Harpoons and Weapons Using Arrows

Information about harpoon guns, crossbows, and bows is provided here.

Harpoon Guns

Harpoon guns are, in certain instances, regarded as weapons according to the Weapons Act and therefore require permits upon import to Sweden.

Evaluating whether or not a harpoon gun requires a permit depends upon the range that can be reached with the fired projectile.  Harpoon guns that fire harpoons using an explosive substance, CO2, compressed air or a coil always require a permit.  Harpoon guns firing harpoons with a rubber cable, where the distance between the handle and the harpoon gun´s bow exceeds 50 cm, also require an import permit from the police.  See Chapter 1, §2, par. 4 of the Weapons Ordinance (1996:70).

If a person is younger than 18 years of age, an import permit from the police is required for all types of harpoon guns.


Permission for import is required for crossbows as they are always regarded as weapons according to the Chapter 1, §3d of the Weapons Act (1996:67).


A bow is not regarded as a weapon according to the Weapons Act. This is because it is not possible to store energy in a bow in the same manner as a crossbow.


If a person is exporting a harpoon gun, a crossbow or a bow to another EU country, a customs export declaration is not required; however it must be verified what regulations apply in the receiver country.  Contact the country´s customs authority for further information.

Last updated: 2019-11-26

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