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Old 10-11-2011, 05:45 PM #33
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Default Re: Will I get a criminal complaint?

Well, proof or not, you're going to need to find a way to have them give it back to you, either by court order or by you taking it up at a higher level. Perhaps contact some of the people above these customs officials with a complaint about illegal seizure of your product.


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Old 10-11-2011, 06:05 PM #34
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Default Re: Will I get a criminal complaint?

Dude. Iīm really with you and sorry for you. You were just honest to them and they are kicking your ass. Itīs not correct what they did with you, but this are the common tricks of german customs. Argueing with them will not help a lot. They just will tel you "not knowing the laws wonīt protect you from being punished" (Unwissenheit schützt vor Strafe nicht).


Well, you say you are a student and probably a lawyer is no option for you. Therefore I would suggest to talk to a friend who is studying law to write a letter to the customs office. By arguing to them quotating laws, you could get your laser back without the need of a lawer. Thats the best you can do and itīs worth a try.
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:13 PM #35
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Default Re: Will I get a criminal complaint?

As far as illegal seizure goes...they haven't "kept" it yet so they haven't seized anything. They can keep it indefinitely under the guise of "further inspection/testing" so don't be putting too much behind that.

Note his comment "I never turned it on myself. They turned it on. "
So again he hasn't done anything wrong.
Pay attention fischyyy !
They told you that you can legally own the laser.
You haven't done anything wrong !!!
So buck up here and get angry at them for playing games with you and causing you all this trouble for a laser that you can legally own !
Don't admit to anything else. They will try to get you to say what they want you to say so be aware.
Every time they ask you a question, pause a moment to think about what they are trying to get you to say. They will word it so that you will make an assumption about the answer and say what they want to hear. DON'T DO IT !
Read what I posted above. There are many possible answers and questions that you can use to reply with.
You haven't done anything wrong and as long as you don't admit to ever going to do anything illegal there isn't anything they can do about it.
Go ahead and say that you are serious about safety and that you have the proper glasses. Don't say anything about why though as it may open the door to questions about knowing the power levels involved. Just stick to the topic as "Being safe."

I think you are just reacting emotionally and feeling scared of them, which is EXACTLY what they are counting on.
The only emotion you should be feeling is some anger that they are trying this crap with you and your hard earned money that you are using to better educate yourself.
Then you need to look at the facts and strip away the assumed non-relevant possibilities.
Pick out the points that support your side of the arguement and stand fast to them. Throw out possibilities that refute their side of the arguement and watch for their mistakes. (Told you that you can legally own it. Didn't inform you of your rights. Coerced you into doing something you weren't comfortable doing-opening and assembling.)
Don't worry about "criminal charges."
That's just scare tactics to control you !
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:28 PM #36
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Default Re: Will I get a criminal complaint?

Thank you very much. I will now wait until the tests are done and if they are telling me that they send the package back to DTR + wont give me a criminal complaint Iīll stay fine with it because I will get another laser from him. If they are trying to give me a criminal complaint my parents will call a lawyer because we have a legal protection affirmation.

If my new laser will stick again at the customs I wont say its a laserpointer. I will say I need this components for my flashlight.

Best regards,
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:45 PM #37
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Default Re: Will I get a criminal complaint?

It seems like they intend you fsck you over. The problem you're facing is that:

- you are probably importing something legal and should be allowed to
- customs people stand their ground and hold your laser until you force them to release it

You could obviously take this matter to court and demand they give you your laser, but that will be a lengthy and possibly costly process. One other option would be to put your complaint in writing, and file it to the ombudsman (Petitionsausschuss).

I'm not entirely sure how this is dealt with in germany, but if the process is harmonized in europe you should file a written complaint with customs first, giving them a reasonable timeframe to resolve the problem (say 2 weeks). Also make sure to insist that if they decline importing the laser, they specify exactly which law or regulation in their mind applies to this situation. I'm fairly sure you will not find the word 'laser' in any legal text.

