3DRobotics temporarily stops shipments outside of US and Canada


I have received the following email from 3DRobotics last night, my Iris quadocopter was already in France, at Fedex office for a delivery at home on monday. 3DRobotics say they cancel my order and will refund me, rhis mean they will ask Fedex to send back to product to the US, why such a decision for all customers ? Why cancelling a shipement when the parcel is nearly at your home ?

Here is the email I have received from 3DR


Thanks for your order with 3DR. We're writing to let you know that, due to a temporary change in our shipping policies, we're unable to ship orders outside of the US and Canada. We'll be cancelling and refunding your order immediately. We're very sorry for the inconvenience, and we'll let you know when we can resume shipments to your country.

If you have any questions or would like to make modifications to your order, write to us at help@3drobotics.com or call our support line at +1 (858) 225-1414, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm PST.


The 3DR Team
************************************************** *******************

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Why bad idea?!do we have any US authorities confirmed that this is banned?


we just have information 3dr does not export any more...and that's stupid bcs I was still able to order rtfhawk for my second controller...

When I went looking i found it's specifically covered on the commerce control list

a. “UAVs” or unmanned “airships”, having any of the following:

a.1. An autonomous flight control and navigation capability ( e.g., an autopilot with an Inertial Navigation System);or

a.2. Capability of controlled flight out of the direct visual range involving a human operator ( e.g., televisual remote control);

b. Associated systems, equipment and components, as follows:

b.1. Equipment specially designed for remotely controlling the “UAVs” or unmanned “airships”, controlled by 9A012.a.;

b.2. Systems for navigation, attitude, guidance or control, other than those controlled in Category 7, specially designed to provide autonomous flight control or navigation capability to “UAVs” or unmanned “airships”, controlled by 9A012.a.;

There is an exclusion in the commerce control list for models but I'm not sure what the definition of a "model" is. Having done quite a bit of reading on this over the last month my thinking is that the issues currently on the table are probably 

1 Is this controlled under ITAR? 

2 Assuming it isn't. Is it exempted because it's a "model"?

3 Again assuming it isn't. How do we classify this for export licensing? 

If someone decides it's number 1 then 3DR are in a world of hurt. I think its most likely going to be 2 or 3. 

While this is a lot of pain for 3DR in terms of paperwork and it's hurting their sales etc. And obviously a pain for those non-US 3DR customers. I expect this is going to be sitting relatively low down someones priority list in whatever department decides on 1, 2 and 3 so the delay is probably quite normal. 

The difference is that Whitespy is some tiny backroom/garage shop which simply didn't show up on the radar of DoC or State yet. Theoretically, unless they obtained an export permit, Whitespy is committing a Federal Crime with each and every PH clone they ship outside CONUS/CA. If you wanna be mean, call State and sell Whitespy out :P

3DR on the other side is a major manufacturer. I would guess they sell several hundred Pixhawks a week and they are very high profile. Just think of Chris' never-tired educating the public about civilian drones.

They were simply bound to get visited by suits in black SUVs some day.

I say f..k suits in black SUVs...so everybody else in the world have no problem except USA...whaaat a country,from land of freedom to land of Suits and uniforms...when will you Americans ( we)do something about it,and if,how??I think Beast is too big now and no one can stop it any more...

I got to chime in! make my point Chinese do not have these kind of restrictions or controllers over exports. this is total bureaucracy authoritarian use of the law !!! laws that are applied discrimination to business and industry that disrupt state policy & political views  ! My point is stop defending the yoke around your neck and who put it there. fight for your freedom!!! sad to say most of you do not know what that is today! 

hi all,

       turns out the problem got a bit more complex since my  run in with ITAR in 91.

In 96  they have this item called the Wassenaar "Arrangement"   http://www.wassenaar.org/controllists/  as part  of the Arms Trade Treaty.. as a treaty it acts as a bypass on US Constitutional Authorities in that it has precedence according to law OVER domestic/internal laws passed by the US congress or adjudicated by the Judicial branch  even if this action would  conflict with our internal laws(they pulled a similiar trick with drug war laws and UN treaties also)..

Even if the ITAR or drug war laws were to be overturned in court the US executive branch would be legally obligated by treaty to keep enforcing the International regulation domestically unless we specifically pass a law forbidding same and even then with "signing statements" by a criminal executive branch its doubtful..

Has it gone too far.. It sure has in most peoples minds US citizens or not...


ps 37912 the thread that wont die!!

It may be as simple as the fact that 3DR is an American manufacturer, as is Sparkfun, no matter where they contract the manufacture of their electronics.

This places them entirely under the jurisdiction of the many US regulations that have been discussed here.

International laws regarding import/export differ from those regarding export of product from US-based companies; the importers of clones operate under a different set of rules.

The fact that many "Importers" never actually touch the product, but rather are a clearinghouse for orders which are shipped direct from China, makes the laws they operate under a bit different still.

But mostly, I suspect that the intent here may be to determine the legal status of the hardware, which may be much easier to do, so they have a legal basis to determine restrictions on the software. If the software contained any restricted crypto technology, (I believe it does not) they probably could have cut it off years ago with a simple court order. Tridge's militant Open-Source development philosophy may have had the side-effect of stopping such legal proceedings re: "The software" dead in the water.

Wouldn't that be delicious? ;)


"Wheels within wheels"

But - the 3DR autopilots are shipped from Mexico. Plus the Pixhawk is not even designed by 3DR. It's designed by the University of Zurich.

So, effectively, when it comes to international orders, 3DR also isn't much more than a clearinghouse for UDrones (the factory in Mexico) - pretty much like in your example.

The issue is, "sale" in the sense of US export laws means, customer contact and money flows. And that is double true when it comes to arms or everything even remotely related. The reason is that illegal arms dealers in the past used to say "hey, don't look at me, I never touched any piece - I just brought the buyer and seller together", so the laws in this context are intentionally very wide and flexible when it comes to defining who is the seller.

There is no "effectively" here; 3DR is a US MANUFACTURER, they are NOT an importer or reseller. It DOES NOT MATTER where the product is manufactured. Just ask Apple, whose product is manufactured primarily in China. The laws regarding this status are MUCH clearer than those for import/export.

Import/Export law includes a LOT of international law which doesn't permit restriction of technology just because the US Government decides that technology is inconvenient.

Being a US manufacturer means the US Government CAN impose restrictions on a manufacturer's product "just because it's inconvenient" until they can push through laws which better address it specifically.


Hmm, many points to ponder..

Yet , I don't understand who is "We", "you" and who is "they".!!

I thought we are global community.

WE are community interested in RC hobby

YOU are manufacturer of equipment we invested lots of our $ and time

THEY are people in suits who makes our life difficult

Considering Chris Anderson post about 54.000 members


2/3 sessions is non USA/Canada citizens.....

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