pepper spray. However, the State of California does regulate the size and/or weight of the defense spray products the average citizen can buy and carry. The legal
container size must be equal to or less than 2.5 ounces. Whereas in Montana, the minimum
recommended size is 7.9 ounces [225 grams] and ever person in your group should have their own container and be trained in its proper and quick use, even kids
, say starting at about 10 years of age. A 10-ounce bottle can spray upto 40 feet and has about 8 seconds of spray. An 8-ounce bottle sprays 32 feet for 7 seconds. A one or two second burst typically suffices to derive effective deterrence and one should reserve the supply of pepper so as to have multiple deterrence uses, especially if being stalked by the bear wherein repeated confrontations will occur over long distance of hiking out. But this is Montana, where most of the university and college dorm buildings have a hobby room specifically equipped and designated for gun cleaning
. Much like the other hobby rooms, sewing, common area kitchen, reading rooms, work
out rooms, bicycle maintenance
Bear spray is legal
to own in California and the canisters can contain more than 2.5 ounces if the company that makes it registers it with the State as a pesticide. However, using bear spray on humans is illegal. While it works the same way, having a canister in any amount greater than 2.5 ounces for use other than the way it was intended is a crime. The law also specifies that in CA legal pepper spray must not expel the gas by any method other than an aerosol spray. Also, it is illegal to sell or furnish any tear gas or tear gas weapon to a minor. It is also unlawful for a minor under 14 years old to purchase
, possess, or use pepper spray of any kind. However, juveniles 14 years and older may possess pepper spray with their parent’s permission.
Snipet copied therefrom:
CBP has been entrusted with enforcing hundreds of laws for 40 other government
agencies, such as the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service
, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These agencies require that unsafe items are not allowed to enter the United States. CBP officers are always at ports
of entry and assume the responsibility of protecting America from all threats.
The products CBP prevent from entering the United States are those that would injure community health
, public safety
, American workers, children
, or domestic plant and animal life, or those that would defeat our national interests. Sometimes the products that cause injury, or have the potential to do so, may seem fairly innocent. But, as you will see from the material that follows, appearances can be deceiving.
Before you leave for your trip abroad, you might want to talk to CBP about the items you plan to bring back to be sure they're not prohibited or restricted. Prohibited means the item is forbidden by law to enter the United States. Examples of prohibited items
are dangerous toys, cars that don't protect their occupants in a crash, bush meat, or illegal substances like absinthe and Rohypnol. Restricted means that special licenses or permits are required from a federal agency before the item is allowed to enter the United States. Examples of restricted items
include firearms, certain fruits and vegetables, animal products, animal by products, and some animals
Specifically as to the USA and firearms: You need to register them when departing with a firearm or ammunition and you need to declare upon entry.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regulates and restricts firearms and ammunition and approves all permanent import
transactions involving weapons and ammunition. If you want to import
weapons or ammunition, you must do so through a licensed importer, dealer or manufacturer. Also, if the National Firearms Act prohibits certain weapons, ammunition or similar devices from coming into the country, you will not be able to import them unless the ATF provides you with written authorization to do so. If the firearm is controlled as a U.S. Munitions List article and it is temporarily imported to the United States, or it is temporarily exported, it may also require a Department of State license
or need to meet the conditions for a license exemption.
You do not need an ATF permit
if you can demonstrate that you are returning with the same firearms or ammunition that you took out of the United States. To prevent problems when returning, you should register your firearms and related equipment
by taking them to any CBP office before you leave the United States. The CBP officer will register them on the same CBP Form-4457 used to register cameras or computers
. For more information, please refer to the Tip: Register Items Before You Leave The United States page.