How to register your drone in Thailand

Updated with information that you must register with both NBTC and CAAT and get insurance before you can fly. This can take at least two months.

If you intend to fly a drone in Thailand, whether as a hobby or for commercial reasons, you have to by law register your drone first. If you don’t you could face a fine of up to 100,000 Baht or even up to five years in prison. They are serious about this, so before you fly, make sure you register your drone with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). In addition, if your drone has a camera (any weight) or weighs over two kilos then you need to obtain insurance and get permission to fly from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT). Their fine for not doing this is up to 40,000 Baht and up to one year in prison. Before you ask, if you have a toy drone, for example weighing less than 250g, then the NBTC or CAAT are not interested.

Scroll down for how to register your drone and for links to download the forms.

When I first started flying drones in Thailand I hardly ever saw any other drone pilots. I also didn’t face any problems about where I could fly. Security guards would come over if they saw me flying, not because it was illegal, but because they were curious to see the live pictures from above. Sadly, those days are long gone. Security guards are more likely to chase you away or sometimes you will see signs like the one above which prohibits the flying of drones. This is not necessarily because of any new laws, it is mainly because just about everyone decided to get a drone for Christmas. Now, with so many people flying, it is no longer the novelty and people, sometimes quite rightly, are fed up with the buzzing sound of the drones flying low over their heads.

When I attend an event these days, there are usually four or five drones flying. And quite honestly, some of these pilots are very dangerous. They are not keeping their drones in line of sight. They are just watching their screens. Which means the possibility of a collision is quite high. I have seen them go down before, either crashing into buildings, trees and power lines, or just colliding with another drone. I tend not to fly at events any more. Partly because it is distracting to people who might be watching a show, but also it is quite dangerous if there is a large crowd. The number one rule for drone pilots is to make sure you have a wide and clear area in case of an emergency landing. This kind of thing is why the Ministry of Transport came out with a new law about the use of drones in Thailand.

Scroll down for the law regarding drones in Thailand.

Even after you have registered your drone with the NBTC, bought insurance and have permission to fly from CAAT, you still need to obey the following rules. If not, you will be subject to a fine and maybe imprisonment.

Once you have permission from the land owner to fly, you must obey these rules while flying:

  • must not fly in a way that may cause harm to the life, property and peace of others
  • must not fly into restricted area, limited area and dangerous area announced in Aeronautical Information Publication – Thailand or AIP-Thailand and also at government buildings and hospitals unless permission is given.
  • take-off and landing area must not be obstructed by anything
  • must keep the Unmanned Aircraft in line-of-sight at all times and not rely on the monitor or other devices
  • must only fly between sunrise and sunset when the Unmanned Aircraft can clearly be seen
  • must not fly in or near clouds
  • must not fly within 9 km (5 nautical miles) from airport or temporary airfield unless having permission from the airport or airfields operators
  • must not fly over 90 meters above the ground
  • must not fly over cities, villages, communities or areas where people are gathered
  • must not fly near other aircraft that have pilots
  • must not violate the privacy rights of others
  • must not cause a nuisance to others
  • must not deliver or carry dangerous items or lasers on the Unmanned Aircraft
  • must not fly horizontally closer than 30 meters (100 feet) to people, vehicles, constructions or buildings

For the full regulations, click here, or visit the CAAT website for the latest up to date information.

Before I continue, I should point out something in the above infographic released by CAAT which is contradictory to the regulations. The infographic says you need to have a licence to fly if your drone has a camera, even if it is less than two kilos. But, the regulations do not say anything about that. From what I, and other people understood, if you have a small drone like a Spark or Mavick that weighs less than two kilos, you do not need to get permission to fly from CAAT. As long as you are not using it for commercial reasons and you obey the above rules. However, officials we have spoken to at CAAT insist that you still have to get permission to fly. We asked specifically about the smallest of drones, DJI Spark, and they said yes, we would need insurance and permission to fly.

Scroll down for how to register your drone with NBTC.

If you intend to fly a drone in Thailand, then by Thai law you must register it first with the NBTC. If you don’t, you are violating the Communications Radio Act. Apparently, only 350 drones have been registered up to now out of an estimated 50,000 drones in Thailand. Which is why there is now a crackdown on drones. Before, we probably would have gotten away with flying without a license if we were discreet. But, now, thanks to all of the publicity, everyone knows that you must register your drone or you will face up to five years in prison. It was front page news in the Bangkok Post (see the article here) and other national newspapers.

The following is what I did to register my drones with NBTC in Bangkok. They have 17 offices around Thailand, and so you don’t need to do this here. Also, you are apparently allowed to register at your local police station. I know people who have done this, but make sure you download the form in advance as they won’t know anything about it. My advice is to go to your local NBTC officer. In Thai it is “กสทช.”, just search for it on google maps. For the one in Bangkok, it is on Soi Phahonyothin 8. Click here for the map link. When you arrive, you will see the big building in the photo above. You need to go to Building 2, first floor. From the front gate, turn right and walk down a path. Don’t go through security. You will see the building on your right near the road.

