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    • Pijlmans's Profile Photo

      Macedonia confiscates drones which are not declared at the border

      Republic of Macedonia Nov 26, 2016 at 4:11 AM

      Recently, there have been several stories about people who wanted to take a drone into Macedonia and got their drone confiscated at the border.

      They had to pay a high fine (500-600 euros) and did not get their drones back. One person even was detained and had to stand trial in Skopje, after passing the border near Bitola with a drone.

      At the moment it is not clear what the legal grounds are for this confiscation. The official Macedonian customs site does not mention that it is illegal to carry a drone as personal luggage. It mentions that goods with a value above 350 euros have to be declared, but this seems only to apply to residents of Macedonia.


      There are also rumors that the drones are confiscated by corrupt customs officers. A video about this issue is currently going viral in the Balkan.


      For now, the smart thing to do seems to leave your drone at home. Or at least make sure you declare it at the border. I do not know what you will have to pay to be allowed to take it into Macedonia.

      My questions are:

      1) what are the exact laws regarding taking a drone as personal luggage into Macedonia?

      2) Why would you have to declare a drone but not a camera, since a drone is nothing but a flying camera? Or are other expensive items in your personal luggage such as cameras, laptops, phones also at risk when entering Macedonia?

      3) To whom does the relief from import duties on goods of non-commercial nature under the value of 350 euro apply? The customs website itself says that this applies to Macedonian residents. How can this be used against tourists?