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« on: March 24, 2010, 11:45:30 PM »
prakkat
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[Admin Note] This topic is only for discussion about traveling with RC items through airports.  Not for discussion items shipped via parcel/courier services.


i am beginner in rc, i fly helis and planes, but our govt doesnt allow anything to bring in through cochin airport, i am a frequent traveller,and i have a flying permit from, Qatar rc flyting club. if take anything to  doha ,qatar they will allow free of duty. here in my cochin airport if you bring a foam plane customs people gather around you, and looking at you as terorist. last year i inport some planes and after six  months i rexpoted it. 8 months back i brought 5 engines os 46, 55, 120. they coated 2.5 lakhs price, and some of them was telling it got a capacity to fly 5 kilometres and come back, and it fie3s 5 hours. last month i brought one hirobo nused heli and only the fuselage of a mig 15, without wing ,engine and no eledtronics, they kept it in the customs, so national level we should make club and register and we should issue cards, and should have a understanding with customs. kunjaiprakkat, kottayam ,kerala



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Airport customs issues
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2010, 12:12:24 AM »
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But your own general experience on travel with such items have been OK, right ?  You travel so much, and bring in multiple items in every trip.

It seems like the trouble is when there are multiple items OR big items being brought in that the customs folks get interested.

True that the typical customs official knows next to nothing about RC. 

Every once in a while, people talk about getting organized under one banner.  Nobody seems to take it forward Sad

The other alternative is to increase awareness by taking this hobby to the grassroots level.  Air shows, demos at schools and as a part of festivals etc. 
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2010, 01:27:35 AM »
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This hobby is not gonna become a common place cricket/Fooball. Not even Carom I say. When NCC Cadets can fly why can't civilians at designated place.

One cannot directly use it to kill people, so no license should be required to own them (just like Knives, Acid, common poison) Yes, you should not take it public places / public gathering / Sensitive area to fly, just like you cannot take even licensed arms to Bank, court etc . So why not legalise and control the hobby properly ?

I would love to see this hobby becoming as acceptable like, say photography. I carry a 'Photographers Rights' charter drafted by one of my lawyer friend (Compiled different IPC/Court case reference for his internship), and take photograph of any place which does not have 'Photography Prohibited'. ALL public places, including commercial Air Ports, Mall, Monuments are accessible.

Why the hell flying model planes a Hush-Hush. I bet, if I make my own 27mhz Radio, there is NO Law stopping me to design, make and fly plane in 'private' property, away from public, Airport Funnel Areas. R/C planes are no dangerous than a Bike or a Car to human. I remember there was this small documentary by CIET/NCERT in Doordarshan (Tarang - late 80's/early 90s which was eventually my introduction and inspiration to Aeromodleing), where a naughty boy makes a plane from kite straw and paper and his errant teacher praised him. Wasn't that Govt who inspired me to pursue this hobby ?

I have been stressing to people to reach Educated/interested  MPs/MLAs  (Science Tech/Education/Sports) especially when  they come for some Tech Fest/show etc where some one puts up a R/C fly past. Just small request for 2 min of explanation along with a Hard copy of memorandum,  explaining the importance of hobby, how it is regularized in West and even Asian countries may do the trick.

The advent of these 'Jhola Chaap' journalism has taken the apathy and ignorance of Authorities to the pinnacle. The press bad mouths/fill ears of the authorities with fibs like Cheap Rs 2000 Chinese EP planes capable of carrying 12 KG and the community keeps silence like lamb.   I know there is this natural rational/wiseness of not coming in lime light and spoiling own prospect in the Hobby, but I bet many here might be knowing people in NCC or others who can legally speak for the R/C community without fear. Either this can happen for free with our earnest effort, else no Mallya/SRK/Ambani is gonna put his money like it were for IPL Cricket(permissions, Govt formalities, infrastructure, PR).  

I see people taking parallel steps in similar direction by getting few approval, but that little commercial interest is putting the entire effort orthogonal in the entirety and the veil on the legality is still looming.
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2010, 09:53:09 AM »
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Ok, here I am with yet another import related query.
1) Planning to personally carry a 2.4ghz radio from Dubai, do you see any problems with that in terms of customs or banning etc?
2) As per one of the threads, ordering a radio from Tower (or any other online store) is about taking a very high risk of not receiving your parcel. Is that so obviously risky?
3) How about ordering receivers online?
4) This is the last one. I am not able to locate a thread on RCIndia, wherein someone had given details of what frequencies are permitted in India. Does anyone know about it?
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2010, 11:19:00 AM »
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1.  Unless your luck is really bad, it is not an issue.  With every mall in India and all over the world carring remote controlled cars/planes/helis, customs folks see these a lot in X-rays of checked-in baggage, and so they do not take much notice.  Of course, it does make sense not to have too many electronic items in one bag.

