No Segways or Drones for Christmas

Drone with camera.

THE Government of Gibraltar on behalf of the Office of Fair Trading issued a press release on December 9 making clear the legal position with regards to both Segways and Drones and their importation and use in Gibraltar in the run up to Christmas celebrations.

Segways, self-balancing two-wheeled electrically-powered personal transport vehicles and their equivalents are prohibited from being imported into Gibraltar as per Schedule 1 of the Imports and Exports (Control) regulations 1987. This means that they are not permitted to be brought into Gibraltar. Anyone attempting to import such a vehicle or vehicles is contravening the law and will, therefore, have these detained and subsequently confiscated by HM Customs.

In addition, should any such vehicle find its way into Gibraltar, its use in public or private is illegal and it will be confiscated.

The situation with regards to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), otherwise known as “Drones”, “Quadcopters” or “Octocopters” which are now widely available for sale to the general public is slightly different, although the result is basically the same. Although not classed as prohibited or restricted imports, their use locally is subject to the Civil Aviation (Air Navigation) Regulations 2009 and they cannot be used without specific authorisation from the Director of Civil Aviation in Gibraltar to fly them.

Although largely advertised as “toys”, UAVs are considered to be aircraft by the laws of Gibraltar and as such, any person operating a UAV must ensure that it not recklessly or negligently cause or permit the UAV to endanger any person or property nor should they be used to spy on others.

It looks therefore as if neither Amazon nor Father Christmas will be able to deliver Christmas presents by drone power this year.

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