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View Full Version : School me on chinease arms importation restrictions...


AJAX22
05-02-2010, 9:15 AM
I've been talking with some people regarding what it is exactly that prevents certain weapons and munitions from being imported from china, but have had difficulty finding actual links to the law and ATF and state department interpretation letters.

So, let's pretend that I know absolutly nothing on the subject and am totally ignorant of firearms and history... Lay it out for me, along with a historical time line and links (or quotes in their entirety) of all pertinant doccuments)

nick
05-02-2010, 9:21 AM
I believe, the import ban was done by an executive order.

AJAX22
05-02-2010, 9:31 AM
I believe there were two seperate executive orders (and subsequent interpriyations of them) which contributed, but I'm not sure of exactly what they said, how they were worded or how they are being interpreted

nick
05-02-2010, 9:55 AM
Well, you can start here:

http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/clinton.html

wilit
05-02-2010, 9:56 AM
Clinton did the second EO, I believe it was George H. Bush that wrote the first in '89(ish). I can't find the specific EO numbers but the Bush EO banned the import of Norinco SKSes with bayonets and detachable mags. The Clinton EO banned all importation of Chinese made arms and munitions.

nick
05-02-2010, 10:00 AM
Here's more from THR:

http://membres.lycos.fr/punchline/images/arma_lev.jpg

Andropov: Excuse me, but I think I know how to fix this.
Watts: Move it! You don't know the components!
Andropov: Components. American components, Russian Components, ALL MADE IN TAIWAN!

:D

Found it.
05/27/2005

The Nonproliferation brochure has been changed by the deletion of NORINCO/North China Industries Corporation from the list of foreign persons designated by the Secretary of State as subject to an import ban pursuant to Executive Order 12938 of November 14, 1994, as amended by Executive Order 13094 of July 28, 1998.


On May 23, 2003, the Secretary of State determined that NORINCO/North China Industries Corporation had engaged in missile technology proliferation activities and imposed measures on NORINCO/North China Industries Corporation pursuant to Executive Order 12938, as amended, including a two-year ban on the importation into the United States of goods, technology or services produced or provided by NORINCO/North China Industries Corporation, its subunits and successors. This import ban was implemented by Treasury Department's Weapons of Mass Destruction Trade Control Regulations, 31 CFR Part 539 (the WMD Regulations).


To reflect the expiration of the two-year import ban imposed on NORINCO/North China Industries Corporation by the May 23, 2003 determination by the Secretary of State, NORINCO/North China Industries Corporation has been deleted from the Nonproliferation brochure's list of foreign persons designated pursuant to Executive Order 12938, as amended. Accordingly, imports from NORINCO/North China Industries Corporation are no longer subject to the prohibitions in Treasury's WMD Regulations. These imports, however, remain subject to all other applicable laws and regulations, including a two-year ban on the importation of products produced by NORINCO/North China Industries Corporation, its subunits and successors that was imposed by the Secretary of State on September 19, 2003, pursuant to section 73(a)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act and section 11B(b)(1) of the Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended (as carried out under Executive Order 13222).


Straight from http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/actions/20050527.shtml . Emphasis mine.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mssr. Eleganté
05-02-2010, 12:31 PM
Here's a rundown I posted a few years ago when somebody was asking about getting Chines M14 semi-auto clones imported...

There are so many different bans that effect Chinese firearms that it is very confusing.

First there was GB I's 1989 ban on the importation of "non-sporting" firearms. This is the one that caused the creation of the MAK 90 and lead to SKS's being imported with the bayonets removed and M14's being imported with fake flash hiders and no bayonet lugs.

Then there was the 1994 AWB which ended the importation of MAK 90's.

Then there was the 1994 "clarification" of munitions importation restrictions which said we were not supposed to be importing munitions from countries to which we banned the sale of munitions. Since exports of munitions to China were already banned, the State Department said that we could no longer import munitions from China. So most firearm and all ammunition importations from China stopped. This is stopped the importation of the neutered M14's. Black powder firearms and "sporting" shotguns were exempt from this ban. That's why the Norinco shotguns still kept coming in.

Then under GB II there was a ban on the importation of all Norinco products because they violated some arms trade rules. This stopped the importation of the Norinco shotguns for many years. Supposedly the Norinco ban has ended. I've also heard that it was extended.