Before you go, you should prepare the following. If you do so, then you will be in and out in just five minutes. That is how long it took me to register my two drones.

  1. Sign a copy of your passport
  2. Proof of address like house registration, lease, rental contract or work permit (this is new)
  3. Photos of your drone and the serial number on your drone
  4. Two copies of the filled in application form

That’s it if you are just flying as a hobby like myself. If you are media or a registered company, then there are more documents that you need.

NOTES: 

  1. You don’t need to take your drone into the office. Though some people did.
  2. Stick the photos on a piece of A4 paper and then sign the sheet of paper.
  3. You need a set of documents for each of your drones.
  4. The serial numbers are on a sticker on the drone box. I took a picture of that.
  5. Print the application form on both sides of a sheet of paper. Or pick one up at their office.
  6. The filled in form needs to be photocopied. This is what they stamp and return to you.

This is a link to the page on the NBTC page about the regulations. This is a direct link to download the form. It is only in Thai. I will take you through it step by step below. Scroll down.

The first three fields to fill in are for “Day/Month/Year”

The next section is about the weight of your drone. I ticked the first one as my drones are less than 2 kilos. The others are for between 2 and 25 kilos, and for more than 25 kilos.

Number 5 is your first name and number 6 is your family name. Number 7 is your age. Number 8 and 9 is your nationality. I wrote UK.

Numbers 10-12 is your birthday written as Day/Month/Year. Number 13 is your ID card number. I wrote my passport number.

Number 15-21 is your address. 15 is the house number, 16 the Soi number, 17 the road name, 18 the Tambon or kwang name, 19 the Amphoe or Khet name, 20 the province name, and 21 the post code. Number 22 is your telephone number. I didn’t fill in the rest.

UPDATE: They didn’t ask me for proof of address when I went, but now they apparently are. I’m not sure yet what tourists can do about this.

I didn’t fill in Section 2 as I am a private individual. Continue to page two.

For Number 23, I ticked the first box as I just fly for a hobby. The others are for media, businesses etc.

For Number 24, I wrote the name of my drone. For Number 25 it is asking for the number of drones and rotors. I wrote one drone and four rotors. I was registering a DJI Phantom 3 and a DJI Spark. I did this on two different forms. I guess if you have two of the same then use the same form.

For number 26, I wrote the serial number of the drone. As I said before, it is on a sticker on your box. Number 27 is the weight. Number 28 is for what equipment is fixed. I said camera. Number 29 is the maximum height it can go in meters. Number 30 is the frequency. For mine I wrote 2.400 – 2.483 GHz.

That’s it. Sign your name and then write your name clearly in the brackets below. The other signatures are for the officials. Hand them into the officer at the reception. It took them about five minutes to check everything and stamp it. The registration is free at the moment.

UPDATED: When I went to the NBTC office, the official said that there was no need for me to do anything else. They said they would forward my application to CAAT. But people who went later are reporting that NBTC officials are now saying that you also need to get permission to fly from CAAT. This is because at NBTC you are just registering your radio communications device. I rang CAAT and an official there confirmed this. They also added you need to get insurance first before they would accept your application. The whole process will take about two months. Maybe longer now as over 1,300 drones were registered at NBTC in the first week alone.

If you want to do that yourself, then click here for the forms and regulations in English. If you search for Thai drone insurance on Facebook you will find some companies that offer it.  If you have experience of registering your drone in Thailand, or you have any questions, then please feel free to post them below in the comments. Please remember, if you do fly your drone in Thailand, please do so responsibly. It only needs one person to fly over the Grand Palace or crash into an aircraft for drones to be banned for everyone.

This is the second draft of my blog. I will come back and add more details later. I advise bloggers and reporters not to just copy and paste the above as I am changing and updating things often. One national newspaper already wrote an article based on my blog. Unfortunately for them and their readers I have updated it with new pertinent information.

242 thoughts on “How to register your drone in Thailand

  • October 16, 2017 at 7:44 pm
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    Hi Richard,
    I’ve seen a comment on ThaiVisa Forum that someone submitted their application by eMail do you think that’s acceptable to the NBTC?
    It would be helpful to be able to apply from out of country (I do have a regular address in Thailand), that way if there were questions asked on arrival you would already have a license in place.
    I only fly small stuff, 250~285mm quads & an 800mm FPV flying wing, I’ve flown normal (line of sight) model aircraft and helicopters for years and fly with the Prakasa club when I’m in Thailand.
    Regards,
    Andrew

    Reply
  • October 16, 2017 at 7:54 pm
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    Re the Drone insurance offered by Mittare online you should note that it does not offer Public Liability insurance. Yes that section on the application form and table of insured benefits is stated as Liability insurance but in fact there is no cover if someone sues you. It is , as shown, an accident insurance giving some medical expenses to an injured person. It does give some cover for property damage (Bht 1m). There is a second option to include some Hull cover (loss / damage of the drone itself) on a limited basis. Excluded amongst other things is the drone being lost at sea or over water or simply lost. A 50% co-insurance applies to all claims and flight data will be checked for any improper use e.g. flying too high. Accessories are not insured. Those people wanting a proper Drone policy or intend commercial use need to talk with an aviation insurance broker who may offer something from Lloyds or other international insurers at a quite different price, somewhere around a minimum premium of USD 1000 + tax last time I heard, to cover admin and make it worth anyone’s while. Such a policy has to be fronted and issued by a Thai insurer locally to be legal, normally at a surcharge.

