Under the General Authorization for Export of Drones, a one-time licence valid for three years will be granted to the drone makers
Under the new norms drone manufacturers will not be required to apply for SCOMET licence for every similar export shipment of drones for civilian uses
Earlier, every category of drones were regulated for export under the SCOMET list
The Indian government has eased out norms for the export of certain drones meant for civilian uses. The idea is to facilitate the outbound shipments of high-tech items.
The export of certain specifications would be allowed under the General Authorization for Export of Drones, a one-time licence valid for three years.
A PTI report quoted the Directorate General of Foreign Trade saying, “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 GAED.”
In alignment with the emphasis laid down by the Foreign Trade Policy 2023, the government has liberalised the export of some high-tech items for the export of drones/UAVs meant for civilian end uses.
Earlier, every category of drones was regulated for export under the SCOMET list. It deals with the category of items that are subject to certain restrictions due to their dual-use nature for both civilian and military uses.
On the part of the government, it has been noted that it will not require drone manufacturers to apply for SCOMET licence for every similar export shipment of drones for civilian uses during the validity period.
The report states that the government is of the view that this relaxation will allow the Indian drone makers to compete and scale at a global level.
Between August 2021 (157 startups) and February 2022 (221 drone startups), India has witnessed a 34.4% surge in the number of drone or UAV startups. Last year, addressing the media, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said that India has the potential to be the global drone hub by 2030.
Last year, the civil aviation ministry invited applications for the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for drones and drone components. Under the scheme, a total incentive of INR 120 Cr is spread over three financial years. The rate of PLI is 20% of the value addition, which marks one of the highest among the other PLI schemes.
Since January 2022, over 15 drone startups including the likes of Aarav Unmanned Systems, DroneAcharya Aerial, EndureAir Systems, and many others have raised about $54 Mn in funding. Besides, we saw DronAcharya getting listed, while another drone startup Ideaforge is all set to list.