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I used Paypal, with a Paypal credit card. So that may be my next course of action....
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  1. #11
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    I used Paypal, with a Paypal credit card. So that may be my next course of action.
    Please do not send Private Messages to me with requests for help. I will not reply.

  2. #12
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    You are right, it does not sound very promising Paul. How are consumers supposed to know whether or not a company in China is adhering to our laws, so that we can avoid crap like this?
    I'm hoping that you still have a chance to get a refund from the company you purchased from, if you show them the customs letter, but I could be way off base.
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  3. #13
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    I sent them an email, with the same information that I posted here. I just asked for them to return my money. I am not going to spend any more time (and money) on something that should be the seller's responsibility. Although, customs says that the importer is responsible for things like this. That would be me!
    Last edited by waterhead; 08-15-2010 at 02:44 PM.
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  5. #14
    oz
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    waterhead, be sure to let us know how it all works out in the end, because we all could learn something from this no matter how it goes. I'd be curious to know who loses out in the end, or if you get your device after a long delay and all is well.

    Thanks.
    oz

  6. #15
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    I don't have anything new to tell yet. I have put out some feelers, to hopefully find someone who knows more about this process. The letter that I got from customs did have this statement:

    If you have questions concerning the reasons for, or the circumstances surrounding the seizure, or the procedures to be followed in connection with this matter, or if you request additional information, you may request an informal conference with the Fines, Penalties & Forfeitures Officer of Customs or one of his/her designated employees.

    I was hoping to gain some info on this before setting up a meeting. Just this morning I came across something that may get me my tablet. Customs says it is missing FCC Form 740. A blank copy can be found here:

    http://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form740/740.pdf

    At the FCC web site I found this:

    OET --Equipment Authorization--Steps for submittal of application for FCC FORM 731

    ================================================== =

    I will be importing a personal computer from overseas and have been asked to fill out a Form 740. Can you explain this?

    • Computers and computer peripherals are Classified as either Class A (used in industrial or business settings) or Class B (used in the home or in a residential area). Your personal computer is therefore marketed as a Class B personal computer and may be imported pursuant to Section 2.1204(a)(7) of the Commission's rules: "Radio frequency devices may be imported only if one or more of these conditions are met.Three or fewer radio receivers, computers, or other unintentional radiators.are being imported for the individual's personal use and are not intended for sale." Complete the FCC ID block of Part I of the FCC Form 740 by entering "See Box 7 in Part II." You may then place an X into Box 7 of Part II, indicating that your device complies with FCC technical requirements but does not require either a grant of equipment authorization nor an FCC ID.


    ================================================== ==

    It looks as if my tablet fits under this exemption. I will first fill out the form, before I contact customs.
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  7. #16
    Linux Engineer Segfault's Avatar
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    Good job! Keep it coming.

  8. #17
    Linux Newbie sarlacii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeTbob View Post
    You are right, it does not sound very promising Paul. How are consumers supposed to know whether or not a company in China is adhering to our laws, so that we can avoid crap like this?
    I'm hoping that you still have a chance to get a refund from the company you purchased from, if you show them the customs letter, but I could be way off base.
    This does suck... but all RF devices are required to have local type approval in the country in which they will be used. It's an expensive thing to achieve, and presents a barrier to entry into a market. However, the rules are there to protect all electronic devices from unwanted interference. Eg. if your cell phone failed to connect to the network because your neighbour had imported a crappy piece of technology that had tons of spurious RF output, you'd be pretty unhappy.

    The customs guys are right in this case (sorry!), but the seller is also in the wrong for shipping the device to a country where they know they do not have type approved by the FCC. You need to get a refund.

    What mostly happens, for those who are interested, is that an agent decides to import a device. If the device contains RF circuitry, then it needs to be certified by the FCC (i.e. the local authority controlling radio spectrum in your country... ICASA in South Africa). A number of standards apply: safety (IEC 60950 here in SA), EMC/EMI (EN61000-4-x or CISPR 22, again in SA) and then RF (EN 300 220 for short range devices like keyfobs, or EN 300 086/113 for VHF mobile radios).

    Now you have two choices... you can have the device tested by the manufacturer in their own country, at an accredited lab (!), then get copies of the test results to submit to the FCC (or whatever your local authority is) so long as they are recognised. Or you can pay for the testing of the device yourself, at a local lab... then submit the results. The latter path is expensive, especially if there are failures, as you have to get them fixed, then retest. Costs for these lab tests run to R50,000 (about $6,000)... and then you still have to pay the approval submission fees too.

    This is in fact a weakness with internet purchases. The seller does not have a local presence (agent), as so is not forced to get local approval... but they will still sell to you regardless, knowing that the device will probably get confiscated.

    Anyway, I have done this before as I am a RF design engineer (obviously, right... LOL) hope it contributed!
    Last edited by sarlacii; 08-19-2010 at 07:13 AM. Reason: Whoops, so much for my maths there... corrected the dollar figure.
    Respectfully... Sarlac II
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  9. #18
    Linux Newbie sarlacii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterhead View Post
    <snip> Commission's rules: "Radio frequency devices may be imported only if one or more of these conditions are met.Three or fewer radio receivers, computers, or other unintentional radiators.are being imported for the individual's personal use and are not intended for sale."<snip>

    It looks as if my tablet fits under this exemption. I will first fill out the form, before I contact customs.
    Yip, if an item is not going to be imported on a regular basis by an agent, then there are sometimes exclusions for personal use. So long as the item does not require that the user hold some sort of competency licence (like a radio ham licence, or radio dealer licence etc.) and is effectively "licence free" - like wifi, bluetooth, zigbee etc. - then you can ask for an exclusion. You item fits the bill.

    You can also check if your device uses a wifi chipset that is already approved for use by the FCC. This will help things along... as even though the product has not been tested and approved, the wifi device that is causing the issue may be... in which case you can sometimes argue the case. Most of the common chipsets like Atheros etc. will be in use by others in the same country, and hence approved for use by the chipset manufacturer.

    Hmm... looking forward to hearing the outcome of this.
    Respectfully... Sarlac II
    ~~
    The moving clock K' appears to K to run slow by the factor (1-v^2/c^2)^(1/2).
    This is the phenomenon of time dilation.
    The faster you run, the younger you look, to everyone but yourself.

  10. #19
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    Thanks for your input sarlacii, it's very much appreciated.

    I sent an email to the device manufacturer, Zenithink, asking them for help. They sent me a .jpg file of the FCC document!

    I think that I have enough info to try and get this thing released. The "personal use" clause combined with the actual FCC document should be enough, unless they won't accept the document as being official. I will contact them to make sure that I am following the proper procedure.
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  11. #20
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Also, you might want to point out that WiFi and Bluetooth both operate in an unlicensed/unregulated part of the spectrum, and FCC certification is not strictly necessary as long as the devices only operate in the specified frequency ranges. At least this is what I am teaching in the wireless technology classes I am giving to AT&T technicians! These are accredited college level classes, and the material was carefully reviewed for correctness in these areas.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
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