After our recent post about Apple computers held hostage as they were sent to the FDA with documentation as if they were fruit, Susan Rosenberg, a public relations manager at UPS, cleared up the mystery in an email statement to Cult of Mac:
“Apple products are not being associated with fruit for import documentation or clearance. It’s coincidental that UPS groups the FDA and Dept. of Agriculture in the same tracking message as UPS provides detailed real-time visibility of events through our process.
The FDA does have import documentation requirements for low-level radiation-emitting devices with lasers such as CD-Roms or DVD components that are part of most any computer.”
Rosenberg points us to the Food and Drug Administration page about Radiation Emitting Products, where one is reminded that sending electronic products — including those cell phones, ultrasound diathermy devices or microwave blood warmers you were going to pop in the post — will be inspected. (Kudos to CoM readers who commented on the previous post that this was the real cause).
So, what are the delays about, then?
“The computers are not being held up from this issue, and delays or service disruption are not common. There could be a delay due to mechanical or weather or the volume flow on a particular day or a package was missorted. In other words, a package cleared Customs and FDA release and then was delayed on its outbound aircraft from our hub departure or its next arrival, which may not yet show the next destination scan. The Flickr link you sent (NB: from Adam Jackson’s stream that spurred the first post) doesn’t have the next set of scans, which leads me to this conclusion. Do we ever make mistakes … Yes. But we’re strong with our service recovery and visibility for correction.”
Perhaps Mac buyers are more eager than other customers to get their purchases ASAP?