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TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tourist

Discussion in 'Important Stickies' started by Med2Miami, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. Med2Miami

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    Hi All,

    I just wanted to post a quick list (start of a list if others would help), of where it is safe, questionable, impossible to take your drone with you on vacation. This is valid for tourists mostly, as many like to take the drone to new places!

    If some moderator thinks this is duplicate or should be made a sticky somewhre I'd have loved to have known before losing my P2V+, Case, acessories, all in one go to "Customs"...

    OK To Enter little/no restrictions (i.e. flight guards in the app are ok)
    USA - ok for everyone to go into and out of? (need more proof but afaik no one ever had troubles?)
    Canada - ok to go into/out of (cred: nhoover / 18 aug 2014)
    Greece - ok (thanks Geert / 18 aug 2014)
    Thailand - ok - reported having to show the drone a few times on entering, but no issues. (thanks Geert / 18 aug 2014)
    Myanmar - ok (thanks Geert / 18 aug 2014)


    OK To Some restrictions (apart from flight guards for airports, etc, other things may get you in trouble)
    France - ok for everyone to go into and out of? (need more proof but afaik no one ever had troubles?) / Local laws prohibit filming public places? (looking into more info for above)
    Italy - same as above (looking for more info to ocmplete the post, should have some in the next hrs... Maybe something throughout europe)
    UK - ok to go into/out of - beware of local restriction: "don't fly above 400', and don't fly within 50m (150') of people or buildings" (thanks HarryT / 18 aug 2014)


    DEFINITELY DONT COME!!!! If you drone, dont even visit these places! - either leave your travel plans behind, or leave the drone behing... confiscation awaits...
    Brazil - nope, forget taking pictures of the beaches and beautiful sights here... *Any* drone found by customs is retained due to some new normative (not a law, but no one needs laws now adays) from the local "FCC"... Despite being OK for the FCC and other similar bodies, apparently Brazil's didnt get their share$$$, so all drones banned (using xray, or by luck if its in a suitcase - if you have a hardcase they will target 100% for inspection) - you *can* buy a drone locally then take it away with you. Prices will vary but should be about 2-3x the cost of a drone in the US. Further law in case anyone is interested: Customs Code Decree nº 6.759/2009 articles 542 and 564 / Temporary Measure 2158/01 art 68 / ANATEL resolution nº 242/2000 (In summary all these state that customs can look through and inspect/confiscate, and the anatel codes say that anything which can cause interference due to radio transmission must be certified and tested by them. none is drone-specific and the specific targeting of drones is somethng probably "off-the-record" and is recent. http://phantombrasil.com/apreensoes-da- ... omologado/ Brazilian site posted a collection of stories on Jul 22 2014, so this is really recent... The largest local paper (Estadao) posted on Jul 13th a piece on Drones and does not mention any confiscations or problems. It DOES mention people bringing them in their luggage, and also that "no laws exist", and that the local telecom regulatory agency (ANATEL) expects to have rules in place by 2015... I guess something changed along the way. Just for full disclosure, on another site, a thread from March details a DHL package stopped in customs and requesting the same "Certificate from Communications Agency (ANATEL)", the following week a commenter said that he received his package without issue, so it was not a full-on ban as it now seems... Could be that with the post its hit-and-miss too... but customs in the airport here will *always* stop skb/pelican cases, etc,...


    As may have guessed, I was in europe with a drone and had no issues, although was "warned" ir could be fined or confiscated (no one could tell for sure) in italy and france. And arriving in brazil, straight to lock up... I'm not sure if a re-export process is possible. I'm looking into it.


    UPDATE: http://www.riot.ch/legal-information-ab ... ommercial/ may contain a lot of pertinent info... I will try and pull the pertinent stuff for non-comemrcial use into this thread as best i can in the coming days.
     
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  2. HarryT

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    It's fine to bring one to the UK, too. Just be aware of the law here: don't fly above 400', and don't fly within 50m (150') of people or buildings.
     
  3. ProfessorStein

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    Interesting, since we all saw the drone video of Brazilian countryside put together as a lead up to the World Cup. So FIFA got special dispensation? Or this "normative" is brand new?

    Where are you getting your information that drones are banned?
     
