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« on: October 29, 2017, 11:04:23 PM »
Khushahal
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Hello everyone,

I am posting this topic because of recent events I had to go through regarding the procurement of  a RC Drone kit that my brother had ordered from Aliexpress. Along with it I have seen that many people are currently having hard time to get RC items like drone parts and Transmitters imported to India as it is detained by customs. I am sharing my experience which would help everyone in the forum to solve this issue.

We had ordered a drone kit(un-assembled) from a seller at china through Aliexpress. There was no problem during the journey of the consignment as it traveled from China to India. However, When it reached the customs in India it was detained. We contacted the APSO office through email and it was pointed out that since our consignment had written Drone on it, it was detained as drones are not allowed in India.

The customs officers asked us to produce 3 documents which they ask to everyone in India. these documents were
1. DGFT licence   2.DGCA NOC  and 3. WPC NOC. We had no idea regarding these documents as it never occured to us before that moment. There was no way to get consignment as under no circumstances the custom  officer were ready to release it even after i met them personally and explained about my parcel. I was told that the customs storage place is full of drones and no one has ever been able to produced the above mentioned  documents. I was upset and didnt know what to do, so I started to google about different documents. I landed to many RCIndia page links which helped in understanding the need of these different documents and then I was able to form my case against the asked documents. If you are also asked for the same documents here's what you can do:

1. DGFT licence: If you are importing something for your personel use and its not related to trade/manufacturing/Agriculture then you dont require a DGFT licence or what they call it an IEC number. Best option is to ask the seller to write gift on your consignment.

2. DGCA NOC: There is a catch in this. The DGCA draft guidelines exempts students flying in educational institutions from requiring a UAOP i.e. Unmanned aircraft operational permit. For that you need to adhere to the guidlines of DGCA that you will fly under 200ft and will be indoor activity. When Asked about this, I told custom officers that the range of my system is well below 200ft and i fly aircraft in auditorium of my college i.e Indoor flying. you need to convince them.

3. WPC NOC: if youre importing any transmitter, receive or transceiver then it is banned in India. However the 2.4 GHz systems along with 5.8 GHz systems are being exempted from this condition. The WPC website has a database of type approved equipment which can be imported to India. If youre trying to import a transmitter, you should better check if its already type approved by WPC or not. If it is not approved then you need to apply for approval but that route is costly as the approval fee is high. However IF it is approved then you can just show that evidence to get your transceiver out of customs. With the WPC type approval proof you will also require to produce a 2013 public notice released by customs (import) department which states that 2.4GHz equipment dont require a WPC licence to operate becasue 2.4 GHz is a delicensed band. Understand that a 2.4GHz transceiver doesnt require a licence to operate provided that it is type approved by WPC-India. without WPC type approval it doesnt matters if your transceiver is 2.4GHz or any other.

I had taken all the evidences with me while i was presenting my case infront of the customs officers. The key here is to maintain a calm and confident posture all the time. Do not panic or cause havoc even if the custom officers are not understanding you. Try your best to explain.
In my case I had to explain each and every document to custom officers and they were sport enough to listen to me patiently. As according to them it was the first time that they were seeing such documents, they were skeptical of them and hence didn't released my parcel straightforwardly. Instead they gave me an appointment of Commissioner of customs  to present my case.

I presented the same case to the commissioner with my consignment lying open in front of them. I had to explain everything to them. I had a leverage though of being a student from a reputed institute which worked in my favor. I explained commissioner about aeromodeling and told him that we only do it for recreational purpose and not professionally. it took lot of time to convince the commissioner as they are too afraid of drones getting used for terrorist activities. Keeping calm and taking him in confidence I explained him how amateur people in USA are using DJI and other professional drones to violate others privacy and misuses them for other purpose thus killing this hobby for the small scale enthusiast. I also explained him how the DGCA is following FAA in formulating the guidelines for UAS. After a good explanation the commissioner was convinced. Still due to grave security concerns I had to sign an undertaking but that was expected already. After all this hustle, My parcel was released from the customs office.

