Vikash Sharma

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has simplified and liberalised the policy for export of Drones/UAVs meant for civilian end uses from India.

This is in accordance with India's Foreign Trade Policy 2023 on facilitating the export of high-tech items which includes the promotion of exports of Drones/Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) manufactured in the country for civilian end uses. This also takes into consideration India's international obligations on non-proliferation.

Key Highlights

Earlier, all kind/type of drones/UAVs were controlled/restricted for export under the category 5B of the SCOMET (Special Chemicals Organisms Material Equipments and Technology) list under Appendix 3 of Schedule 2 of the ITCHS classification of import and export Items.

SCOMET license was required for export of such items and the Industry was facing challenges to export drones with limited capability which are only meant for civilian use, reported PIB.

Now the SCOMET policy of drones/UAVs meant for civilian use has been amended vide a notification issued on June 23, 2023 to simplify and liberalize the policy for export of drones/UAVs.

The export of Drones/UAVs not covered under the specified categories in SCOMET list and capable of range equal to or less than 25 km and delivering a payload of not more than 25 kg (excluding the software and technology of these items) and meant for only civilian end-use, will now be subject to General Authorization for Export of Drones (GAED), a onetime general license valid for 3 years.

“This policy change will not require the Drone Manufacturers/Exporters with GAED Authorization to apply for SCOMET license for every similar export shipment meant for civilian purpose, within the validity period of 3 years subject to post reporting and other documentary requirements, reducing the compliance by the Industry to apply for SCOMET license every time they have to export any kind of civilian drone/UAVs,” the report added.