German Customs / FedEx Holds Up Viliv N5 – For ‘2-3 weeks’ Update: It’s free!

Posted on 25 June 2010, Last updated on 31 July 2015 by

Update: Thanks to Timelock’s comment below, it looks like we’ve managed to shake the N5 free of customs although the timing was strange. It cleared customs before I sent a copy of my customs-number form. Maybe all the calls, faxes and emails helped in the end. The N5 should be with me for the live session tonight. Thanks to everyone for the thoughts and tips.

Update: I have the N5 and the Live review is finished. The recordings are available.

Can you believe this. I’ve been receiving goods from abroad for nearly 5 years; I’ve been paying the taxes when asked, filling in the forms when asked and generally being a good boy. Then a new FedEx office¬† in Cologne opens and everything comes to a halt. The Viliv N5 has arrived there and I now have to register as an importer in order to release the device. It’s going to take weeks.

To be fair, FedEx are following the rules. If you, as a company, import more than three items per year (receiving zero-value goods for testing is also counted as importing) then you have to register for a customs number and EORI number. [If anyone has experience on the subject and knows a solution, please drop a comment below.]

The problem is that this is Germany and while processes work, there’s never a work-around, never an alternative and the process is often as slow as an old dog. Currently, the customs office in Dresden are taking 2-3 weeks to process new number requests. Meanwhile, FedEx holds on to devices for 4 days before sending them back.

The N5 is one of the most important ultra mobile PC products of 2010 and I have thousands of customers waiting to see the device, hear opinions on the device and have the unique chance to join in our live Q&A session on the device. There are others that will get the device too (Tip: Head on over to JKKMobile who is also getting the Viliv N5 and will start work with it on Monday. We’re still planning to run a live session on Monday evening) but if you know anything about running a blog as a business, being late with important product reviews is not the best strategy.

I’ll do my best to highlight the issue to Dresden but you know what, if England win against Germany on Sunday, you can probably kiss goodbye to the N5 for a while!!!!

What we know so far: Check out the Viliv N5 information page.

Update: I have the N5 and the Live review is finished. The recordings are available.

Recommended Reading

Top Ultra Mobile PCs

Dell Latitude E7440
14.0" Intel Core i5-4200U
GPD Win 2
6.0" Intel m3 7Y30
Toshiba Portege Z930
13.3" Intel Core i5 3427U
Lenovo Ideapad Flex 10
10.1" Intel Celeron N2806
GPD Pocket 2
7.0" Intel Core m3-8100Y
Fujitsu Lifebook U1010
5.6" Intel A110 (Stealey)
Viliv S5
4.8" Intel Atom (Silverthorne)
Acer Aspire Switch 10
10.1" Intel Atom Z3745
Acer Aspire E11 ES1
11.6" Intel Celeron N2840
ASUS R50A
5.6" Intel Atom