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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everyone,

I had a weird experience with ordering two matched 300B quads from the US. I am based in Germany, so under European consumer law - alas!

Customs would not hand over the product to me. First, they thought it was light bulbs, which are of course forbidden in the EU.

Then, after I told them that the items were amplifier parts, they demanded CE declaration by the manufacturer.

As it turns out, there is no CE declaration for tubes, just RoHS declaration. Then they handed over the case to somewhere above, and that board then decided that the items were no good for importing by a consumer since they lacked a written manual in German and also some other type of paper.

I gave up.

At least customs send the tubes back instead of blowing them up... Lucky me.

Through all this the US seller, Dave Mell of Viva Tubes was very helpful and tried to do what he could.

As the wares are now back at their store, I thought I might recommend you have a look:

Interestingly, and not instilling much hope, when I tried to order some RCA 201A tubes from a different seller in the US who used the Ebay Global Shipping program which includes customs processing done in the US, these tubes were also not allowed to leave the land!

Crazy times,

Bruce Rozenblit
Reply with quote  #2 
This is terrible.  There are German suppliers of vacuum tubes.  JJ tubes are made in Europe.  I sell a lot into Europe, at least I used to.  I may have to stop shipping products with tubes into Europe.  Either you got some over zealous customs officials or trade barriers are going up.     
Reply with quote  #3 
Yes, the folk at my office are definitely overzealous - but they had nothing to do with the other shipment not even leaving the US.

It made no difference to them when I pointed out that the very same tubes can be ordered from several retailers in Germany.

European laws with regard to energy efficiency could become a problem for decent audio gear. Switching power supplies and poison-filled energy-saving light bulbs are the favored items in lawmakers' sweatshops.
Reply with quote  #4 
Germany is on the completely wrong track and not least in this case! And unfortunately they sort of govern all the EU, where I am too. One could try to declare the tubes as spare parts. I heard that regular bulbs can be still purchased as "heat sources". Maybe try it if you are in that again. Or dummy loads, whatever. This is silly. Will they ban power resistors too? I'm affraid yes. Every silly idea has support in the EU.
Reply with quote  #5 
Petr, I couldn't agree more. But where to move?

The clever attempt of declaring decent light bulbs as heat sources and thereby continue distribution has meanwhile been stymied by the gEUstapo...
Reply with quote  #6 
Spare parts used not to need CE approval. But it may have already changed.

I wonder how the EU could came to these ends when (at least theoretically) it is same democracy as US. The light bulbs ban was just a start years ago. Today every EU regulation is distinctly draconian concerning old citizens. People have to do something against this trend. I read that lot of Germans already move to Hungary. I can agree, nice women, nice wine and food.  Only the language is probably difficult... But it is EU too, though with reasonable government.
Reply with quote  #7 
You know what I thought the other day - remember in the run-up to the fully fledged european currency union, there was already the EU common commerce. In those days they regulated the curvature of bananas allowed for trade in the EU! Everybody laughed about it, but nobody declined it.

These days, this appears to have been one of the tests just how far you can lead folks on a tether.
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