The Centre has banned the import of drones with some exceptions. The move is aimed at giving a boost to domestic manufacturing of drones which is seen as a sector that is set to witness rapid growth this decade.
The Centre on Wednesday (February 9) banned the import of drones with some exceptions in India. The import of drone components, however, has not been restricted by the government as it seeks to boost domestic manufacturing of drones.
What imports are being banned?
The import of any drones either in completely built up (CBU), completely knocked down(CKD) /semi knocked down (SKD) forms have been banned, with the exception of drones imported “for the purposes of defence, security and research and development”. Anyone looking to import drones under the exemptions will be required to obtain clearances.
The move is aimed at giving a boost to domestic manufacturing of drones which is seen as a sector that is set to witness rapid growth this decade. According to BIS Research, India’s drone market is estimated to account for about 4.25 per cent of the global drone market worth about $28.5 billion in FY22.
Import of drones by government entities, educational institutions recognised by central or state government, government recognised R&D entities and drone manufacturers for R&D purpose will be allowed in CBU, SKD or CKD form. This will be subject to import authorisation issued by DGFT in consultation with concerned line ministries.
Import of drones for defence and security purposes will be allowed in CBU, SKD or CKD form subject to import authorisation issued by DGFT in consultation with concerned line ministries.
The civil aviation ministry said that in order to promote Made in India drones, import of foreign drones has been prohibited with effect from February 9, 2022.
The ministry came out with liberalised drone rules in August 2021.
After the rules, the ministry issued the drone airspace map and PLI scheme in September 2021, UTM policy framework in October 2021. Besides, drone certification scheme and single window DigitalSky Platform were put in place last month.