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Old 07-14-2015, 12:09 AM #1
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Default Hello fellow laser enthusiasts!

First, just wanted to say hello as this is my first post. Second and unfortunately I also wanted to mention my experience so far with attempting to purchase my first 445nm laser. I ordered the PL445 2W blue laser from laserbtb.com and was stunned at the very fast shipping, only 4 days after ordering I received a message from DHL that my laser was going to be delivered. Looking at the tracking info it arrived in Cincinnati, then made it to Miami and then finally to my city Jacksonville, Florida and was listed at DHL's delivery facility. Everything seemed perfect then my tracking update said I needed to call DHL. I called them and they said Customs had detained my package and that I would need to call Customs in my city where they had my package. I called them and they told me that it wasn't siezed but detained as they had to contact the FDA to verify information about the laser. So, that is where I am at currently and am not sure what to expect. I am not optimistic even though laserbtb's website lists that their factories are FDA certified and have an FDA accession number for legal import into the United States and that this laser does have all the safeties required by FDA rules. I contacted laserbtb about the situation but have not heard back yet but it hasn't been 24 hours since I emailed them. I have seen many people who have successfully received lasers like this from laserbtb so am I just very unlucky or is things just getting much harder to get higher powered lasers into the US? Should I expect my laser to be released or siezed? Well, thanks for listening and sharing any thoughts.


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Old 07-14-2015, 12:17 AM #2
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Default Re: Hello fellow laser enthusiasts!

Welcome to the forums.
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:18 AM #3
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Default Re: Hello fellow laser enthusiasts!

Sorry to hear about the unfortunate situation. Hope it all gets sorted. In the meantime welcome
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:11 AM #4
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Default Re: Hello fellow laser enthusiasts!

Welcome friend!

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Old 07-14-2015, 02:18 AM #5
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Default Re: Hello fellow laser enthusiasts!

Please add your location to your profile so it shows under your name, no one will remember you're from Florida.

Yes it is getting more difficult to import higher power lasers into the U.S., this only applies to battery powered lasers, not lab lasers. It is best to just buy parts and assemble one yourself. It is legal to do this and they are legal to own, but easy to use illegally, if over 5mW they aren't pointers, they are surveying, leveling, or alignment lasers and there are some restrictions on their use outside or in a workplace.

I suggest you bookmark this page: Import Alert 95-04
And don't buy from companies on that list, some of them have stopped shipping to the U.S. or no longer ship lasers over 5mW to the U.S. the list is frequently updated. Most lasers still get through anyway but it is a risk. There are some small businesses that you can buy from that are too small so far to be on government radar yet. Be sure batteries never ship with a laser, it is more likely to be inspected by customs.

You may or may not get your laser, let us know what happens.

Welcome to LPF.

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Old 07-14-2015, 02:42 AM #6
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Default Re: Hello fellow laser enthusiasts!

Sorry to see that your package got flagged by customs. Hope you receive it okay. Welcome to the forum
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Old 07-14-2015, 02:20 PM #7
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Default Re: Hello fellow laser enthusiasts!

Thanks for the welcome messages and information! Will update with the outcome.
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Old 07-14-2015, 05:59 PM #8
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Default Re: Hello fellow laser enthusiasts!

Just wanted to make one last comment here, I received my laser today! Customs released it, they only held it for 1 day. Laserbtb was outstanding in their customer service and quick reply, Kevin was even going to send me another laser but I responded to him that it won't be necessary. I never thought after Customs nabbed it that I would ever see it, but the man I spoke to at Customs was very nice and I am glad it all worked out. So now I am a proud owner of a Skylasers PL-445 2W 445nm blue laser. This laser is amazing and has a great build quality for its price. I have lased only a few times so far and from what I can see, I am glad I have the right safety glasses, because 2W is monstrously bright even for blue. I am used to Nd:YVO4 green but the brightness of this blue is impressive. Well, thanks for listening, and welcoming me to the forums! Happy Lasing!
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:31 PM #9
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Default Re: Hello fellow laser enthusiasts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lux Nitida View Post
Just wanted to make one last comment here, I received my laser today! Customs released it, they only held it for 1 day. Laserbtb was outstanding in their customer service and quick reply, Kevin was even going to send me another laser but I responded to him that it won't be necessary. I never thought after Customs nabbed it that I would ever see it, but the man I spoke to at Customs was very nice and I am glad it all worked out. So now I am a proud owner of a Skylasers PL-445 2W 445nm blue laser. This laser is amazing and has a great build quality for its price. I have lased only a few times so far and from what I can see, I am glad I have the right safety glasses, because 2W is monstrously bright even for blue. I am used to Nd:YVO4 green but the brightness of this blue is impressive. Well, thanks for listening, and welcoming me to the forums! Happy Lasing!
Im curious as to the conversation you had with the customs official did he have any questions as what it was to be used for?
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:39 PM #10
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Default Re: Hello fellow laser enthusiasts!

