Import Of All Drones Banned In India, Except For These; Only Made In India Drones Allowed

It also liberalised drone operation rules in order to make owning and operating drones easier.

The government has issued a ban on imports of drones in order to promote local manufacturing under Make in India scheme with effect from February 9, 2022.

The exceptions to the ban are drones for defence, security and research purposes and for drone parts.

PLI Scheme To Promote Made In India Drones

This is one among a series of initiatives from the Centre to promote ‘Made in India’ drones and its components.

Last September it introduced a Rs 120-crore Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme spread over three years with the aim to make India a drone hub by 2030.

Under this scheme up to 20% incentive will be provided to manufacturers of drones and drone components on the value addition made by them.

Rules Liberalised

It also liberalised drone operation rules in order to make owning and operating drones easier.

The new Drone Rules, 2021 reduced compliances and fees required for operating drones.

The Civil Aviation Ministry released an airspace map of India which outlines areas where drones can be used without permissions along with areas where prior permission has to be obtained

The government expects the domestic drone manufacturing industry to grow from a combined turnover of about Rs 80 crore to Rs 900 crore in three years.

Banned Forms Of Drones

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said that imports of the following types of drones are prohibited:

  • CBU (Completely Built Up) 
  • CKD (Completely Knocked Down)
  • SKD (Semi Knocked Down)

Who Can Import?

The following entities will be allowed to import drones in CBU, SKD or CKD form:

  • Government entities
  • Educational institutions recognised by central or state government
  • Government recognised R&D entities 
  • Drone manufacturers for R&D purpose

They will have to secure import authorisation issued by DGFT in consultation with concerned line ministries.

Drone Parts Can Be Freely Imported

There are exceptions for R&D, defence and security purposes, but even in such cases government clearances will be required.

The civil aviation ministry said that import of drone components will not require any approvals.

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