    Reply
  • October 16, 2017 at 8:06 pm
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    Very interesting, but it means that I cannot use my drone when on vacation in Thailand ? Or should I keep cash in my pockets ?

    Reply
      • October 25, 2017 at 11:54 am
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        Hi Richard
        As a tourist you mean I just go to the local police station to register my drone and that will be approved at the time of visit?

        Reply
        • October 25, 2017 at 12:12 pm
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          At this moment in time, many police stations are unaware of this. You would have to visit the NBTC offices until they are told. But this is just to register your radio controlled device. If you are shooting pictures and video with your drone, you need to also register with CAAT. That takes two months.

          Reply
  • October 16, 2017 at 8:19 pm
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    You mentioned not flying over the grand palace, but I have been told it is wrong to fly hang-gliders and similar machine propelled light aircraft over any Buddhist temple, so drones should also observe this Thai respect for all religious buildings.

    Reply
    • October 16, 2017 at 8:24 pm
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      If you are in a hand glider flying over a Buddhist monument then your feet are pointing straight down towards monks and Buddha images. The drone is small and has no pilot. But, you should still be respectful by not flying near and asking for permission from the abbot.

      Reply
  • October 16, 2017 at 10:27 pm
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    Hi guys as mentioned before I did all the paper work about four months ago, with CAAT, if NBTC is forwarding the documents to the other agency means process isn’t complete, when I called to NBTC inquiring clarification they told me if CAAT issued license no need to contact them.

    I applied as hobby, not commercial, my personal experience will be that any body applying for the license (permission) if they already have licensed as drone pilots will be a plus once they reach the insurance step.

    CAAT (The Civil Aviation Autorities of Thailand ) will not give license or permission without third party insurance.

    I paid 5600 THB per a year which cover 1500000 third party insurance

    Unfortunately we can post jpg in here to provide pictures of the documents acquired from the government.

    Reply
    • October 17, 2017 at 8:28 am
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      Hi Juan, which insurance company did you buy a policy from ?

      Reply
  • October 16, 2017 at 10:33 pm
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    Just got an email that even DJI Sparks need to be registered with CAAT, looks like they are serious with this issue!!!! 🙁

    Reply
      • October 17, 2017 at 11:02 am
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        Ok thanks Juan. It seems to be an agent using the same Mittare insurance product. No ENG download that I could see whereas Mittares own site has the same details in ENG, or can anyway request. Not many Thai insurers are interested in this policy as there has been accidents and it can take years to get a new insurance product approved by the regulator in the antiquated local market.

        Reply
        • October 17, 2017 at 11:34 am
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          To Stuart, to be honest to me it looks like they are all one, but I can’t be positive since I don’t know, that insurance company sell drones too, and they know most of DJI stores, once again will advice to summit papers directly to CAAT ONLINE CAN BE DONE, I did that and on the thir month get the insurance.

          Process isn’t complicated it just take time, cheers

          Reply
        • October 17, 2017 at 11:36 am
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          Yes you can contact the insurance by email hey will forward you everything in English, sorry to response vaguely

          Reply
  • October 17, 2017 at 7:53 am
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    Hi Richard. As always your information is great.
    I come to Thailand once a year with my wife so she can visit her family.
    Last year and the year before I brought my inspire 1 with us.
    This year I’ve brought my Mavic.
    Last year I registered with the CAA of Thailand for a 2 year permission to fly and bought insurance.
    Since then I’ve passed the UK CAA exam and bought UK insurance (the insurance is valid in Thailand)
    Could you please qualify that I need to file the registration form with the NBTC.
    Thanks in anticipation.

    Reply
    • October 17, 2017 at 7:56 am
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      Some people say you don’t need to if you already have a license with CAAT. But as it is quick and easy I would do it for peace of mind. If you don’t have a local NBTC office then go with your wife to a police station. Make sure you download the form in advance as they won’t have them.

      Reply
  • October 17, 2017 at 10:04 am
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    Great info thanks. When I rang NBTC They mentioned that if the police at the station didn’t know what to do I should ring NBTC while at the station and they(NBTC) would explain it to the police.
    I’ll give that a try
    Thanks agaib

    Reply
  • October 17, 2017 at 4:38 pm
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    What did you put for maximum height it can go? I have a DJI Phantom 3

    Reply
  • October 17, 2017 at 10:30 pm
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    Thanks for the info Richard.
    Looks a hassle, but doable.
    You wrote “Photos of your drone and the serial number on your drone”.
    Is that hard copy photos ie on photographic paper, or will bringing down some jpgs on a memory stick for them to copy to their computer suffice?

