Imports of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs) or drones will require prior clearance of Directorate General of Civil Aviation and import licence from Director General of Foreign Trade, government said on Wednesday.
"Import of unmanned aircraft system/unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs)/remotely piloted aircraft/drones is restricted. It would require prior clearance of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and import licence from Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)," the commerce ministry said in a notification.
The norm has been introduced as a "policy condition" under chapter 88 of ITC (HS), 2012. ITC (HS) is Indian Trade Clarification based on Harmonised System.
The move assumes significance as drones are being considered a major security risk as they could be used by terror groups for mounting assaults. They have already been included in the prohibited list and flyers entering India will have to declare them.
Drones are generally imported by government agencies for use by the security personnel in maintaining law and order as well as ensuring vigil along the international borders and line of control with Pakistan, Bangladesh and China. They have also been used for surveillance in Naxal-hit areas.