Retailer Importation issues

By on August 30, 2012

The New IAA committee is aware of a situation where one office of Customs and Revenue has started to block all imports of Airsoft equipment where the packaging is labeled as having a power output above 1 joule. The committee has been in contact with some affected retailers. As it stands the law does not allow anyone to import Airsoft equipment above 1 Joule be they individuals or retailers, and the situation faced currently is a strict implementation of the law that to this date was relaxed for Airsoft retailers (specifically IAA affiliates) as the businesses were downgrading all equipment before sale. This is not a block on all retail imports, only devices that are above 1 joule. This will represent a significant impact to retail however.

While the issue is one with Revenue and Customs policies, the committee has made our DoJ contacts aware of the situation as well as seeking a meeting with the relevant management in Customs. We have already reiterated the position of the IAA and the legitimate Airsoft business community as fully supporting the regulation of Airsoft retailers as set out in the Criminal Justice Act 2009. This change would remove many of the shipments coming into the country destined for retailers that have no intention of downgrading the equipment.

Currently the only way that importations of equipment above 1 joule could be fully legalised for retailers would require a primary legislative change. This is an area of law not on the agenda for government, and one which the community would need to debate in full before lobbying for such changes. Consideration should be given to the possibility that should the Government be encouraged to look at the laws affecting Airsoft they might decide to enact changes that would harm the sport rather than help it.

The committee has requested a meeting with the DoJ for the near future to fully re-establish communications and reiterate the position that the players of the sport fully support responsible ownership of RIF’s and prosecution of individuals that misuse the equipment.

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