    Reply
    • October 17, 2017 at 10:34 pm
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      I heard in the beginning they were taking photos of the drones for people who didn’t have pictures. I guess it’s possible they could print for you but you might find them overwhelmed with number of people registering. They didn’t enter anything on computers while I was there. Everything was on paper.

      Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 2:54 am
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    Today I filled out the documents as detailed in this blog and went to my local police station; Phra Khanong. The girl on the information desk basically told me that I’d still need to visit the NBTC office, and clearly wasnt interested (pretty much what I expected). So I drove to the NBTC. In addition to what is detailed here, they also asked for a copy of my house book or lease. Luckily I had a copy on my phone, emailed it to them and they printed it out, and attached it to my application. The people in there are very friendly, and even though the office was pretty busy, I was in and out within 15 mins.
    It should be noted that the guy who dealt with me, who appeared senior in the office, said I’d still need to register with the CAAT if i want to fly my drone (mavic, non commercial).

    Article 4 Remotely piloted Aircraft in this announcement is divided into two categories which are—
    (1) For the purpose of hobby, entertainment, or sport (recreation);
    (a) Weight of not more than 2 kg
    (b) Weight of more than 2 kg but not exceeding 25 kg

    (2) For purposes other than (1) where its weight does not exceed 25 kg;
    (a) For reporting incidents or traffic-related matters (i.e. mass media),
    (b) For photographing, filming or TV programs,
    (c) For research and development of aircraft,
    (d) For other purposes.

    Am I CAT1a or CAT2b?!?!

    The NBTC guy said that there is a meeting next week to get the police up to speed and iron out the details for locals and foreigners, as clearly hundreds of tourists will be arriving with their ‘selfie drones’ this high season, and needing a license, and everything else is pretty absurd, not to mention the thai only form.
    Anyway, I now have a registered drone, its just a shame that I don’t think I can fly it here yet. Will wait for further developments

    Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 5:11 am
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    Hi Richard,
    I found Application in English. In this app are more information than in thai. They ask:
    -Occupation and Salary???
    -Insurance information
    -Requested operating location ( I will be almost 1 month in many location).
    -What you write in Max altitude? You think 500m is ok? I have also DJI Spark.
    Do you also send ” Consent to the Disclosure of Personal Information”
    How long do you waiting for answer? I would like to send this app by email. I will be in Thailand from 14 December to 12 January.

    Best Regards

    Wojtek

    Reply
    • October 18, 2017 at 5:37 am
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      Sounds like you found the form for CAAT which is permission to fly. This blog is mainly about registering your remote controlled device with NBTC. That form is only in Thai at the moment. I’ve spoken with the Tourism Authority of Thailand about this and they’ve promised to do a follow up.

      Reply
      • October 18, 2017 at 5:52 am
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        Richard….you think better wait or contact CAAT by an email and start procedure earlier? Or doing when I will be in Bangkok?

        Reply
        • October 18, 2017 at 5:58 am
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          If you can contact CAAT by email and start the procedure online, then I would do so. It can apparently take several months. For myself I’m waiting to see what happens over the next week or so. When the NBTC met the press last week they didn’t really think about the consequence of their statement. Even the logistics of processing an estimated 50,000 licenses in only 90 days. There’s a lot of confused people out there. And not just foreigners. I’ve been reading the Thai language forums too on this.

          Reply
          • October 18, 2017 at 6:05 am
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            This is good idea. I will send everything by an email and wait. I will let you know when I will have any answer form CAAT.
            Thanks for your valuable informations.

          • October 18, 2017 at 6:07 am
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            Of course…every information is on the weight of gold 🙂

    • October 19, 2017 at 6:40 pm
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      Wojtek the personal disclosure is because they need to submit papers and get approval from Narcotics, Immigration and national intelligence agency, hope you submitted applications by email

      Reply
      • October 19, 2017 at 7:00 pm
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        Richard,

        Yesterday, I was sending all documents (without insurance) to CAAT by an email. Don’t have any answer from CAAT. I will let you know when I have any information and what happen in this case.
        About insurance I was sending a request to STUART…waiting for information and estimate.

        Best Regards
        Wojtek

        Reply
      • November 10, 2017 at 4:27 pm
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        Hi Richard,

        I have answer from CAAT. They need insurance (about insurance I will be contact with Stuart).
        But many have you got any information about sending personal information to other Bureau?
        Please fin an answer from CAAT:

        I’ve received your document already. However; we have to use the insurance paperwork which covers damages caused to the body, life and properties of the third parties. The minimum sum insured is not less than 1 Million Baht per time.
        What should be mentioned on insurance paperwork are:
        – UAV Brand
        – UAV Model
        – **UAV Serial Number**
        – UAV Weight
        – Your name as an insured on the paperwork as well
        – Please also mention if this insurance policy will be covered in Thailand or Worldwide
        – Please provide your insurance paperwork which is translated from legalization and authentication service with translation company’s stamp on it.
        **It will be helpful if you can provide insurance paperwork in English to reduce approval wait times**.
        For your information, you should plan ahead before you bring your UAV to Thailand. Since you have registered for UAV, I will send your personal information to National Intelligence Agency, Immigration Bureau and Office of Narcotics Control. It will take approximately 60 days to get the result before I can process the approval.