  4. Med2Miami

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    Hi ProfessorStein,

    I'll get you quotes to the normatives and links. They are fairly new (like I said, no law... its just someone which "just enough" power to send an instruction that simply gets all items confiscated...) There are threads about this on brazilian forums, unfortunately I didnt get to them in time.

    We can get drones here, and purchase here easily... How they enter the country I dont know... RC planes and Helis are fine afaik, what they consider "drone" is a bit daunting to me, but with so many loopholes they can catch you or not catch you as is the wish of the inspector (and you will find in Brazilian law, the loopholes are embroidered in a fashion that they can choose what to do arbitrarily at most instances.... unfortunate, but a sign of a "developing-yet-never-will-be-developed" country... but enough about politics.

    Thanks HarryT, I will update teh thread with your info!!!

    PS: ProfStein, I have footage from Brasil too... but once the drone left, it couldnt get back in... They arent doing anything on territory, just "rounding up drones" at the easiest points... No one afaik has been notified as a user, etc, etc...No stores been notified locally, etc... Maybe they are rounding up enough drones for a drone flashmob at the olympic games opening? LOL.... Perhaps that might quasi-make up for our horrible opening of th world cup ahahaha... j/k (othing will make up for that... my 2yr olds dance class is better than that... ashamed for all brazillians I guess)
     
  5. nhoover

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    I just flew to Canada from the US and had no troubles at all. I went through San Francisco, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. The P2V+ was carry-on in a GoProfessional backpack. In Vancouver the security guy saw it in the xray and asked if the batteries were charged up. I just said that there was not a battery installed (not answering the question). He said, "That's too bad, I wish you could fy it around in here for us to see."
     
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  6. LuvMyTJ

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    I am surprised to hear of your troubles as Brazil is very drone friendly (their government/military). The country itself relies heavily on drones. I personally would of checked with the country I was flying into prior to bringing a UAV along as the laws & regulations are changing frequently.

    If you keep the data current we can see how it goes and possibly making a sticky out of this topic.
     
  7. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    You can get into Brazil with a drone but it is not easy. Be prepared to be told "no" 10 times and get a "yes" once. You need to clear it ahead of time with the appropriate documentation (multiple copies) and then be prepared to grease local police, etc. as they like to harass you like crazy as they do any run and gun film crews.

    Most of Central and South American countries work in a similar fashion. Lots of documents, lots of local cops unsure what to do with you. To some extent the southern European countries are the same.
     
  8. LuvMyTJ

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    Wonder why they make such a fuss when the government uses them. Must be a 'we can. you can't' type of deal. I did a lot of traveling to Jamaica and their customs needed coaxing on some items too. Dead presidents seem to motivate them greatly.
     
  9. Med2Miami

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    Hi Guys, thanks for all interest and responses... I will try as best I can to add all relevant info tonight to the main thread.

    @Ian, could you give me details on what documentation that would be? I have express normatives from the "local FCC" (ANAC - national agency for civil communications), dictating that drones are to be held at the border unless they have an ANAC certification sticker/number affixed to them... I have this in writing and heard verbally from the customs offices as well as on numerous reports *by brazilians*...

    Yes, drones operate very heavily here in civilian use, in journailsm and pleasure use, but afaik these guys are concerned "they dont know" how they entered.... Maybe being foreigner got you a blind eye in customs, but from what I was told at Sao paulo airport customs they are really coming down hard on any form of drones and have been given the orientation to detain all drones without certification number (there is even a website you can consult the anatel "certified" drones...apparently only AR Drones, purchased from 1 specific importer are certified...everything else banned.... what constitutes a drone is also a bit unclear to me at this point.... single-rotor heli with cam? not sure? octo? not sure? quad-cop, probably most common so thats definiterlty a "no-no"...)

    I suppose if you can get a certification from ANATEL (similar to an FCC homologation) for your drone, you can theoretically bring it without issue, but this is a lengthy expensive process usually left to mfgrs/official importers...

    Will update main post asap...

    rgds
     
  10. LuvMyTJ

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    Just so we are clear, you live in Brazil? And you feel this applies to residents and not so much tourist? Just trying to understand the specifics.
     
