That's why the companies send them as flashlights or toy parts. To avoid inspection. Bt to avoid all of this just order lasers from member within your country. Most of the time packages make it through customs because the companies are aware of how to avoid inspection, but sometimes they do get confiscated. The only lasers that I order from oversees are dpss because member don't build them. All my other lasers are from right here in the USA , or members from oversees that know what they are doing with sending packages.
Joker 301,is in Israel ...not the US and the tricks to get lasers in, are like a Russian roulette revolver eventually you will get a bullet and laser taken and as fate has it, it will be the expensive one not the 40 dollar one from An eBay dealer. This i know VERY well just recently .
I don't know if this is still true, but last I heard lasers from 5mW to 2000mW (?) can be legally sold in the US if they have the necessary safety features (lock and removable key, 2-second delay on switch, indicator light) and if the manufacturer has a "variance" from the FDA. No penalty for the buyer except having it confiscated by customs. No penalty (yet) for owning one that's out of compliance.
I think Optotronics sells compliant lasers. After looking at their price tags, most people just pay their money somewhere else and take their chances.
Another way to get something high-powered is to order the parts separately and put them together. In that case (last I heard) there is no upper limit. However, the FDA has recently started cracking down on kits that contain all the parts.
Finally, there are people here at LPF who build lasers as a hobby, and put a lot of thought and care into them. Some of them are for sale.