So even if Bush II's ban on Norinco expired/expiress, Norinco M14's will still be banned by Clinton's ban on Chinese munitions. And even if that ban is ended the Chinese M14's will still have to come in without flash hiders or bayonet lugs to comply with Bush I's ban on the importation of "non-sporting" firearms.

G.H.W. Bush's 1989 "non-sporting" ban is where we get the 922(r) thing. I used to have the actual executive order numbers saved somewhere, but can't find them right now.

wilit
05-02-2010, 3:27 PM
Here's a rundown I posted a few years ago when somebody was asking about getting Chines M14 semi-auto clones imported...



G.H.W. Bush's 1989 "non-sporting" ban is where we get the 922(r) thing. I used to have the actual executive order numbers saved somewhere, but can't find them right now.

922(r) came from the 1968 Gun Control Act.

Mssr. Eleganté
05-02-2010, 7:26 PM
922(r) came from the 1968 Gun Control Act.

922 came from the 1968 Gun Control Act. But the (r) part was added in 1990 by the Crime Control Act of 1990.

In 1989, BATF under Bush Sr. said that certain guns were no longer importable because they were no longer considered "sporting". They relied on the 1968 GCA prohibition on the importation of "non-sporting" firearms, but the determination that these previously "sporting" firearms were no longer "sporting" didn't happen until 1989.

Then the next year the Crime Control Act of 1990 added 922(r) onto the end of 922. This made it illegal to assemble from imported parts a firearm that was not importable, including all of the newly non-importable firearms effected by the 1989 BATF policy change.

AJAX22
05-02-2010, 7:34 PM
So is the norinco ban still in place?

Also what is the deal with ammo?

Bill Carson
05-02-2010, 8:01 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk4WgHx19g8

Mssr. Eleganté
05-02-2010, 8:03 PM
So is the norinco ban still in place?

It was a two year ban that started in 2003. I had heard that it got extended in 2005, but it looks like the quote that Nick posted above says the ban did end in 2005. I think Norinco uses the IAC brand name now for firearms they export to the U.S.

Also what is the deal with ammo?

Ammo is considered "munitions", so it can't be imported from China. "Sporting" shotguns and black powder firearms are exempt from the "munitions" definition. I think shotgun ammo might be legal, but it seems like they would be swamping us with it if it was. I think the definition of "munitions" might come from the Arms Export Control Act.

-- EDIT -- I just rechecked an the definition of munitions does come from the Arms Export Control Act, but that Act just references the United States Munitions List that is maintained by the State Department. It looks like "shotgun shells" are exempted, but it isn't clear to me if that just means the empty shells or if it means loaded shells...

(1) The components, parts, accessories and attachments controlled in this category include, but are not limited to cartridge cases, powder bags (or other propellant charges), bullets, jackets, cores, shells (excluding shotgun shells), projectiles (including canister rounds and submunitions therefor), boosters, firing components therefor, primers, and other detonating devices for the defense articles controlled in this category.

FS00008
05-02-2010, 8:42 PM
So if we were to ever get a Pro-2A president, could that president reverse the prior Executive Orders banning importation?

jamesob
05-02-2010, 8:51 PM
it's a big joke on our part. we will not import rifles i.e ak's, m1's, uzi clones and 45's from norinco but we beg them for a loan so the u.s can stay in business, pathetic.

JeffM
05-02-2010, 9:02 PM
We need Romania/Bulgaria/Yugoslavia to buy all those clones from China, refinish them, mark them MADE IN (insert former Soviet Block country name), then ship them here like they're doing with AK mags and drums.

wilit
05-02-2010, 9:03 PM
922 came from the 1968 Gun Control Act. But the (r) part was added in 1990 by the Crime Control Act of 1990.

In 1989, BATF under Bush Sr. said that certain guns were no longer importable because they were no longer considered "sporting". They relied on the 1968 GCA prohibition on the importation of "non-sporting" firearms, but the determination that these previously "sporting" firearms were no longer "sporting" didn't happen until 1989.

Then the next year the Crime Control Act of 1990 added 922(r) onto the end of 922. This made it illegal to assemble from imported parts a firearm that was not importable, including all of the newly non-importable firearms effected by the 1989 BATF policy change.

Learn something new everyday. :cheers2:

AJAX22
05-02-2010, 9:46 PM
On the munitions ban, wasn't it originally ok to import from china, then they administrativly redefined the wording so that it then meant that we could not import from the countries that we could not export from? Or somesuch?

