India has banned import of drones except for R&D, defence and security purposes. The ban, which comes into immediate effect, is aimed at promoting the domestic drone manufacturing industry. 

A Wednesday notification by the DGFT said, “Import policy of drones in... under HS code 8806 is ‘Prohibited’ with exceptions provided for R&D, Defence and Security purposes. Import of drone components shall be ‘Free’. This shall come into force with immediate effect”. 

Import of drone components shall be ‘Free’, it said. 

PLI scheme for drone manufacture

The move comes over a week after the Union Budget proposed the Drone Shakti scheme to facilitate application and use of ‘drones as service’ in the country. 

A PLI (production linked incentive scheme) - that provides up to 20 per cent incentive to manufacturers of drones and allied components - and aim to make India a drone manufacturing hub by 2030 has already been cleared by the Union Cabinet in September 2021.