Israel Bans Imports of iPads Pending Certification of Wi-Fi Power Output

Israeli newspaper Haaretz notes that the country's Communications Ministry has blocked the import of all iPads into the country pending an assessment of whether the device meets the country's power standards for Wi-Fi signals. In addition, customs officials have been instructed seize the devices from travelers attempting to bring them into the country.

"The iPad device sold exclusively today in the United States operates at broadcast power levels [over its WiFi modem] compatible with American standards," explained the officials. "As the Israeli regulations in the area of WiFi are similar to European standards, which are different from American standards, which permit broadcasting at lower power, therefore the broadcast levels of the device prevent approving its use in Israel," said the officials.

The report cites a customs official at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion International Airport who claims that his staff has confiscated ten iPads from travelers, even from those who declared that they were carrying them and offered to pay import taxes as required by law. One affected user reports that he was told to send the device back, while being charged daily fees for storage at the customs warehouse.

The Associated Press has picked up on the story and notes that while Israel hold similar power standards to European countries, it is the only one so far to have banned import of iPads.