A while ago I bought an Arduino from NKC at the cost of 22$ and today i got a letter form the German customs telling me i had to fetch it at the local customs office.
As this is quite a normal activity for me, as i buy much stuff in the usa, i have been thinking about the WHY as the Arduino was cheaper than the 22Eur limit they set (including s&h it was beneat 21Eur due to my calculation)..
Alright, coming into the office i was asked what i want and i told them that i had received their letter and would like to get my parcel with either the heroin or the bomb in it, of course, jokingly. The customs guy went into the back part of the office, laughing, and ame back with the ''parcel'' and asked me wether he was allowed to open it or if we should go to the police next door as this parcel was marked possibly dangerous. Of course he was allowed to open it and as the electronics showed he went back a step, asking what kind of thing that is.
Alright, Programming board was nothing meaningful to them, as was atmel board or anything else but "Its basicly a CPU on a motherboard for very tiny computers". That made it pass this security check. So i had to hand them the invoice from NKC which was, of course, not exaclty what they wanted.
Although stating clearly:
Name Code Qty Each Options
Arduino Duemilanove with ARD-0044 1 22.00
ATmega168 $22 promotion
They asked me for an article number - which i didnt have (of course). They have also not been irritated by the fact that on the invoice Arduino Duemelanove was written as well as on the board itself, besides the name of the Chip.. so they asked me where i bought it and now already 5 people at the customs were browsing NKCs shop (way to spread your name, isnt it? ;0)) and all they found was the regular price. That made them more suspicious. I had to answer all kinds of quests like what i would like to do with it and so on, finally one member of the team exclaimed that she found the 22$ promotion.
After that i had to sign a form that i received the Arduino and was free to go.
I love our burocracy.
And the meaning of the story: NKC, if you read this, please add a new item to your shop for a few cents so that you can put a sticker with 'GIFT' written on it onto the parcels so that German buyers dont end up at Guantanamo Bay!
And cosums suck.