        Wojtek

        Reply
        • November 11, 2017 at 11:25 am
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          Hi Wotjek, strange that CAAT says they want the insurance in English? At the same time, your contact is talking about a certified translation, into Thai presumably). Anyway the policies are done in Thai.

          Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 6:42 am
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    HI Richard, I could provide a bit of info according with my experience done the application.
    For occupation I put retired, and income I left it blank ( I am 43 they didn’t mind about the discrepancy)
    For the address your hotel address should be fine ( I had house registration)
    The places to flight, I filled with samui, around bangkok and north of Thailand, nothing really specific.
    Purpose of flying just to take some videos and pictures for personal use, from permitted locations
    All those pictures of drones are only necessary for the insurance, for maximum altitude I put what the Phantom 4 Pro claim to reach and added that I never tried, any altitude should be ok

    And last police and NBTC will forward documents to CAAT, all that is feee

    The insurance is what has a cost, without insurance no license (certification) to fly

    Those are my two cents to comment

    Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 6:51 am
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    I submitted my papers by email on June 14 2017 to CAAT directly, after 3 months they told me I need insurance if I want the permission to fly

    Reply
    • October 18, 2017 at 6:53 am
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      Thanks for the clarification. At this moment in time we don’t know for sure if we need to register with both NBTC and CAAT. And if you’ve already registered with CAAT, do you need to register with NBTC too? It’s a mess.

      Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 6:53 am
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    I thought was a brick wall but once insurance papers were done ( a week later) then received email form insurance with all detail forward then to CAAT and another week got the license by post

    Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 6:55 am
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    They will sent the license by post to your physical address or you can pick it up at CAAT at Laksi Plaza, their office

    Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 6:57 am
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    Not from abroad Richard from Bangkok

    Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 7:01 am
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    I used this mailto:apinya.p@caat.or.th
    The person was very friendly

    Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 7:11 am
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    Some times they answer email quickly other times a day or two

    Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 7:18 am
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    According with NBTC if you are registered with CAAT no need any other registrations, called them and asked already

    Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 11:04 am
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    Whole thing look absurd, they dont know what they are doing themself, no one knows anything, typical thai mess.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 11:48 am
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    Hi Richard,
    Are there more up to date rules than the 2005 Announcement-of-the-Ministry-of-Transport.pdf ??
    These state that Article4type1 drones (<2kg and WITHOUT CAMERA that RECORDS/FILMS VIDEO) are already granted general permission to fly subject only to Article 5 conditions (MONITORS used for controlling flight appear allowed. Articles 7-14 do not apply and registration is not specified.

    Am I missing something? Where is there specification regarding 250g quads? and does that include weight of battery?
    Thanks,
    Brian

    Reply
    • October 18, 2017 at 12:05 pm
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      Its down to interpretation isnt it?
      But a <2kg quad without camera doesnt need registration, that much is clear.

      What confuses me is when i read the regs i am 1a (hobbyist less than 2kg).
      The classification that mentions photography is for uses OTHER THAN hobby/recreation, so in my mind im still 1a, but CAAT appear to have other ideas on that.

      Reply
      • October 18, 2017 at 12:29 pm
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        “Its down to interpretation isnt it?”
        Exactly, and unfortunately authoritarians/bureaucrats like the fact since the “interpretation” is up to whatever they want.

        Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 12:18 pm
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    Let’s look at the good side of it, at least we will be able to flight after long wait, if rules aren’t valid why government officials are enforcing them? Yes it’s is crazy, ridiculous, senseless but when authorities address us certainly with that piece of paper we have rights and the Drone will stay with the owner, cheers

    Reply
    • October 18, 2017 at 7:18 pm
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      Juan,
      Do you have any information on what enforcement actions have been taken so far?

      Reply
      • October 18, 2017 at 7:41 pm
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        I don’t know Richard what they will enforce but obviously will be money related if they catch you flying drone without proper documentation

        I could post my JPG license if possible but I don’t see the option

        Will be cautious if I were registering on the provinces since they might not have all details, but who knows maybe a simple stamp will do the job as a certified license

        Reply
        • October 18, 2017 at 9:36 pm
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          Agree any solution will be involve money. Prostitution is illegal in Thailand but there is a whole industry based on it only because of the money spread around. Every country has there own means of collecting similar fees. Nothing new but I much preferred it when may quad hobby was under the radar.

          Reply
          • October 18, 2017 at 9:50 pm
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            To Brian, Not worthy the risk plus maybe be marked by police, that is why decided to apply few months back, I like to fly around inside and outside the city

            Surely police will be on the look out for drones even after October, if we have license no worries, cheers

      • October 18, 2017 at 7:47 pm
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        SORRY I meant Brian

        Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 12:22 pm
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    Robert,

    Hopefully the rules will be updated and clarified after a period of public feedback.