2.  The risk is that the package will definitely be inspected by customs, and the outcome is unpredictable.  We have seen cases reported where the items were released without even a duty charged, and we have seen cases were the item was impounded (and at least one case were submission of some paperwork got the item released after initial impound).  In short, the risk is pretty high.

3.  Small parts are generally OK.

4.  Legally, only 27Mhz and 2.4Ghz can be used, but the equipment used still has to be "type approved" (which is per radio model (not brand).  Currently, the only two radios that have WPC approval are being sold by Indian Hobbies in Pune, and you have to buy it from them to make the ownership 100% legal (they are required legally to maintain customer records for each unit sold). 72Mhz is widely used (along with some usage of 40Mhz and 35Mhz bands), but that is a grey area.  Usually, unless you do something inconsiderate (like flying next to an airport etc), it is fine (with the legal issues still remaining).
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2010, 12:01:41 PM »
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Thanks Administrator. Much of my confusion is clear but on point 2 have you heard/seen a case where a 2.4ghz radio is impounded and not released at all? If such a case were to arise, will the package be sent back or what?

Also, for your information this one is going to be a surface radio for my RC Car and will obviously not be used for flying.
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2010, 12:04:57 PM »
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Yes, I believe it would be sent back, and in the rare case of being impounded when you travel with one, the option exists to take it back on your trip back.

Not much reported on surface radios, should be similar though.

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« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2010, 12:51:36 PM »
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lucky me my shipment from bahrain got cleared from bombay customs ..... Clap Clap Clap Clap
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« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2010, 03:10:51 PM »
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pankaj, you are right.. I just checked online on the aramex site and all your gyros got cleared from the customs in bombay... glad they made it...without any issues  Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2010, 09:55:20 PM »
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hi guys,
I can speak only from personal experience. This is an issue for me as well since I am studying in the US but keep coming to India with RC items -I actually maintain a fleet of planes here in Delhi and in NY!
So far I have had absolutely zero issues with customs, and I am talking about the last six years. I keep carrying my 72Mhz radio -along with servos, batteries and gasoline engines. The biggest plane I have brought is a 1.20 sized giles.
Just day before yesterday someone carried a  2.4 ghz radio (Futaba 7c) and some digital servos for me back from the US with absolutely o issues. (I am in India these days but got a deal I could not refuse on the radio)
Keep in mind that I have always carried my own stuff or got people to bring it for me - never ordered online from abroad - just dont want to take the risk
The only time I had a slight issue was once when I was actually leaving India with my radio etc. - A woman cop at the airport wanted me to take the battery out of the tx, even though I was checking it in. -funnily enough I had never taken the batt out and lid was so tight I just could not get it open. Fortunately there was another male cop who had done some aeromodelling in his NCC days and he let me through! - talk about being lucky!
Anyway hope this helps to allay you concerns.          
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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2010, 10:04:00 PM »
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i agree with you flatspin... i never have any issues with the customs both in bombay and bangalore till date when i used to carry helis or a tx.. maybe luck...
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2010, 12:20:35 AM »
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hi guys,
The only time I had a slight issue was once when I was actually leaving India with my radio etc. - A woman cop at the airport wanted me to take the battery out of the tx, even though I was checking it in. -funnily enough I had never taken the batt out and lid was so tight I just could not get it open. Fortunately there was another male cop who had done some aeromodelling in his NCC days and he let me through! - talk about being lucky!
Anyway hope this helps to allay you concerns.           

Asking to remove the Batteries from Radio equipment in Chcekin baggage is a common drill for flight safety from RF interference. Even I was told to remove batteries from my walkie talkie at IGI 2 years back. Doing so for cabin baggage is all more obvious.

