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Old September 12th, 2016, 09:19 PM   #1
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Morocco - DON'T bring your drone!

Hi all:

I returned from a shoot in Morocco a few months ago. I shoot BTS and EPK for television shows, many of which are now shooting in Morocco. We traveled with the normal Canon C100/300 cameras and we brought a Go Pro VR camera. I have shot in Morocco in the past with another TV series and customs was no big deal. Of course, we travel with a Carnet. Usually it is a simple matter of having a customs officer sign off on the forms when you arrive in the country. We had six cases of camera, grip and lighting gear for this trip and the customs agents in Morocco at Ouarzazate airport went through literally every single case, multiple times. We were in customs for three hours. Every time they would pull out a camera, especially the Freedom 360 VR camera, they would ask us, "Is this a drone?!?!" After we would tell them, "No, it's not", a different official would come over and ask us repeatedly if we were bringing in any drones. Finally, after hours of convincing them that we weren't bringing any drones into the country, they signed our carnet and we left.

Ironically, the show I was shooting on used a large professional drone to carry an Arri Alexa Mini. The pilot and camera operator were from Finland and they told us they had no issues bringing in their drone but all of the necessary paperwork and permits had been drawn for them. My advice is that if you have a drone and are not contracted by a network or film studio, DO NOT bring your drone to Morocco under any circumstances. They are on high alert because of terrorism and they do not mess around. They will confiscate and destroy your drone if you just pack it in your baggage with no declaration.
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