It was overall a tiring and frightening experience for me but at the same time it was very informative since I learned about all the DGCA implications which have been put on to the aeromodelling hobby now. I also learned about how many people were facing problems due to the same documents.

I am sharing this experience as a "give back to the forum" responsibility. If  it wouldn't have been the links in RC India, I would have stuck like many others. I hope people will find this post helpful for all future events.

Regards,
Khushahal  Hats Off

PS: Always understand the damage and liability the drones can cause to anyone's property or life. Flying Drone in public space filled with crowd or in controlled airspace without permission is punishable/ criminal offence.Drones can cause fatal damage to human life. Always take utmost care while flying your drones. One persons drone accident or mishap in public can ruin the future of drones in India. The situation is terrible now for all air enthusiast due to the upcoming DGCA regulations. Wish you a safe flying everyone.
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2017, 07:46:24 AM »
saikat
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Good post boss - one of the gems !!!
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2017, 07:58:10 AM »
VIPIN_KUMAR
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Flying liberates my Soul !!!



Very informative....Appreciate your perseverance.
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2017, 08:43:30 AM »
97karanraj
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Thanks, very informative long post😂😬.
Worth reading
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 03:26:25 PM »
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Great post and congrats. If you don't mind, which educational institution do you study in? And since it was your brother who had ordered it, where you asked why you are trying to get it released?
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2017, 09:58:48 AM »
kn8alpha
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Can you share which class of drone (by diagonal size or weight) you've tried to import? From what I've encountered, customs official have very little understanding of drones and they simply seems to object importing anything that "looks" like a security threat.. for instance I had trouble with some 13" propellers which makes no sense. At the same time, we have loads of DJI drones flying out for kilometers unnoticed and the government has no effective control of this grey market in India. I read that someone imported a quadcopter kit (without radio) last week without any issues, so customs is a hit and miss.

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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2017, 05:11:46 PM »
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Thank you very much for the info you have shared. I got the documents for DGCA rule of flying below 200ft and WPC NOC which states that no NOC required for low frequency wireless device but I wasnt able to find any document about DGFT licence. Can you please share the link if you have because I tried to search for the same on DGFT website but I wasnt able to find that.

Actually my drone is stuck in custom and I did not contact them yet because I wanted to be prepared before I contact them. It is MI Xiomi 4K drone which was retained by Mumbai Custom on 05/12/2017.

Can you please give some more input so I can get the drone released from them.

Thanks
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« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2017, 02:42:09 AM »
KR8NUX
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I would truly say, you were lucky. They hardly put up with such cases.
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« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2017, 05:34:08 PM »
Khushahal
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It is a hit or miss case with customs as you said. Though packages weighing more would always be checked. Plus if the package is costing more than 13K then yes they will check it for sure. My drone was a custom one with standard quad frame and 10inch propellers.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 05:44:40 PM by Khushahal » Logged
 

