Weapons and ammunition (application for consent and export licence)
Customs Administration Groningen/Central Office for Import and Export (CDIU) has been designated to issue:
- consent for the entry into, the exit of, or the transit through the Netherlands for category II and III weapons, ammunition and parts of weapons and ammunition, which are not destined for public service or the armed forces
- export licences for the export out of the European Union (EU) for the firearms and ammunition cited in Appendix I of EU Regulation 258/2012, if this export takes place from the Netherlands
Wet wapens en munitie (WWM) Weapons and Ammunition Act
The Weapons and Ammunition Act prohibits a large number of activities, among others:.
This includes the following dealings involving weapons and ammunition:
- entry into the territory of the Netherlands
- exit from the territory of the Netherlands with the destination being another EU Member State or a country outside the EU
- transit (entry followed by exit)
The Weapons and Ammunition Act sets out rules for the legal possession of weapons and ammunition (the rules concerning weapons also apply to parts and accessories that are specifically destined for those weapons and that are of an essential nature).
These rules state that that the following activities are allowed, provided you are eligible for an exemption or you have a licence:
- entry into the Netherlands
- exit from the Netherlands
- transit through the Netherlands
- possession in the Netherlands
Such a licence can be issued under various different titles. The Weapons and Ammunition Act specifies consents, exemptions and authorisation.
The Central Office for Import and Export (CDIU) may grant a consent for entry into, exit from or transit through the Netherlands of weapons and ammunition in the categories II and III. This also applies to intra-Community movement between the EU Member States.
You can apply for the following consents:
- consent for entry
- consent for exit
- consent for entry followed by exit (transit)
- consent for exit followed by entry (temporary export)
On application, the Minister of Justice and Security may grant an exemption from the prohibitive provisions contained in the Weapons and Ammunition Act (Section 4.1).
An authorisation to possess weapons and ammunition is to be applied for from the Chief Constable of the police in the place of residence of the applicant.
Regulation 258/2012 of the European Union
This regulation includes measures relating to:
- the licensing requirements for export out of the EU
- the transit through countries outside the EU
- the import into countries outside the EU
The EU Regulation 258/2012 imposes licensing requirements for the export of firearms, parts, essential components and ammunition listed in Appendix 1 of the regulation and for the related measures concerning the export of firearms for civilian use to countries outside the EU.
There are 3 types of licences. The specific characteristics of the licences listed below can be found in EU Regulation 258/2012.
- single licence
- multiple licences
- general licence
No export licence is required under certain conditions in relation to the export and re-export of small numbers of firearms for hunters and sport shooters. Simplified procedures are possible for exhibitions or repairs. The regulation does not apply to:
- transactions between EU Member States
- firearms, their parts, essential components and ammunition that are designed especially for military use and never for fully automatic firearms
- firearms, their parts, essential components and ammunition that are destined for the army, the police or government bodies of the Member States
- collectors and institutions that are concerned with the cultural and historical aspects of firearms, their parts, essential components and ammunition
- firearms that have been properly deactivated
- antique firearms or replicas of these, as defined in accordance with national legislation, on the understanding that firearms manufactured after 1899 do not fall under the category of antique firearms
Military goods under the Besluit strategische goederen (Bsg) (Strategic Goods Decree)
For goods designated as military goods you must also apply for an export licence for military goods in addition to a consent or export licence. The obligation for a licence for military goods applies to the transfer to an EU Member State as well as to exports to outside the European Union. For further details, go to Strategic goods. You will find explanatory notes attached to the application forms for a consent or an export licence.
In case of transfer of weapons and ammunition through the Netherlands for hunters and sport shooters you can use the consent for entry, exit and as individual transit licence for military goods. You do not need a separate licence for military goods.
Submitting an application
You may apply for a consent or export licence by using one of the following forms:
In the form you will find instructions on how to complete and submit your application.
For further information, please contact the Customs Administration Groningen/Central Office for Import and Export (CDIU).
More information for travellers (private or otherwise) is available under the section Individuals, Abroad and customs, Restricted or prohibited to import / export, Weapons and ammunition.