Drones and International Customs

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Hi All-

I just had my first experience travelling internationally with my Phantom 3 Pro, and thought it might be useful if we had an ongoing contribution of input about different custom formalities around the world from those with experience.

Note I carried on my drone as hand luggage with the batteries (batteries not allowed in checked baggage as law). Note I'm not trying to argue drone laws or their reasonability, just sharing personal experience. Be great if this became a sticky and everyone contributed.

USA: No issues, a few TSA (security screeners) did have me open the case just to look at it but that was the exception rather than the norm.

Lima, Peru: Kind of a hassle. They X-rayed all bags in customs and flagged the drone. I had to do a bunch of paperwork as a "temporary importation" to ensure I would leave the country wth the drone. I had to pay $140 USD in cash to them as a guaruntee. Took about 20 minutes upon arrival. On departure I had to go back to customs to show the drone, retrieve my money, but then they took me to the airline counter to get a stamp from the airline and then I was escorted to the immigration departure by a customs official to ensure I actualy left the country. Departure took an extra 40 minutes dealing with this process. No second check going through Peruvian security screening. Customs officials in Lima were kind of over the top about it all and it appeared they loved the paperwork intensity.

Santiago, Chile: Temporary importation, same as in Peru but they were very nice and super efficient. Never had to pay a guarantee but my entry card had a stamp instructing immigration to not let me leave unless it had been cancelled by customs. The process in Chile took about 10 minutes on arrival and departure and people were very nice about it. Security screening at every Chilean domestic airport opened the drone to inspect the Mah of each battery, the phantom 3 batteries passed but they did say there was a limit on the Mah capacity for carry on lipos - I don't remember what it was.
 
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So, Peru and Chile were making sure you took the drone back OUT of the country?
Yes. It was about the "perceived value" of the drone being some high tech equipment. The fact was my MacBook costs more than the drone.

Interesting there was a fancy DJI storefront in Santiago with new drones for sale about the same price as in the USA.
 
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Well someone just posted drone footage in Vietnam over some waterfalls and other places.
Must have been lucky and not been aware of the law.
 
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Hi All-

I just had my first experience travelling internationally with my Phantom 3 Pro, and thought it might be useful if we had an ongoing contribution of input about different custom formalities around the world from those with experience.

Note I carried on my drone as hand luggage with the batteries (batteries not allowed in checked baggage as law). Note I'm not trying to argue drone laws or their reasonability, just sharing personal experience. Be great if this became a sticky and everyone contributed.

USA: No issues, a few TSA (security screeners) did have me open the case just to look at it but that was the exception rather than the norm.

Lima, Peru: Kind of a hassle. They X-rayed all bags in customs and flagged the drone. I had to do a bunch of paperwork as a "temporary importation" to ensure I would leave the country wth the drone. I had to pay $140 USD in cash to them as a guaruntee. Took about 20 minutes upon arrival. On departure I had to go back to customs to show the drone, retrieve my money, but then they took me to the airline counter to get a stamp from the airline and then I was escorted to the immigration departure by a customs official to ensure I actualy left the country. Departure took an extra 40 minutes dealing with this process. No second check going through Peruvian security screening. Customs officials in Lima were kind of over the top about it all and it appeared they loved the paperwork intensity.

Santiago, Chile: Temporary importation, same as in Peru but they were very nice and super efficient. Never had to pay a guarantee but my entry card had a stamp instructing immigration to not let me leave unless it had been cancelled by customs. The process in Chile took about 10 minutes on arrival and departure and people were very nice about it. Security screening at every Chilean domestic airport opened the drone to inspect the Mah of each battery, the phantom 3 batteries passed but they did say there was a limit on the Mah capacity for carry on lipos - I don't remember what it was.
Good info. Thanks! I will be disembarking a cruise ship IN Chile, but will not do any flying. Mavic will be unused until departure back to Canada. I gather the same import/export situation will affect me??
 
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