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Can I bring a WWII Japanese bayonet I want to buy in the US into the UK in my luggage? I can buy the same knife in the UK but at twice the price?

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You absolutely won't be allowed to board a flight with a bayonet in your hand luggage. It would have to travel in checked baggage, but...

There is a lengthy list of prohibited bladed weapons on the UK Government web site which ends in this paragraph:

Offensive weapons which are designed to kill or inflict serious injury and do not have a legitimate use are banned or restricted from being imported into the UK.

Although a bayonet might not fit the description of any items on the list, it certainly comes under this catch-all. I suspect that a customs officer has discretion to confiscate it in any case.

You might be able to import it as an antique if you obtain a relevant import licence and have the item shipped. Doing so would be off-topic here.

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    Couldn't "display at home as an item of historical interest" be a legitimate use? Why is it off topic to discuss an import license? – phoog Jun 26 at 7:19
  • @phoog probably not the from the UK website"museums, galleries and universities to present, display, research or interpret material of historic, artistic or scientific interest, such imports may also qualify for relief from duty and VAT HM forces visiting forces police forces and the prison service for example direct imports of batons and truncheons those making commercial imports solely for onward supply to the police or prison service or trade samples to be evaluated - evidence must be produced including a contract stating quantities, where applicable". – Sarriesfan Jun 26 at 7:41
  • @Phoog Possibly, but I wouldn't want to have that conversation at UK customs about an item that might have significant value. The ins and outs of acquiring an import licence might be on topic if it's part of travel, but my comment referred to shipping an item, which has been off-topic here in the past. – user90371 Jun 26 at 23:55

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