New TSA regulation banning packets over 499 grams


Bad news for collectors trading cartridges with people from the US:

As a reaction to the explosive devices being shipped from Yemen to the U.S. on October 29th 2010, the TSA has expanded a ban on airmail packages weighing more than 499 grams from being transported in the cargo-belly of U.S.-bound passenger flights.

As a consequence the Austrian and many other European postal services have ceased to accept any packets weighing more than 499 grams for shipping into the U.S. as of December 15th 2010. Unfortunately the Austrian postal service (and probably all other European postal services) also no longer offer any surface mail (sea freight) for overseas shippments.

No restrictions like these apply to true cargo airplanes that do not carry any passengers. However, small countries like Austrian do not operate any cargo airplanes and ever since used passenger airliners for the transportation of their cargo.

The only way for me now to ship any packets into the U.S. is the German cargo service DHL. However, I know that DHL X-rays their packets before they are allowed on their cargo airplanes. This has resulted in some packets containing cartridges being returned to the sender and having a note on them saying that the packet contains “prohibited items”.
Also, DHL is VERY expensive, a 2kg packet costs as much as 100 US $ !!!

As long as the TSA is not going to change its tight (stupid) security policy, it woun’t be possible to send any cartridges into the US any more.

Any European collector having a solution to this problem?


Send them as separate little packages. I don’t know what stuff you are going to send, but a 500 grams package or padded envelope could contain several cases and bullets of small or medium dimensions ( e.g. 30/06 , 375 H&H ecc)

I can, for example, send at least 10 magnum type cartridges with a padded envelope using priority mail ( the equivalent of US “first class mail” ) and cost is a bargain ( 3 - 4 euros)


Well, you can’t separate large caliber cases or projectiles or even cartridge books…



I assume that all of the visitors who come in-person to the U.S. can still bring large quantities of ammunition in their checked luggage? Is this ban just on the transporting of commercial airmail that rides cargo and does not clear through the luggage scanners?

There is the possible option of using “surface freight” which travels by cargo ship via water. It takes 30 - 60 days sometimes to receive a package, but that could work. I purchased 30lbs of magazines from the UK that way (years ago) and I received the box 40 days later for $90 cost


I don’t understand how this new ruling would impact the legal shipment of ammunition by collectors. You cannot legally ship live ammunition by airmail (or any other form of mail) into the USA, nor by any means without a BATFE Import License. It would have to go UPS or FED Ex, or the like, and with few exceptions, UPS doesn’t take ammunition to go by air, and hasn’t for years. I don’t think the others do either. Plus, shipping from a foreign country by UPS requires declarations of the contents and other paper work, including applicable licenses.

So, if we are talking about “shipping,” rather than the transporting of ammunition in your checked baggage, with you on the plane, how does this impact the cartridge collector?

I am probably missing something here, but just wondered.