So importing Tx from post is a No-No but fine when carried in personal! great!!
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2010, 10:21:05 AM »
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Ujjwaana,
   yes I know - it was a perfectly reasonable request and I was getting embarrassed at not being able to open the back panel! Strangely though, this is the only time they asked me remove the batt.
As for importing through mail order, I suppose many people do it successfully - I just dont want to risk it getting lost or go through the hassle of dealing with customs. These days, with so many good Indian retailers, I would buy in India or if the product is not available or there is a significant difference in price - I would wait for someone coming from abroad.       
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« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2010, 11:42:24 AM »
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Same experience here.  Have traveled multiple times with radios and sometimes with fully assembled 450 size helis, both up and down.  The only time I was asked anything about RC gear was once on the way out of Kochi airport, when a RealFlight sim controller (no transmission capability, just a dummy controller with a long USB cable instead of the antenna) showed up prominently in the Xrays, in a box/bag that only had food items otherwise.  I offered to open the bag and show the item for closer inspection to CISF personnel, who smilingly said that was not needed Smiley 

I do know of someone who ran into trouble, because the quantity (number of pieces/items and probably due to the size of some of the items) being transported, leading to impound and being forced to take the items back on the way out of India. 

So keep the number of items limited, preferably in separate checked in bags.  Finally, as a disclaimer, be aware that there are exceptions to anything !
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2010, 05:22:52 PM »
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I have two more experiences to add here. A 2.4ghz radio was hand carried recently without any problem at all (thanks for guidance) and on the other hand i know of someone who ordered it online and has been charged ~35% on the total package. It was may be because the package contained oils but the highest valued item was the radio so total customs on petty valued oil sounds unreasonable.

Out of curiosity, does ordering oils online attract unwanted attention from customs?
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2010, 06:46:03 PM »
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My friend and fellow RC India member Mr Prakkat confirmed that even though his items were held by customs initially (as noted in the start of this thread), they were released later on after a meeting with the officials and payment of duty plus some small fine.  Also, it should be noted that having many items together in a single trip was what caused the trouble in the first place.
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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2010, 08:16:59 PM »
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.....and on the other hand i know of someone who ordered it online and has been charged ~35% on the total package. It was may be because the package contained oils but the highest valued item was the radio so total customs on petty valued oil sounds unreasonable.

Out of curiosity, does ordering oils online attract unwanted attention from customs?

Can't be the oils.  Anything ordered online is inspected by default, and radios do catch the attention of customs folks.  This is why everyone discourages ordering radios online.  On the positive side, only the duty was charged, as compared to many other cases where they were impounded (at least for a while).
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« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2010, 09:13:00 AM »
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Oh, for that matter he was very lucky, the order reached his doorstep in exact 20 days. Completely hassle free, just had to pay duty. Overall I would repeat (the golden words of this thread) that, it does not make sense to import a radio because the huge duty structure makes it as expensive as it would be in India had it been available. Also, it would be anxiety free.
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« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2010, 04:40:27 AM »
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Hi folks,

I am planning for a US visit and was thinking of getting a 2.4Ghz radio, receiver some servos and gyros from US, just wanted to check if getting them is allowed by Indian customes. Has any one got such stuff (New).
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« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2010, 05:55:40 AM »
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Hi Jagjit,
I have personally carried a whole lot of stuff (including all the above said items) from the US & Hongkong multiple times and have not faced a problem till date so I would say carrying stuff personally should not invite any issues.
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« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2010, 08:14:24 AM »
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Merged the last two posts into existing thread on the same subject. This was discussed multiple times, in this thread and also here :

http://www.rcindia.org/chatter-zone/help-with-customs/

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« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2010, 11:58:38 PM »
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Guys,

I know its not a good option to get one shipped to India, because Radio is a restricted item. But I wanted to know if there are any hassles if someone would carry it in their luggage, if so...do the customs create any issues for the traveler ? Does anyone have any experience ?

Please advice, one of the friends who is a RC Airplane flyer, wants to get it from US as his relative is coming to India.
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« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2010, 01:05:19 AM »
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Oh man ! People are not searching at all Smiley This question and related threads were highlighted even yesterday !

Merging this one also into the same thread.
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« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2010, 01:13:36 AM »
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Sorry, Anwarbhai my bad, I did not search before posting the thread...
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« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2010, 03:34:30 AM »
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Guys,

I had asked this question earlier, but just one more final confirmation. My friend who is visiting US has agreed to carry the tx / rx from US for me, can anyone give any heads-up or tips for the same...

How do Indian and US customs deal with it ?? Can some one please tell me as I need to pay for a eBay deal for this radio. I need to decide if I should or should not....Dont want my friend to suffer coz of my radio...

One thing I thought was not carrying the tx / rx with the box....
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