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Morocco, do NOT take your drone

J v P

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My Mavic was confiscated by Customs yesterday, February 19 2017, on Marrakech airport.
I had no idea drones / rc aircraft have been illegal in Morocco since February 2015, so I just took it with me and did not declare it on arrival.
My mistake, I should have done some research beforehand.

When entering the airport all luggage gets scanned. They spotted the Mavic..
Both the police and customs officials were actually friendly and helpful as they expedited the procedure so that we were able to catch our flight out.
But the customs agent was resolute; I did not declare it so farewell Mavic.
If I would have, I still had no permission to take it into Morocco, but they might have kept it in safeguard until I left the country.

If you insist on taking a drone into the country you must have written permission beforehand and you must present those to customs upon entering the country.
 
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J v P

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They did not keep the Mavic and it will be returned to you I assume?
Nope. It is officially seized. The douanier told me clearly "restez ici toujours", remain here forever. He gave me a receipt, the "recepisse de saisi".
So definitely seized. It will be destroyed eventually.

This is the official publication of the current laws / regulations concerning uav's in Morocco.
Les drones interdits au Maroc ! - La Nouvelle Tribune
 

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BD0G

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Oh Man! That is a terrible loss!
It is shame that they did not offer some leniency as you were unaware and have some latitude that the could have been extended and allow you to cover postage to send the Mavic back to your home location.
 

J v P

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Oh Man! That is a terrible loss!
It is shame that they did not offer some leniency as you were unaware and have some latitude that the could have been extended and allow you to cover postage to send the Mavic back to your home location.

Thank you for your sympathy!

I did ask if that was an option, but it wasn't. They were easygoing and helpful though, rushing me through so that we wouldn't miss our flight. Also they were sympathetic and they let me sign a paper that I didn't have the money to pay the tax/fine on the undeclared goods. My guess is that if they were under the impression that I deliberately broke their country's law, they would have been less considerate.

I should have checked, but I didn't. Costly mistake..
I'll start saving for a replacement!
 

twitchyzero

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ouch, sorry.

too bad they didn't let you ship it back home.
 

J v P

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Would they at least let you pull the battery and take that? That's nearly 10% of the cost.

How about the remote?
I still have the accessories. They inquired but I started mumbling that the camera was fixed onto the body and stuff.. They let it go.

So I only need the Mavic itself replaced. I have contacted DJI about that. Because I do have Care Refresh I'm hoping that I can buy a new Mavic from them as a 'replacement'. That way I am hoping to avoid paying for import an VAT again.
 
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oferlaor

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AFAIK, you need to return the remnants of the old unit to be able to get a new one as a replacement, through care refresh... Isn't that right?
 

J v P

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AFAIK, you need to return the remnants of the old unit to be able to get a new one as a replacement, through care refresh... Isn't that right?
Yes. But I didn't ask for a reduced price or a replacement under warranty perse. At least hoping to avoid imports and VAT.
Would be nice if DJI considers this to be "pilot error" though ;-)
 

oferlaor

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I understand. From what I can recall, the price of the actual drone is something like $700. Keep us posted as this is likely to happen again in various countries.
 

J v P

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Update:
After mailing, chatting and calling with too many departments within DJI, they have finally answered my questions:
No replacement under DJI Care Refresh, but I expected that to be the case.
Not possible to get a new Mavic without paying for import tax and VAT.
Not possible to register a new Mavic to my old and now very useless DJI Care Refresh.

mweh..
 

Vilco

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My Mavic was confiscated by Customs yesterday, February 19 2017, on Marrakech airport.
I had no idea drones / rc aircraft have been illegal in Morocco since February 2015, so I just took it with me and did not declare it on arrival.
Now I finally understand why all these posts like "Is it safe to bring my MP to <insert place here>?" or "going to fly in <insert place here>, do you have some advice?"
Sorry for your loss. BTW something tells me DJI Care doesn't cover this
 

Genecidal

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Could've thrown it on the ground in a fit of rage, picked up the pieces (don't litter) and maybe dji refresh.....
 
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zebrock

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That's crazy. What a bummer! Definitely worth investigating other countries prior to visiting. I just returned from Mexico, they couldn't have cared less. Hopefully you save someone else from going through the same thing.
 
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karan122

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Hi

I am flying to Marrakech next month and was researching on if I am allowed or not to take my Mavic Pro.

I am sorry for your loss! But Thanks a lot for letting us know or I would have had mine seized too

Kind Regards
Karan
 

mrshanes

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I know this is old, but something strikes me as odd. It seems drones are banned and they need to confiscate it. But, it also seems they asked if you have money to pay the import tax? If you did would they have given it back to you? So, ultimately, are they banned or not, or is this just a money-making scheme for the customs agents?
 
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