Welcome to LPF Lux Nitida!
I'm glad to see you received your PL-445; I was thinking the same as you were, probably not ever going to see that laser!
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:50 PM #11
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Default Re: Hello fellow laser enthusiasts!

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Im curious as to the conversation you had with the customs official did he have any questions as what it was to be used for?


When I called, this guy answered the phone "US Customs and Border Protection". I took a deep breath and began with inquiring about my package they had detained. The man then asked for my name and when I gave it, he asked to confirm the tracking number on the package and I did. He then asked, OK, what is in here? I said, "It is a handheld 445 nanometer Indium Gallium Nitride diode laser." (I never mentioned the fact that it is a 2 watt InGaN diode laser ). "It has all the required FDA mandated safety features including remote disconnect, aperture-shutter and key interlock." He then said well, I see that it does have the features you described but I will have to contact FDA to verify some information on it to make sure it is legit. I said, "OK I understand you have to do what you have to do, and I told him I have been a laser hobbyist since I was in high-school and I know that there is a lot of lasers coming in from overseas that have no labels, no safety features and that I can understand your side of it." He then said "Well if it checks out you can have it the next day but its almost impossible to get a hold of anyone at the FDA so the longest he can hold it is 30 days." He said he doesn't want it here 30 days so he then told me feel free to check back to inquire to the status, I said no problem and hung up. Then just the very next day after that conversation, the DHL man showed up at my door with it, all taped up with US Customs inspection tape, ordeal over. All I can possibly figure is that I sounded half-way smart and that I knew what I was talking about and that I wasn't going to be a threat.
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:41 AM #12
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Default Re: Hello fellow laser enthusiasts!

Wow, Lux Nitida you handled it very professionally and at a mature level and I do agree with you that it might have been all that was needed with that particular customs agent.
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:51 AM #13
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Default Re: Hello fellow laser enthusiasts!

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Wow, Lux Nitida you handled it very professionally and at a mature level and I do agree with you that it might have been all that was needed with that particular customs agent.
Thanks, rapport can make a big difference it seems. I must admit, I was very nervous talking to him though, but it worked out well.
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Old 07-15-2015, 02:40 PM #14
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Default Re: Hello fellow laser enthusiasts!

Wow did you have a cheat sheet written on your hand lol just kidding! You handled it like a pro. Great job, when he mentioned up to 30 days your heart must of just sank how else can I say it. Wicked happy for you
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:08 PM #15
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Default Re: Hello fellow laser enthusiasts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSS View Post
Wow did you have a cheat sheet written on your hand lol just kidding! You handled it like a pro. Great job, when he mentioned up to 30 days your heart must of just sank how else can I say it. Wicked happy for you
Thanks a lot! I did think for a moment before I called about what I might say but I honestly had no idea about what I might be asked or what they would say. I am glad I have been around lasers for a long time and knew about what I was buying. I guess I came across as confident and that I wasn't trying to pull anything. All I can say is, if this happens to anyone else and I am sure it will, just act calm and be confident in your speech and tell the truth when you speak to Customs. I hope no one here will ever have to make that call though, because I must say I was nervous. When I got the package, I lol'd a little because of what laserbtb wrote on the label about contents, they wrote: LED Flashlight. I am glad the Customs guy didn't press me on that since he opened the package up and had my laser in his hands. He didn't pressure me on anything, just not the interaction I was expecting. But, for the record, I do realize the onus is on me for this, because I did order and import a Class IV 2W laser from a company that only has FDA accession for Class IIIR and IIIb. Oh, and when he said 30 days, I figured I would never see it anyway. I really expected it to be seized, but all's well that ends well.

The gamble paid off and I am one happy owner, this PL-445 is unreal, all I can say is to everyone, WEAR SAFETY GLASSES! I am probably going to upgrade my OD 4+ to 5 or 6. I am above the minimum required but I rather feel even safer with this thing because...damn is this thing intense. Happy Lasing!
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Pointer-style variable output 4mW-31mW 515nm GaN mint green diode laser
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Pointer-style 12mW 405nm InGaN violet diode laser
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Last edited by Lux Nitida; 07-15-2015 at 03:12 PM.
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