After that you can file your complaint with the ombudsman if the customs decline your request (without any possibility to make them reconsider) or fail to respond at all. This process should be free of charge as the ombudsman is considered a human rights affair under european legislation.


On the briefgeheimnis: This does not apply to parcels, only to letters. If you send a letter with a parcel you can put it in a 'documents enclosed' envelope such that customs can open the package but not read the letter.
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:12 AM #38
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Default Re: Will I get a criminal complaint?

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Originally Posted by Benm View Post

On the briefgeheimnis: This does not apply to parcels, only to letters. If you send a letter with a parcel you can put it in a 'documents enclosed' envelope such that customs can open the package but not read the letter.
This is maybe true in Netherlands, but not here. I had to deal a lot with customs in the past while working for a PC Magazine as the review items were send directly to me and there was no one single case they opened it. Even now I often am getting parcels from china being labeled with a sticker as "checked by customs", but they donīt open it. All they do is watching on it trough x-rays. If they are unsure about the content they are calling you to come and to open it in front of them.

Thatīs also what they did with Dennis (fischyyy).
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:05 PM #39
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Default Re: Will I get a criminal complaint?

Oic.. guess thats a difference between the german and dutch system then.

I wonder what they come up with after their analysis though... i'm sure they'll find it over 1 mW, but i'm curious on how they turn that into a reason for confiscating it.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:05 PM #40
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Default Re: Will I get a criminal complaint?

I just can think of being imported or being used in a public place. If it was labeled as a gift and no charge was written on it, it will be hard for them to argue it has been imported by him. The secound one is a bit tricky but he can argue he didnīt use it himself but the officers at the customs office who are so called higher forces. It was even not a full functional laserpointer till he followed their advice to assemble it.

This is like a police officer would tell you to do something against the law like driving a one way road in the opposite direction. In this case you are protected because you must follow his advice. So he canīt give you a ticket afterwards. But giving you a ticket, he himself would act against the law.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:11 PM #41
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Default Re: Will I get a criminal complaint?

I think that there is a too much being assumed or presumed with this instance.
Even if the Customs performs a proper test (make sure you get FULL documentation from the source of the test and the results !) and they say it is over 1mw how can they be sure that the end user was going to be doing the same thing under the same circumstances ?
I mean, sure with fully charges batteries in a room heated to, say, 19C and the laser pointed at a power meter held rock solidly still precisely 20 inches away by a clamping system the results may be over 1 mw but that isn't even close to real life situations.
Do their results take into consideration that the batteries will only have a full charge part of the time ? Do they know the output when the charge is only about 70%. ? And how about when the batteries are colder ? The efficiency is dramatically lower when they are colder. So what about when they are 15 degrees ? Or 10 ?
And how many people can hold something completely still, unwavering in any way ?
What is the exposure from 36 inches away ? Or 30 feet ?
How much will the air quality of the day affect the output when taking all the other variables into consideration ? An industrial town in Germany could suffer particulate quantities much greater than a lab environment would ever see.

There are just too many other factors involved to simply state that it is "too dangerous" based on one testing session under ideal conditions.

And that is presuming/assuming that the unit is being used straight as assembled at that time !
Start considering some of the other situations I have listed before.
A 1 mw restriction should be considered as unjustifiably restrictive. You couldn't even think about some form of holography with such a deficient unit.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:29 PM #42
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Default Re: Will I get a criminal complaint?

The power is not the problem here as high powered lasers are allowed here in Germany. Itīs just not allowed to import, sell or use them in public places. Well for using in public places there are also exeptions like laser shows where you need a permission. The same with importing high powered lasers for education or scientific experiments.

All that matters here: can they prove he imported it or state he used it in a public place.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:06 PM #43
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Default Re: Will I get a criminal complaint?

