I ordered a couple of WS2812B on Aliexpress more than THREE months ago. Boy what trouble that has conjured up!
The seller on Aliexpress now probably thinks I’m a crook, because I missed an email that asked me to provide the customs forms to prove my shipment was held by them. Sometimes I get so many emails that I must have missed it. Oh well… I’ll have to get in touch with him (or her) and sort things out.
The final ruling by the HZA: I’ll have to pay 19% import tax, then can pick up my stuff and leave. Yay.
This has been yet another very insightful time. A couple of days ago, on 22.06.2015 to be exact, I got a phone call by some government agency (Gewerbeaufsichtsamt) and was interviewed regarding the “nature” of the WS2812B LEDs. About 4 weeks before that I had sent them (well I sent the stuff to the HZA and they forwarded it) a printout showing these LEDs were FREELY available in Germany from digikey (pricy!), again stating that I don’t understand why my shipment was held by them.
I was told on the phone they couldn’t really make a decision based on the WS2812B datasheet I had sent them (why not?). After a while I found out that the HZA had not sent them the actual hardware for close examination / pigeonholing, but they only got a very mediocre photograph. WTF!?! Yet another reason why the WS2812B LEDs on feeder-tape (P&P assembly) were mistaken to be a ready-to-go 5V LED-strip (end-user product vs. to-be-assembled “parts”).
The whole issue seems to be circling around some EU regulations dealing with “end-user products” and CE markings / RoHS conformity and so on and so forth. Individual electronics parts seem to be exempt. At least that is my understanding now.
It would be quite hilarious if individual LEDs, ceramic capacitors, resistors… had to be marked with the CE symbol.
Tomorrow I’ll try to get my stuff & try not to smirk or start a fight :-)