    The most worrisome and vague rule to me is Article 5 line 4
    “must keep the Unmanned Aircraft in line-of-sight at all times and not rely on the monitor or other devices”
    A harsh reading would suggest that this makes it illegal to fly a drone with goggles period (it is extremely dangerous to take goggles on and off during a flight). Another reading suggests that one must just keep the quad within the line of sight from your flying position (or have a partner watching the quad for you), similar to rules using this wording in the USA.
    It is very frustrating to not be able to not have a more clearly defined law when very harsh penalties are put in place.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 12:43 pm
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    I just returned from a trip to the NBTC and CAAT in Nonthaburi. Registering two drones (A DJI Mavic & Spark) at the NBTC was quite easy. Note, you must submit a photo of the actual drone and of the serial number/model. All photos need to be signed. As for the CAAT, I was told you must obtain insurance for each drone and that the it would take approximately 60 days for you to receive notification as to whether or not you were granted permission to fly. Was told drones must remain grounded until you receive that permission. I’m going to guess that with the wave of people attempting to gain permission, that the 60 day mark will more than likely extend to 90 days, 120 days, and so on. Good luck everyone!

    Reply
    • October 18, 2017 at 4:20 pm
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      Gensina, very interesting, but according to rules your drones which are under 2kg do not require insurance per a requirement from NBTC/CAAT. Did they actually ask you to get insurance for the 743g and 300g Mavic and Spark? And did they even ask about their weight?

      Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 1:19 pm
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    Up to now, the whole thing is a mess. if its less than 2kg for recreation, why does having a camera change the hazards posed and thus require insurance?
    as it stands they have essentially banned drones, and killed the resale value of my mavic. As a hobbyist who wants to take some nice shots if im on a beach, or in a scenic area, the insurance requirement, the need for fire extinguishers, maintenance plan etc etc make it unfeasible.

    Somebody at CAAT, needs stand up and say, ‘hey, wait a moment, lets slow down and look at what we’re doing here’. before they get past the point of no return. Fair enough, ground all drones for the funeral (that seems to be what has sparked this sudden enforcement and talk of 5 year jail terms), and then come back to the table, look at other countries regulations, and come up with a workable solution.

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  • October 18, 2017 at 1:31 pm
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    Hope insurance prices remain same!!!!!

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  • October 18, 2017 at 2:45 pm
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    I tried registering at the NBTC office in Khon Kaen but was told only Thai nationals could register. I pushed back, they admitted the regulation was silent but were being cautious. They had me register it under my Thai wife’s name, which was still very easy.
    He then confirmed that I was good to fly, just keep my stamped copy of the registration with me wh3n using the drone. So it does seem that no CAAT registration is needed.

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  • October 18, 2017 at 4:58 pm
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    Hi Richard.
    Great info thanks.
    I have several questions:
    – whether everything is right with figures 24-30 on the form and in the description (there is no point 25 and 30)?
    – whether in a lyuy police station I can register the drone?
    Thanks,
    Yury

    Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 7:14 pm
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    My only concern is that the fiance’s name is the only one on the home registration book not mine.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2017 at 11:32 pm
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    In some articles (e.g. this one https://tech.thaivisa.com/register-drone-thailand/25059/) it is mentioned that drone owners have time until the January to register their devices.

    Could you confirm this information?

    I will be visiting Thailand in early November and would like to know if I am still able to flight my Phantom 4 without the registration.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • October 19, 2017 at 6:32 am
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      No that is wrong information. Officials told me that unless you have permission to fly you risk being arrested and fined. To be clear, this 90 day thing is from the NBTC to register a radio controlled device. It is separate from the registration with CAAT which is permission to fly.

      Reply
  • October 19, 2017 at 6:42 am
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    Richard that sounds like in India, you can own a drone but can’t fly it

    In Thailand you can registered but can’t fly yet ( till license is permitted).

    😄😄😄😁😁

    Reply
  • October 19, 2017 at 8:48 am
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    Hi Richard!
    I’m a foreigner and will be visiting Thailand soon, i have a DJI Mavic Pro. Do i still need to register my drone if i want to fly it, eventhough I’m just a tourist?

    The permission is for flying the drone but do i also need it before I can bring in the drone into the country?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • October 19, 2017 at 2:17 pm
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      Yes everyone needs to (a) register radio communication devices with NBTC and (b) get permission to fly from CAAT. At this moment in time we don’t know what this will mean for tourists bringing in drones. But we do know that shops have to register that they are importing drones. (Which is what you are doing). I’ll update as soon as I get a clear answer.

      Reply
    • October 19, 2017 at 2:18 pm
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      As the situation stands right now, yes you need to register it with the NBTC and also get permission to fly from CAAT – for which you need insurance and various other things. The fact that you dont have a thai address, may make this difficult.
      the same applies to tourists and locals at the moment.