That sucks realy big times!
You made only one mistake: you said that it is a laserpointer...
I was two times at the customs to get my stuff and they always forced me to open my package and show them what is in there. Then they asked what's that and i said always a flashlight
The last time the customs officer tried nearly the same as in your case...he asked me to try the flashlight to check if it iluminates...luckily there was neither an endcap nor batteries
I hope that you get your laser "back" or that they send it back to DTR...in the worst case they destroy it!
afaik: when you decline to receive the package they'll send it back to the shipper but when you accept the package and they force you to open it and it isn't allowed to import it will be destroyed.

About the "Briefgeheimnis": They opened my last bubblewrap envelope and sealed it with nice customs-tape
The customs are allowed to open what ever comes there way if they conceive suspicion...
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:25 PM #44
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Default Re: Will I get a criminal complaint?

Quote:
Originally Posted by regalis View Post

About the "Briefgeheimnis": They opened my last bubblewrap envelope and sealed it with nice customs-tape
The customs are allowed to open what ever comes there way if they conceive suspicion...
Really? Maybe they changed the law since to be equial to all the other laws in europe. Not sure about that, but in the past they were not allowed to do so. Just strange Iīm still getting sometimes unopened parcels with the checked by customs sticker.
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:11 AM #45
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Default Re: Will I get a criminal complaint?

Perhaps it has changed to harmonize customs regulations with the other european countries. You can find a sticker like that on a package if it was only inspected using x-ray but the didn't consider the image worth opening the package.

I've received parcels in both conditions here in holland: just a label on an intact package, but also a rare one that had been opened and reclosed with customs labeled tape.

As far as mentioning something is a laser, either in person or on the import declaration, should not be that much of a problem. You should be careful with the term 'laserpointer' as the sale of >1 mW lasers as presentation pointers is prohibited in europe. This has to do with product safety, selling these devices as pointers to the uninformed public would be a health hazard. There would be no reason you could not import or sell a powerful portable laser as long as you label it as intended for 'starpointing' or 'laboratory research'.
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:17 AM #46
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Default Re: Will I get a criminal complaint?

I think pursuing this laser is probably a lost cause, but it's worth a shot.

Likelihood of charges is low... no crime was committed, which could be pursued.

Huge kudos to DTR for sending a replacement out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeyx View Post
Really? Maybe they changed the law since to be equial to all the other laws in europe. Not sure about that, but in the past they were not allowed to do so. Just strange Iīm still getting sometimes unopened parcels with the checked by customs sticker.
Obviously totally different case... but I have gotten packages with the inspected by customs sticker, where it was blatantly obvious they didn't actually open anything up.

It was actually a package from olike iirc and it had the 400mW old style torch in it... don't think I ever opened a package as fast lol.

I suspect they just xrayed it and decided it looked like a flashlight.

Edit: Lol, Benm beat me to the xray suspicion

Last edited by InfinitusEquitas; 10-13-2011 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:42 AM #47
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Default Re: Will I get a criminal complaint?

It is not just a suspiction like I posted before. They are checking them all by using x-rays.

Once I got a parcel with a dual channel memory kit from a rather unknown company. The problem was they labeled the regular price without mentioning itīs a review sample. They called me to their office to pay the taxes for it and asked what it is. I told them they already know because they scanned it. They said yes, they know but want me to tell them.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:54 AM #48
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Class 2M Laser
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Germany near Heidelberg
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regalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond repute
regalis regalis is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Germany near Heidelberg
Posts: 501
Rep Power: 71
regalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond reputeregalis has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Will I get a criminal complaint?

If anyone is curious about how the customs tape looks like, i uploaded some pics from my bubblewrap envelope:

This sheet of paper was on the outside of the envelope

This is the tape from the customs(it says:"opened by german postal service for the customs inspection")

This is the whole envelope with papersheet

And the customs sticker everyone hates (it says that the receipient have to come to customs and get it from there...)



greetz regalis
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