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Drone import regulations labelled insufficient

Platinum Freight Management CEO, Peter McRae, has called for strict rules for the management of drones in Australia, beginning with importation and distribution.

“Currently in Australia, neither the Customs Act 1901 nor the supporting Customs Regulations 1956 offer mention of the importing of remotely piloted devices (drones, ed.), which is unsurprising given the years in which each piece of legislation was formed,” the customs brokerage specialist commented on the potential logistics disruptor.

“Is there an opportunity for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA, ed.) to put in place licensing around the importation and distribution of drones? I believe there is.”

McRae said if drones were to be specified as controlled items – meaning a permit would be required to import them – a permit number would be required on the import declaration before Border Force (ABF) could release them.

“This would prevent individuals from importing without a license, meaning authorities would know who imports drones and how they are being distributed.”

He added, “This is not fool proof of course…but at least…there would be a basis from which regulation could begin and rules could be actively enforced, rather than our current situation of ‘ticking and ficking’ – or in other words no
regulation, no checks and therefore absolutely no control.”

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