      Reply
      • October 19, 2017 at 2:28 pm
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        Re insurance, for those without a Thai registered address , the policy can be done using the Thai insurance broker’s office address and the insurer will issue the policy. You will be shown as the insured person on the policy. The premium will have to be paid in advance and a small charge is made for the overseas service which incurs bank fees. We can assist you: stuart@thailand-insurance.net +66816656123.

        Reply
  • October 19, 2017 at 2:12 pm
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    What about drones that are self assembled from parts, structure 3D printed, … They don’t have any serial number (unless I make my own)? Since it is a hobby and I keep reviewing/improving the design, should I re-register it every times it looks a bit different?

    Reply
      • October 19, 2017 at 2:48 pm
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        I didn’t think about it 😉 I’m indeed using a commercial radio controller which is FCC certified and has a serial number. But since they ask for pictures, I’m sure there might be an issue if the drone looks totally different than it was originally.

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    • October 19, 2017 at 2:21 pm
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      I read in a thai forum where a guy had built his own, thus serial no number, and he was told to take the drone to the office to register.

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      • October 19, 2017 at 2:50 pm
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        Yes… I guess the safest is to take the drones with me to the office.

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    • October 19, 2017 at 9:31 pm
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      David, looks like we are in same boat. I go through a few quads every year that are self assembled. I am hoping the regulations as written have actual meaning. According to them we likely can fly without registration/insurance as long as you don’t use a GoPro or other video recording device and meet Article 5 conditions. But is it even possible to explain these technicalites to the Police and Bureaucrats tasked with enforcing the very complicated and rather vague mandate? or does everything just take on a life of its own? If it ends up being a nightmare it may be best to disassemble the quad and pack it out of the Kingdom for use in your home country.

      Reply
  • October 19, 2017 at 2:54 pm
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    To Stuart, what are the prices range you are giving for insurance? Just to consider for my friends visiting Thailand

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    • October 19, 2017 at 3:18 pm
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      Juan : same prices as shown on the Mittare Ins product that people have been using. Our brokerage / commission in Thailand is fixed by regulations , in this case 18% of that premium. Given the small cover and premium of this product that doesn’t equate to much. If the premium is BHT 5000 / USD 142 we get a whopping BHT 900 / USD 25 . For an overseas buyer we incur extra charges so we’ll add something modest to cover costs (maybe $50 – $100) depending on the work involved. Its still not really worth doing but maybe some volume will come through, we’ll see.

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      • October 19, 2017 at 3:26 pm
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        Stuart: thank you is good to know their are options around

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        • October 19, 2017 at 3:33 pm
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          Juan, no problem. We have dealt with other overseas buyers. They need to start well ahead of their arrival date obviously.

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  • October 19, 2017 at 5:41 pm
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    Wow, ok, so two days ago drones under 2.5kg with a camera do not need CAAT registration. Now they do need registration, even though nothing says this in the official CAAT regulations (only on their flyer).

    Do I have this correct?

    It does sound like a perfect example of world class Thailand 4.0 in action. So is quite believable.

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    • October 19, 2017 at 8:32 pm
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      Baps63,
      The CAAT regulations require registration and insurance for drones with cameras that take photographs/do filming/or do television programs. Such drones are Article 4 type 2 and are subject to Article 10. That appears straight forward.
      I have sent my own question to CAT regarding whether the regulations have changed since there is no listed requirement for registration/insurance for drones under 2kg that do not record video and are strictly Article 4 type 1 subject only to Article 5 regulation.

      Reply
      • October 21, 2017 at 1:25 pm
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        The regulation clearly defines two categories, (1) For the purpose of hobby, entertainment, or sport (recreation); and (2) for all else. My drone is for my own hobby and recreation.

        It is only after you get into the second category when they are interested in photography. But I don’t get to Thai section, I already satisfied the first one.

        Where is the confusion in this?

        Reply
  • October 19, 2017 at 6:24 pm
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    The sooner registration with CAAT is the better chances will have to see the drone flying legally, cheers

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  • October 19, 2017 at 8:58 pm
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    Thailand enjoys a lot of free publicity from drone videos by tourists of which some are amazing!! Some break rules, but did they know that?

    I believe all this is derived from two issues. Firstly the coming events in Bangkok have every one edge and a huge concern that stupid people will do stupid things. Hence we want to know your drones serial number and don’t care about the transmitter.

    Then there was an issue a few weeks back where a pilot claimed to see a drone near his plane. I read some reports that it was up at 20,000 feet and others saying it was just off the runway. With the wonderful reporting by news outfits who knows what really happened. Now they have arrested a Thai man who put video up on FaceBook of the airport from a drone.

    It is a hard issue. So many think that there are drones everywhere and they are causing trouble, damage and so on. Not sure what the reality is. What I do know is that the rules and information out there is so mixed up no one knows what is what.

    Would be nice to get it all sorted out before a string of tourists find them selves on the wrong side of the law for launching a spark to get a family selfie.

    I would like to see the law as follows:
    under 2kg no registration needed. Limited to 90 meters in any direction. Not within 20m of any structure or private/government facilities. No over crowds (4+ people).

    Register and distance increases to 200m up and 2km around in line of sight.

