It’s always fun to buy electronics and gadgets from China, while there are sometimes technical “headaches”, they are mostly solvable and part of the fun. But in some cases, government regulations and customs ruin the party even before you get the device. Most of the time, it’s just in the form of unexpected custom duties, but other times, you may get a phone call asking you to get some documents… With experience, I’ve learned to give up at that point, but I tried one before… The courier will usually not tell you exactly what you need, just some clues, so I’ll have to make a few phone calls… After 8 phone calls to different government officers, I discovered that I needed a document saying I do not need document… Hooray! But sadly, it could not be done over the phone, online, or by snail mail, I would have to go to some government office in person 700 km away. I estimated the total cost would be around $300 with uncertain results, so I gave up, and the device went to “customs heaven”.
The regulations vary from country to country, and in the past, I’ve read stories about outrageous custom duties in Brazil. More recently (today), I’ve also learned many electronics items required Anatel product homologation, some sort of telecommunications license, since the country does not recognize FCC/CE regulations.
While it would be an impossible tasks for individuals to obtain this kind of compliance, you’d think companies should have a fairly easy time. Apparently not, as the Raspberry Pi Foundation has just announced an Anatel compliant Raspberry Pi 3 board, that’s exactly the same as the original Raspberry Pi 3 board launched in February 2016, except for having a Blue PCB, and a marking with ANATEL ID: 04908-17-10629.
The board is sold in Brazil only via FilepeFlop for 199.90 reals (around $60), a bit higher than in most countries due to fairly high custom duties. If you live outside of Brazil, and would like to add the board to your collection, the only options would be to go to Brazil, ask a friend in Brazil (provided he/she can ship it out of the country), and use some expensive virtual address/forwarding services.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.