Has china been removed from the list of countries that we can't export munitions to yet? What with the most facored nation status and all

also, with regard to the ammo, do you have the exact wording? Is it simply illegal to bring it directly in from china or is it banned from indirect importation as well

Mssr. Eleganté
05-02-2010, 10:57 PM
On the munitions ban, wasn't it originally ok to import from china, then they administrativly redefined the wording so that it then meant that we could not import from the countries that we could not export from? Or somesuch?

Communist China was always on the "proscribed" list of countries that we could not export munitions to. Normally this would mean that we couldn't import munitions from them either. But China was somehow granted an exemption so that they could export munitions to us even though we couldn't export munitions to them.

In 1994 that exemption was rescinded as part of the negotiations to grant China "most favored nation" trading status. It was portrayed by the State Department as "fixing" the mistake of granting them the exemption in the first place.





Has china been removed from the list of countries that we can't export munitions to yet? What with the most facored nation status and all

No, they are still on the "proscribed" list.

also, with regard to the ammo, do you have the exact wording? Is it simply illegal to bring it directly in from china or is it banned from indirect importation as well

I think it is illegal to bring in Chinese munitions from third party countries as well. I recall some exemption for stuff that had been in the third party country for more than five years, but I might be confusing that with something from the trade agreement between the U.S. and the Russian Federation.

It is really hard to get the exact wording on any of this stuff. It is all based on interpretations of rulings based on multiple Executive Orders from different Presidents mixed with multiple interacting laws.

For instance, the Norinco ban the George W. Bush enacted did not come from a Bush Executive Order. It came from a Bush administration interpretation of two previous Clinton administration Executive Orders clarifying a law on nuclear nonproliferation. And the George H. W. Bush ban on "non-sporting" firearms was just BATF changing their interpretation of "sporting purposes" as they were giving authority to do in the Gun Control Act.

AJAX22
05-03-2010, 4:26 AM
One other thing..... The barrel ban... How does that work?

Are all rifle length barrels subject to restriction?

Are firearm components restricted from importation? Or is it just rexievers/frames

Plisk
05-03-2010, 5:15 AM
We need Romania/Bulgaria/Yugoslavia to buy all those clones from China, refinish them, mark them MADE IN (insert former Soviet Block country name), then ship them here like they're doing with AK mags and drums.

Couldn't you do the same thing through Canada?

Mssr. Eleganté
05-03-2010, 9:45 PM
One other thing..... The barrel ban... How does that work?

Are all rifle length barrels subject to restriction?

Are firearm components restricted from importation? Or is it just rexievers/frames

Normally BATFE only regulates frames and receivers as firearms. But for the purposes of importation into the U.S. they also consider barrels to be regulated. They can do this because Section 925(d)(3) of the Gun Control Act gives them the authority.

§ 925(d) The Secretary shall authorize a firearm or ammunition to be imported or brought into the United States or any possession thereof if the firearm or ammunition --

(3) is of a type that does not fall within the definition of a firearm as defined in section 5845(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 and is generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes, excluding surplus military firearms, except in any case where the Secretary has not authorized the importation of the firearm pursuant to this paragraph, it shall be unlawful to import any frame, receiver, or barrel of such firearm which would be prohibited if assembled;

Basically, that section of the law says that you can't import the barrel of any firearm if that firearm is banned from importation. In the past BATF had allowed importation of those barrels if they were for "repair or replacement" of an existing firearm. But people were still using them to build up brand new firearms. Then a few years ago BATFE changed their mind and said that the wording of § 925(d)(3) did not allow them to grant the exemption for "repair or replacement" barrels. The rest of the part could still come in though because they are not mentioned in § 925(d)(3). I think BAFTE is allowing certain barrels to come in if it can be proved that they do have a legitimate use on a "sporting" firearm that is legal to import. They call these "dual use" barrels.

Here is a link to the letter BATFE send out explaining why they changed their mind on importing barrels...

http://www.floridagunworks.com/ATF_Open_Letter_7_13_05.html

AJAX22
05-04-2010, 4:54 AM
So would any pistol length ak barrel be legal? Or,since they have approved ak type rifles for importation ad sporting (saigas, etc) would spare barrels for those be importable?

Are there any other components which are regulated?

How about magazines?

Which components require batfe approval prior to importation

AJAX22
05-05-2010, 6:56 PM
Thank you all for the help by the way, I promise I'm not waisting everyones time...