    Licence Drone Pilot …. 300 meters and can fly 2kg+ and get permission to fly in locations normally prohibited.

    Reply
    • October 19, 2017 at 9:54 pm
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      Wish you were involved in formulating the regulations Jamie. It does seem the coming huge event in Bangkok precipitated the recent articles and crackdown of sorts. But this regulation has been around since 2015 at least. I remember many years ago some TV footage police and rioters in Bangkok from a drone and I was under the impression the government was very upset with that from a “national security” perspective.

      Reply
  • October 19, 2017 at 9:05 pm
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    For those thinking this is a one time registration please see Article 15 which sets expiration of registration at 2 years from the date of issuance. Article 16 further requires you to renew your registration at least 30 days before expiration if you wish to continue flying.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2017 at 3:28 pm
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    Registered today at NBTC and they require proof of where you live. I used a credit card bill.
    All in all took 10 minutes.

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    • October 20, 2017 at 4:08 pm
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      Jamie….have you got any information that you must propose also in CAAT? Did they give you any document (permission) ? Any expiry date ? I read that only 2 years.

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      • October 20, 2017 at 9:44 pm
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        Sorry no more info… No expiry date for NBTC but for CAAT I understand it is 2 years…
        Will wait till after the funeral and go see what is what then…

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  • October 21, 2017 at 1:27 pm
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    Brian,

    The regulation clearly defines two categories, (1) For the purpose of hobby, entertainment, or sport (recreation); and (2) for all else. My drone is for my own hobby and recreation.

    It is only after you get into the second category when they are interested in photography. But I don’t get to that section, I already satisfied the first one.

    Where is the confusion in this?

    Reply
    • October 21, 2017 at 5:37 pm
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      I’d like to agree with you, and that is also my logic when reading the rules, but scroll up to richard’s blog and he has posted a poster (produced by CAAT) that states:

      RPA (drone) with camera installed must be registered without exception.

      this is the issue for most all of us having sparks/mavics/phantoms

      Reply
    • October 24, 2017 at 10:47 am
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      Bap63,
      As someone said it is all subject to interpretation.

      Wish you were right. But the meaning of “hobby, entertainment, or sport” is undefined. For section 2 quads they specify one of the “other purposes” as being filming, photography, and for TV programs. That seems clear. Otherwise why add this line in Art4(2b)? Additionally, I am pretty sure the government is most concerned about not having rogue news sources beyond their control.

      Reply
  • October 21, 2017 at 8:14 pm
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    Hello Richard. Like i have already told you. I’m arriving Bangkok on 1 of November and i tried to make the insurance and they apply the registration process to CAAT, and the insurance company told me that the law are change and at this moment they cannot make the insurance. I bought the mavic only becouse this trip to thailand.
    Best regards

    Reply
  • October 22, 2017 at 5:12 am
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    Hi Richard, nice article, thanks! I was wondering if it’s possible to get anything done from abroad before going to Thailand.. I’m thinking going to Thailand in January. It would be awesome to fly my Mavic there.

    Reply
    • October 22, 2017 at 5:15 am
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      Some people have reported success in that department though it can take several months. Maybe check out some of the other comments above on this blog post. I did another blog called something like “A quick look at the new drone law”. There were some good and useful comments there.

      Reply
  • October 22, 2017 at 8:41 am
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    Hi Richard

    Great article. I am a foreigner living in Bangkok. I relied on your article heavily and got my Spark registered with the NBTC. The registration was quick and hassle free. However, I am bummed that I will still need to go get a license to fly from the CAAT. The point is, CAAT has over-stepped its authority in providing that all drones with camera regardless of weight must be registered. The law formulated by the Ministry of Transport provides that drones weighing less than 2kg do not need to be registered as long as it is used for recreational purposes. There is no mention about camera anywhere in the Act. Based on the law, the CAAT has no legal authority to require any drone weighing less than 2 kg to be registered; regardless of whether the drone has a camera.

    The CAAT regulation does not make sense at all. Presumably, the heavier a drone, the more care and expertise is required to fly it as the drone can cause substantial damage due to its size and weight. This is probably the logic behind the law formulated by the Ministry of Transport. As it stands, I will need to register my 300g Spark but a 1.9kg drone without a built-in camera need no insurance or registration. What if this same drone is retrofitted with a Go-Pro camera? Yet, a cheap Chinese drone weighing as mere 100g will need insurance and registration with the CAAT if it has a camera.

    I am hopeful that some party will speak some sense to the CAAT to resolve this issue. I cannot understand how the requirement of a license to fly can be solely dependent on whether a drone has a camera.

    Reply
  • October 22, 2017 at 3:10 pm
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    Thanks Richard for all of the useful information that you have posted – very helpful. I am trying to find a reputable drone insurer in Thailand – might you be able to help point me to the top 2 recommended companies that suffice the requirements? Any ideas from yourself or the community?

    Reply
  • October 26, 2017 at 8:05 pm
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    Do i need register my drone in chiangmai also

    Reply

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