  11. Med2Miami

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    I have multiple residences, and do have residence in Brazil - therefore I was coming in as a resident. Nonetheless the issue was not with customs... Therefore it is not a factor if you are visiting or not (this was told to me by the customs agent - not an issue with duty, not an issue with permanent vs temporary use, just a total blockade), it is a prohibition from the Civil Communications agency based on the lack of certification for radio transmission devices... (the obvious "scapegoat" is that "it is not known" whether a drone will cause any interference to other devices until it is certified by the competent authority... this is a process undergone by all devices sold locally with Radio transmitters, from cellphones to wifi laptops...everything must be "certified"... obviously the total ban on drones seems exagerated but it is how things are being dealt with... there was no question about what frequency it operated on, etc, etc... 2 questions: "Drone? yep... Certification Sticker with valid number? Nope...therefore, confiscated)

    I'm not sure if as a tourist you could "park" the drone and collect it when you leave, but unless the airline offers this, I'm pretty doubtful... I'm not trying to see if in my case they will allow me to re-export the unit.
     
  12. The Editor

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    My daughter freelances regularly for the BBC here in the UK.

    They have no issues getting in or out of Brazil carrying a modified S800 Evo and associated gear ! ..... and I mean A LOT of gear! :)

    Both Peli and aluminum flight cases,
     
  13. HarryT

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    Yes, the S800 is the standard BBC kit for aerial shots for shows like "Top Gear".
     
  14. Med2Miami

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    When was the last time she was in? I was told the instruction is fairly new (i.e. July/August, and the reports on local websites seem to corroborate this timeline)... Previously drones were being delivered even by regular local mail (ordered from abroad)... Apparently these are also now being seized... This is extremely fishy and unorthodox, but normal brazilian behavior... Any info is greatly appreciated as we try to knock down this stupid ban...
     
  15. SJBrit

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    Remember about frequency regulations too. For example, 900MHz FPV is OK in the US with a Ham license, but not OK at all in the UK.
     
  16. Med2Miami

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    I havent had confirmation, but someone on a local forum mentioned the Phantom 2 Visions (+ and regular) would never be approvable because their frequency overlaps digital tv frequency in brasil... I havent looked into this allegation in order to confirm nor deny it... Eitherway, they didnt care to look at anything in my case...no bother what frequency, no bother if it was 1-way transmission or 2-way, no matter what intensity the transmitter(s) were, nothing... just confiscate if no sticker on the back....
     
  17. ianwood

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    The BBC has just a wee bit of street cred, unparalleled budgets and ruthless location coordinators which will help just a little bit! But it can be done even if you're not the beeb. How? I am not so sure but I know it's done fairly regularly. From what I understand it's a lot of letters from ministers of cultural affairs. Watch Argo. It's all there!

    I'm considering pulling the trigger on an S900/GH4 and which will be earning some frequent flier miles both domestically and abroad so I will be finding out for myself soon enough!

    And yes, make sure you are legal for frequencies in use in the country of operation. EC/USA are easy. Rest of the world, not so much. An authoritative looking letter of frequency certification will help there.
     
  18. Med2Miami

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    Just being lucky enough to not go through x-ray will also get you in... but apparently in the semi-guerilla govt we live in for now all drones seen by customs at borders are seized... Journalistic, or not...

    You'd be amazed at how this country works, and how some "officials" think they can abuse power... But I'd like to know what happens next time someone is here on location with a drone, any feedback greatly appreciated!!!
     
  19. Zinnware

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    In late July, I traveled to Costa Rica and back to the US without any issues or documents required. I carried mine in a backpack as a carry-on. I did not have to open the pack in either direction of travel. No questions asked.
     
  20. Med2Miami

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    Re: TRAVEL WARNING: Don't take your drone with you, even tou

    Just a question for everyone commenting, Zinnware's post made me take note of this... could you include in your descriptions whether you have been in/out of multiple times, where from/to, and also if you had any customs inspection? (i.e. I could have brought mine in a backpack without problem, but being stopped in the X-Ray meant that they had a clear sight...) Its different to "just go thgough", or to go through an x-ray and have nothing said/asked...

    Just so I can add the relevant info...

    thks for all contributions!