I'll be in shanghai in two weeks and I'm looking forward to having some interesting discussions while I'm there. ;)

AJAX22
05-09-2010, 6:13 AM
I still haven't figured out the details involved with pistol barrels, magazines etc... I'm Gonig to be in shanghai in 8 days... Meeting with some people while Im there...

Mssr. Eleganté
05-09-2010, 2:15 PM
Grips, magazines, scopes and stuff like that are considered "implements of war" and need to be imported on a Form 6.

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/how-to/import-firearms-ammo-implements-of-war.html

BATFE says that if you are importing "implements of war" for commercial purposes then your "generally" need to be a Licensed Importer who is also registered under the Arms Export Control Act.

The commercial importation of firearms, ammunition and implements of war for commercial purposes is generally done by a Type 08 or Type 11 Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) who must also be registered with ATF under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The commercial importation of sporting shotguns, sporting shotgun parts, and ammunition for sporting shotguns is exempt from the registration requirements of the AECA. Listed below are those who may engage in importation activities.

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/guides/importation-verification/general-information-types-of-importers.html

AJAX22
05-09-2010, 2:20 PM
So are we prohibited from importing implements of war from china? Is it a 'proscribed' country pursuant to 27 CFR §447.52?

Mssr. Eleganté
05-09-2010, 2:32 PM
I just rechecked the United States Munitions List and it looks like all firearms parts (except for sporting shotgun parts) would be banned from importation from China.

§ 121.1 -- General. The United States munitions list.

Category I-Firearms

*(a) Nonautomatic, semi-automatic and fully automatic firearms to caliber .50 inclusive, and all components and parts for such firearms. (See § 121.9 and §§ 123.16-123.19 of this subchapter.)

(b) Riflescopes manufactured to military specifications, and specifically designed or modified components therefor; firearm silencers and suppressors, including flash suppressors.

*(c) Insurgency-counterinsurgency type firearms or other weapons having a special military application (e.g. close assault weapons systems) regardless of caliber and all components and parts therefor.

(d) Technical data (as defined in § 120.21 of this subchapter) and defense services (as defined in § 120.8 of this subchapter) directly related to the defense articles enumerated in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this category. (See § 125.4 of this subchapter for exemptions.) Technical data directly related to the manufacture or production of any defense articles enumerated elsewhere in this category that are designated as Significant Military Equipment (SME) shall itself be designated SME.

Paragraph (a) says that even parts and components of firearms are "munitions" and we know from earlier that "munitions" can't be imported from China. I couldn't figure out how cheap Chinese rifle scopes were still coming in until I noticed that paragraph (b) specifies that scopes must be "manufactured to military specifications" in order to be considered "munitions".

Mssr. Eleganté
05-09-2010, 2:35 PM
So are we prohibited from importing implements of war from china? Is it a 'proscribed' country pursuant to 27 CFR §447.52?

China is a proscribed country. I don't think all "implements of war" are considered "munitions". We are only prohibited from importing "munitions" from China.

gn3hz3ku1*
05-09-2010, 3:42 PM
We can't buy their copies of our guns and copies of other guns, but we can buy all their other stuff and borrow their money to buy it :) Got to love politics.

AJAX22
05-09-2010, 3:52 PM
I'm a bit confused,

Firearm parts are munitions now?

What differentiates an airsoft part from a firearm part if both are identical?

Or say, parts for a saiga shotgun which also fit on an ak?

Slugs and buckshot still ok? Or birdshot only?

AJAX22
05-09-2010, 3:59 PM
Also, what about non semi automatic firearm components? Bullpup stocks for mosin nagants, bolts for mausers, highcap detachable mag conversions for bolt action guns?

If only semi auto parts are banned, what about mags that fit both semi and pump guns (like the par1 or Remington 760) or crossfire

Mssr. Eleganté
05-09-2010, 5:22 PM
I'm not sure if you are just asking about China now or about all countries.

Yes, firearms parts are considered "munitions" unless they are for sporting shotguns. It doesn't matter if the firearms are semi-auto or not. Mauser bolts are "munitions".

Munitions (even parts from semi-auto firearms) are perfectly legal to import, as long as they are not coming from a proscribed country and as long as they are not a frame, receiver or barrel from a firearm that is prohibited from importation.

It's perfectly legal to import parts from non-importable firearms as long as the parts don't include the frame, receiver or barrel and as long as the parts aren't coming from a proscribed country.

I don't know if/how BATFE or State Department differentiate between airsoft parts and real parts.

