All deactivated firearms must be correctly certified if they are to be legally imported into the UK as failure to obtain correct certification could leave the owner liable for a heavy fine or six months imprisonment.


On 8 April, new EU Regulation (Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2403 of 15 December 2015 establishing common guidelines on deactivation standards and techniques for ensuring that deactivated firearms are rendered irreversibly inoperable) will require all owners of deactivated firearms to be in possession of a deactivation certificate .  This certification must be issued by a verifying entity and the weapon permanently marked to show the deactivated status.  Depending on the type of weapon and work undertaken to deactivate it, when importing to the UK, there may still be a requirement by the authorised centres in the UK to carry out their own work on the weapon to fully render it deactivated in accordance with UK legislation. 



For the purpose of the Regulations:

‘firearm’ shall mean any portable barrelled weapon that expels, is designed to expel or may be converted to expel a shot, bullet or projectile by the action of a combustible propellant., A deactivated firearm is defined as a weapon that has been rendered incapable of being fired and has been examined by an authorised centre and found to meet the necessary legal standards.


Once it is confirmed as deactivated, the pressure bearing parts will be stamped with a date mark and a certificate issued to that effect. The marks will be visible and should not be removed. The deactivation certificate must be passed on to the new owner if the gun is sold. 


Further advice.

BFG Personnel or unitsreturning to the UK with deactivated weapons or Operational Memorabilia (Unit held trophy weapons) who have questions or concerns around their import to UK should contact the UK authorised centres below:



The Worshipful Company of Gunmakers of the City of London,
The Proof House,
48 Commercial Road,
London, E1 1LPTelephone: 0044 20 7481 2695
Fax: 0044 20 7480 5102

Website at:



The Guardians of the Birmingham Proof House,
The Gun Barrel Proof House,
48 Banbury Street,
Birmingham, B5 5RHTelephone: 0044 121 643 3860
Fax: 0044 121 643 7872

Website at:


Additional advice can be provided locally by Authorised dealers in Germany.  BFG does not endorse or recommend any German companies.  One company with an English speaker has been identified as detailed below; however, others may be available:


Mr Andy Holden (English Speaker)
Holden Custom Guns
Senefolder Str 19,
33100 Paderborn
Telephone: 05251-778090



Full details of the EU and UK Legislation is available by searching on the appropriate websites:


EU Regulation:

Guidelines on deactivation standards and techniques


UK Legislation:

Guide on Firearms Licensing Law


If you no longer wish to import your deactivated firearm or offensive weapon to the UK then please dispose of it safely, the easiest option would be to hand any items to the Service Police Station, Normandy Bks, Sennelager.   


Offensive Weapons

Offensive weapons are goods designed to kill or inflict serious injury which have no real legitimate use.

Such weapons are restricted and in the case of flick and gravity knives are banned from being imported into the UK and will be seized by Border Force officers. These include:

  • knuckledusters, handclaws and push daggers
  • footclaws - ie spikes designed to be strapped to the foot
  • flick or gravity knives - ie with blades that are spring-loaded or can be opened using gravity or a flick of the wrist
  • weapons with a concealed or disguised blade or sharp point - eg swordsticks, stealth knives, butterfly knives and belt buckle blades
  • martial arts weapons such as death stars, hollow kubotans and kusaris
  • batons and telescopic truncheons
  • blowpipes or blowguns, except for use by vets or registered animal handlers
  • curved blade swords with a blade over 50 centimeters.
  • Self defence sprays and electric devices such as stun guns.


Offensive weapons that can be imported to UK

Not all offensive weapons are controlled when imported. The following are classed as non-prohibited offensive weapons:

  • antique weapons - generally over 100 years old
  • lock knives - ie with blades which fold into the handle that can be opened manually and locked into place
  • crossbows - except for use by unsupervised persons under 17 years old
  • swords, bayonets, machetes - except for concealed swords or swordsticks
  • axes, hatchets, tomahawks
  • throwing knives
  • replica medieval weaponry such as spears, lances, pikes, maces, caltrops and halberds
  • blowpipes and blowguns for use by vets and registered animal handlers - souvenirs that are incapable of inflicting injury are also exempt

If you attempt to import any of the above without a legitimate reason and are suspected of planning to use it violently, the weapon can be seized and the police alerted.  This could result in a fine, imprisonment or both.


For general import advice from the UK Border Agency on offensive weapons contact their advice service on: 0845 010 9000.