Israel has banned all imports of Apple's hottest new product, the iPad, citing concerns that its wireless frequencies are incompatible with national standards. Customs officials said on Thursday they already have confiscated about 10 iPads since Israel announced the new regulations this week.
The blanket ban prevents anyone - even tourists – from bringing an iPad into Israel until officials certify that the computers are in compliance with local transmitter standards. This has caused angry scenes at airports, according to local newspaper reports.
Confiscated iPads will be held by customs until their owners depart the country. Moreover, they have to pay for every day the iPad remains in the Israel's custom's warehouse.
The communications ministry has requested further information from Apple about the device before it gives its approval.
Meanwhile, travellers continue to have their iPads, currently only available in America, confiscated on their arrival in Israel.
A ministry official said the iPad operated at American broadcast power levels. "As the Israeli regulations in the area of wi-fi 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," the official said.