From September 1, China introduced restrictions on the export of drones to Russia that can be used for military purposes for two years. As Kommersant writes, this caused a sharp increase in prices for drones and their shortage in civilian areas.
Export restrictions included devices weighing more than 4 kilograms or a maximum take-off weight of 7 kilograms, capable of flying for more than 30 minutes and “carrying a load with a reset function or with the ability to attach such a device.” Restrictions also apply to multispectral and hyperspectral cameras for drones used in agriculture and forestry, as well as infrared cameras, high-power avionics, thermal imagers and laser ranging and positioning modules.
To send them to Russia, exporters will have to obtain a license from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and additional permits from the customs service. The documents must indicate information about the final recipient of the product. Chinese officials intend to check whether recipients are on the list of companies “related to military activities.” In addition, Beijing may request financial statements and corporate documents from the recipients of drones and related equipment.
In case of intentional violation, the exporter faces criminal liability.
Representatives of Russian companies that previously worked with Chinese exporters, according to Kommersant, are now waiting for their suppliers to receive the necessary permits. At the same time, there are already those who have been denied paperwork by the Chinese authorities.
Parallel import schemes through intermediaries in other countries can help get around the restrictions, but this doubles the cost of drones, and the delivery time for equipment increases by several weeks. The existing stocks of drones and components for them, according to Kommersant sources, will be enough for 3-6 months, however, their price has increased, in some cases, twice.
At the same time, as the publication’s interlocutors noted, Russian departments, in particular the Ministry of Industry and Trade, do not participate in negotiations with Chinese colleagues and do not contribute to the establishment of supplies.
The situation with limited supplies of drones weighing over 4 kilograms also affects the prices of lighter drones. As Kommersant notes, many Chinese exporters are afraid to take responsibility even for supplies of DJI Mavic 3 drones weighing less than 1 kg to Russia, which is why they have risen in price by 20% in a month – up to 250 thousand rubles apiece.