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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2017, 05:44:06 PM »
Khushahal
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http://dgft.gov.in/exim/2000/download/Appe&ANF/38B.pdf  Please see this pdf.
In the very end there are exemption rules for personal use.
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2017, 05:46:27 PM »
Khushahal
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I would truly say, you were lucky. They hardly put up with such cases.
Yeah... But I was persistent and convincing maybe. The academic position gives a lot of leverage
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« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2017, 05:49:53 PM »
Khushahal
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Great post and congrats. If you don't mind, which educational institution do you study in? And since it was your brother who had ordered it, where you asked why you are trying to get it released?
Sorry for being so lazy in replying.
I had intervened on behalf of my brother even though he had ordered it. My brother is at VNIT Nagpur so it was not possible for him to actually defend thats where I stepped in from IIT Bombay. I told customs that its for the sake of hobby.
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« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2017, 02:57:52 AM »
KR8NUX
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As per your note, the only way us getting a drone would work is if we belong to an IIT/similar, thus proving that authorities are still just problem causers.
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« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2017, 08:33:01 AM »
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How much custom duty did you pay? i mean %age? coz they are asking me to pay about 41%
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« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2017, 07:01:11 PM »
Khushahal
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How much custom duty did you pay? i mean %age? coz they are asking me to pay about 41%
Yes if your package is above 13K in value, you have to pay 41% duty
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« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2018, 11:29:44 PM »
Akshat.14++
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Hey Brother amazing document on the customs review, I had a question that you had mentioned that " had taken all the evidences with me while i was presenting my case infront of the customs officers." so can I get the details of what all evidences you had taken along with you to the customs office as I have the same problem with me in the past so help me out that by giving a list of all of that, and did you actually get all the licenses mentioned above in the post? or you went with some documents or something? Thanks for your help brother.
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« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2018, 03:40:35 PM »
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Hello Friends,
I have same problem,  Can you please provide a proper web link of  WPC website where I can find latest list of wpc type approved equipment which can be imported to India. So I can check my copter in that link. Please reply fast.
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« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2018, 11:20:02 AM »
Khushahal
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Hello Friends,
I have same problem,  Can you please provide a proper web link of  WPC website where I can find latest list of wpc type approved equipment which can be imported to India. So I can check my copter in that link. Please reply fast.
WPC is only for certification of transceiver i.e. TX and RX.... Its not there for certification of copters. It only certifies which transmitters are allowed to be freely used in India...
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« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2018, 12:56:42 PM »
Yogesh1983
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Can you please provide a proper web link of  WPC website where I can find latest list of wpc type approved equipment which can be imported to India. So I can check my copter's transmitter and receiver in that list
 . . . Please guide
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« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2018, 12:49:18 AM »
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very well done, and a great write up of your experiences, was great reading loved it , may god bless you
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« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2018, 01:39:06 PM »
Khushahal
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Can you please provide a proper web link of  WPC website where I can find latest list of wpc type approved equipment which can be imported to India. So I can check my copter's transmitter and receiver in that list
 . . . Please guide
http://www.wpc.dot.gov.in/equipment_show.asp
Open the website through internet explorer (it doesn't works with chrome) and fill all the details to search your transceiver
Equipment category: Transceiver
Equipment type: Equipment
Manufacturer: should be your brand company name
and after that youll be able to see it in the list.
If it is listed in the list then congrats, your transceiver is recognized by the WPC india. If not then tough luck mate.....
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« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2018, 01:39:55 PM »
Khushahal
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very well done, and a great write up of your experiences, was great reading loved it , may god bless you
Thanks a lot friend... Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2018, 07:29:12 PM »
Yogesh1983
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Heartily thanks for your valuable information. . .
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« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2018, 08:38:21 PM »
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Friend I am faced with a similar situation where I ordered a Rc Drone (Visuo xs809hw) from Banggood and was waiting for it to be delivered! But then after 3 weeks I get a letter from the Customs saying that my parcel will be confiscated as Importing RC Quadcopters is illegal in India! I stay at Bangalore and I visited the GPO office from the same address I got the letter from... I spoke to the Superintendent of customs who was in charge of all these things but he never agreed to release my parcel even though I explained to him that my drone comes under micro/nano category where it weighs less than 1kg, Flight radius less than 200mts,Altitude less than 50ft, flight time less than 10mins, 2.4GHz signal frequency, etc hence this comes in the Toy category and not the actual big drone! He said the Director of Commerce has not specified what type of drones can be released and what should be confiscated! They have told us to confiscate any Unmanned Ariel Vehicles, Helicopters, Quadcopters, etc. So he said there are soo many of them lying here we can't release it or put it for auction. Later he asked me to write a letter explaining what I told and he said that he will issue a cause notice. I had to write a letter and give it to him and leave. I am not able to get a refund from Banggood as they said that I have to send back the parcel to the sender and send them the tracking number to receive the refund. But the customs people are not allowing me to resend it back to the seller. I require to get the approval from DGCA, DGFT and WPC in order to get it released they said. I don't know where can I get these or to whom should I explain that this is just a toy and it comes below the micro category. Kindly help me with this please...

IMG_20180127_203706.jpg
Re: How to get drones cleared from Customs
* IMG_20180127_203706.jpg (105.21 KB, 800x638 - viewed 9120 times.)
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« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2018, 11:01:14 PM »
Yogesh1983
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I have same problem . . .
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