In the weeks after the launch of the Apple iPad, travelers to Israel encountered a less than friendly welcome for their new toy when they arrived at the airport.
Citing lack of regulatory approval, the Israeli government banned the import of the new Apple product into their country and confiscated several of them from travelers.
Like any device capable of broadcasting on public radio channels (the iPad has WiFi and Bluetooth), the device has to be tested to ensure it does not interfere with other services.
The Communications Ministry has now conducted their tests, and the iPad is welcome in Israel. Of course, the whole thing created quite a bit of bad PR for the country – which is completely unjustified.
In the United States, all products must have the correct regulatory approval before they can be imported, but any time Apple news hits the wire, everyone jumps on it. Thankfully, the Israelis realized this, and managed to get the device approved in record time.
The press release announcing the approval can be found here (warning: PDF link). One word of warning though – the approval is only valid for single device imports – so if you planned to drag a suitcase full of the things to Israel for resale, you’ll need a different kind of approval.