Drone Laws in Ecuador

Flying Drones in EcuadorOn this page, you will find the current laws for the use of drones in Ecuador.

In Ecuador, flying a drone is allowed. However, upon entry, substantial import taxes (amount of tax equal to the replacement value of the drone) must be paid. Buying a copter in Ecuador seems to be cheaper. However, you can be exempt from tax if you can prove that you are using your Copter for professional purposes in Ecuador. The following statement is from the Embassy of Ecuador:

“If the person uses a drone as working equipment, they must prove that the equipment is also intended for it. Therefore this person has to carry a document with him, which shows which activities are planned. If the photographer is a photographer, he/she must have proof of qualification or a copy of the diploma indicating that he/she is dedicated to the profession. It should be emphasized that the drone must leave the country as soon as the work is completed.

If the person does not wish to use the drone for professional purposes, the drone will not be exempt from duty, and the taxation will have to be continued.

We recommend that you contact the International Arrivals Hall guide:

Guayaquil: (04) 2924454/2924519
Quito: (02) 3945830-305 ”

Rules for flying drones in Ecuador

Maximum Altitude: In Ecuador, you can fly 120 meters (400 feet) with a drone.

Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: The operation of drones is allowed in Ecuador only within the direct visibility.

Compulsory insurance: In Ecuador you are obliged to buy drone insurance.

Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): Not known.

Distance to airports: At airports, drones in Ecuador should be at a distance of 9 kilometers (5 miles).

Flight bans: On the Galapagos Islands there is a strict drone ban.

Operating times: In Ecuador, multicopters may only be used between sunrise and sunset.

Special regulations: Automatic maneuvers may only be used if you can intervene as a pilot at any time during the operation.

Requirements for commercial pilots: We are not aware of any further regulations for professional drone users.

Helpful Links: Regulations for Ecuador, Regulations for Ecuador

We have researched the listed drone regulations for Ecuador to the best of our knowledge. We cannot guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in Ecuador!

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About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use a Yuneec Typhoon H. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a copter. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!


  • Steve | 15.07.2018

    Very interesting info. We’re traveling to Ecuador in Feb with a Mavic Air. Where might we source the liability insurance from?

    • Francis Markert | 26.10.2018

      Hi Steve,
      It depends on the country you live in. Where do you come from?

  • Astrid | 18.12.2018

    Hello, I’m planning to take my Mavic pro to Ecuador. Just for recreational purpose. Is there a way we don’t need to pay for the taxes.

    • Francis Markert | 09.01.2019

      Hello Astrid,
      Of course, you can hope that the customs officers will not detect your drone at the airport or ignore it. A few readers reported that they did not have to pay the tax. But I cannot guarantee that you are among the lucky guys. I am sorry!

  • luhao Xu | 02.04.2019

    Hey Francis,

    Is it possible to fly my drone (DJI Mavic 2 pro) in the Galapagos island if I’m shooting a film about the sustainability problem of the island for a school project? (would that be considered a scientific research?)

  • Giovany | 24.08.2019

    Hi, I Am From Puerto Rico. I am going to Ecuador Quito and Baños. Have Mavic Pro I have to paid taxes and what more I have to know

  • Andy | 28.12.2019

    Did not get charged any import tax when I arrived in Quito December 2019. Mavic 2 folded in my backpack with props on and 2 batteries. Is there a source for this import tax info or is it just based on past experience? Doesnt seem to make sense that a rec drone would be taxed but a commercial one would be let in tax free most places I’ve been the opposite is true

  • Mike | 19.01.2020

    HI Everyone, I just went to Quito in January 2020 and walked right through customs. They did not look in my bags and did not have scanners to put your bags on so they never looked at any of my camera equipment. I didn’t see anything about paying any taxes either. I’m going back in Feb, 2020 and will have my drone then and let you all know if it changes, but I don’t see how they would know I have a drone in bag. I do the same when I go to Dominican Republic and they don’t scan my bags.

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