I don't know how BATFE is handling "dual use" barrels that can be used on both importable and non-importable firearms, but if you are only talking about importing from China then it doesn't matter. No barrels can come in from China unless they are for sporting shotguns.

AJAX22
05-09-2010, 5:44 PM
So, is there any guidelines for what state something must be machined to before it is considered a firearm part?

Could we do an 80% situation? Or import unfinished barrel blanks?

Receiver flats?

Is there any restriction on arms tooling?

Mssr. Eleganté
05-09-2010, 6:02 PM
So, is there any guidelines for what state something must be machined to before it is considered a firearm part?

Could we do an 80% situation? Or import unfinished barrel blanks?

Receiver flats?

Is there any restriction on arms tooling?

It looks like Section 121.10 of the Munitions List might cover unfinished parts.

§ 121.10 -- Forgings, castings and machined bodies.

Articles on the U.S. Munitions List include articles in a partially completed state (such as forgings, castings, extrusions and machined bodies) which have reached a stage in manufacture where they are clearly identifiable as defense articles. If the end-item is an article on the U.S. Munitions List (including components, accessories, attachments and parts as defined in § 121.8), then the particular forging, casting, extrusion, machined body, etc., is considered a defense article subject to the controls of this subchapter, except for such items as are in normal commercial use.

So this probably means no importing unfinished parts from China since they are still considered "munitions" and China is "proscribed".

But I don't know if an unfinished barrel would be considered a "barrel" for purposes of the non-importable barrel ban that applies to imports from non-proscribed countries. But importing unfinished AK barrels from a non-proscribed country and finishing them here in the U.S. won't get you close to the price of the old de-milled parts kits barrels that were sold closer to scrap prices.

AJAX22
05-09-2010, 6:44 PM
How is country of origin determined on a component which has had machine processes performed in multiple locations?

Say, us scrap steel s melted into a castning in china, which is shipped to the phillipines where it is machined partially, then it goes to India for andodizing and assembly.....

Is it ok to import?

AJAX22
05-09-2010, 7:10 PM
Also, how does the 'normal comercial use' exemption work for partially machined components?

Mssr. Eleganté
05-10-2010, 12:39 AM
You're getting into questions that are way too deep for me. You can do a Google search for terms like "rules of origin" and "last substantial transformation", but I'm not even sure if trade rules for normal products apply to arms and "implements of war". For instance, I know that the recent commercial production Enfield rifles from Australia were denied importation into the U.S. because some parts were rumored to be made in Vietnam. One version of the story is that the receivers were forged in Vietnam, while another version says it was just the wooden stocks that came from there. Either way, the final assembly and "last substantial transformation" happened in Australia, but the rifles were denied importation because Vietnam is a "proscribed" country.

I tend to figure that if something was legal, the big importers with fancy lawyers would already be importing the stuff. But I know that that isn't always the case. A rogue Calgunner with tenacity can find a way where nobody else could. Hence, OLLs. :) Good luck.

Sinixstar
05-10-2010, 1:38 AM
922 came from the 1968 Gun Control Act. But the (r) part was added in 1990 by the Crime Control Act of 1990.

In 1989, BATF under Bush Sr. said that certain guns were no longer importable because they were no longer considered "sporting". They relied on the 1968 GCA prohibition on the importation of "non-sporting" firearms, but the determination that these previously "sporting" firearms were no longer "sporting" didn't happen until 1989.

Then the next year the Crime Control Act of 1990 added 922(r) onto the end of 922. This made it illegal to assemble from imported parts a firearm that was not importable, including all of the newly non-importable firearms effected by the 1989 BATF policy change.

It seems like in light of Heller the "sporting" designation could be seriously challenged. Since we're talking about federal laws - we don't have to worry about the outcome of incorporation. Maybe that doesn't fix the entire problem - but at least it's a step in the right direction.

Get rid of the sporting designation - and a number of other things arguably fall with it, (such as "This made it illegal to assemble from imported parts a firearm that was not importable, including all of the newly non-importable firearms effected by the 1989 BATF policy change.")

AJAX22
05-10-2010, 6:46 AM
Rules of Origin and Last substantial transformation.... got it...

I ask because I had it explained to me by some well known philipines exporters of 1911's that they didn't make their own barrels... (you can guess where they came from)

One last round of question (unless I really really need some clarification):

Where can I find the precise definition of what constitutes a sporting arm? particularly with regard to shotguns?

and is it possible to obtain copies of the import documents for the Saiga shotguns through a FOIA request?