“Heatballs” held by German Customs

Posted December 20, 2010 // Tagged as Blog // 4 Comments ↓

As previously reported a couple of enterprising Germans proposed to import incandescent lamps as heaters. They informed the authorities of their intention however the customs inspectors in their district have impounded them. Below is a very poorly translated version of thier page explaining what has transpired:

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Heat Ball fans,

find attached the document to the BezReg. with the result: A Heat Ball (Kleinheizelement) is a lamp.
For this purpose, but no explanation is given, noteworthy is the task by the district government. It is already fixed in advance: Ball = Heat lamp. The VDE is tasked by the BezReg after the “light bulb ban 244/2009 Heat the ball check, which then leads to the corresponding result:

Check a Heat Ball (Kleinheizelement) and determine that it is not an energy saving bulb!

The question of why an electric patio heater is allowed in bar form and a bulb-shaped heater is prohibited remains unanswered.

It can not escape the suspicion that this perversion of justice has taken place due to political pressure .

Regardless that the Heat Ball was always a protest and not a business model, it was discussed in advance with the authorities.

We also got a show ban (see page 2 Letter from the District government: “get .. no issue still on the market), what we see as a frontal attack on the freedom of art: we had spoken with museums and galleries for exhibitions with the intent of political satire.

An interesting side effect:
The VDE examination, that matt and transparent Heat Balls have the same light output, yielding the question is why the frosted bulbs were removed from the market?

What will we do:

1. We will get legal advice why can not sell these as heaters. The scope of the lamp regulation is clearly defined and does not apply for heating!

2. Why a ban on issuing this satire of art? (See letter to the district government)

3. We will ask for for asylum for the heat ball in non-EU countries.

4. We request a review of the “light bulb ban” under § 7 of the Regulation 244/2009 the European Parliament, based on the latest findings, such as the information shared by the Federal Ministry of Environment the last week:

Health hazards in the production and the risks of using energy saving lamps, also: the lack of disposal of energy saving lamps, durability and frequent switching do not meet with the requirements for energy-saving lamps, light output and aging behavior does not meet the requirements of this Act, consideringt the useful heat gain in well-insulated homes has not been taken into account.

If you are honest, then it’s satire, that an authority which is responsible for product safety is now an official from the EPA supports such hazardous products.

We are more concerned, however, that (Article 5 of the Basic Law: Freedom of Art) is a fundamental right and should not be cast under the wheels of society.

We remain with best regards

R. Hannot
S. Rotthäuser

Letters from the district and VDE attached 2010-12-10-bescheid-bunt( in German)

4 Responses

  1. David Benyon

    January 5th, 2011 at 01:15

    Filament bulbs can also be used as “barreters” (surge limiters) and long experience shows that it is a good idea to always connect a filament bulb to the output of small generator sets. Without the bulb, damaging voltage spikes can be produced by the chopping action of thyristors in variable speed power tools. One generator set of 3KVA was destroyed when the automatic electric kettle that had just boiled, switched itself off. Another generator was driving a submersible pump to pump away flood-water. When the water was gone, the pump switched itself off and the surge destroyed the generator. Another generator set (one that I repaired) was also put out of action because of a reactive load (fluorescent lights). I typed up a paper stating that a filament bulb must always be connected to the generator but my advice was ignored. I am a retired engineer and I consider that “heat balls” do have their place. The heat is not wasted at all if the “heat balls” are used indoors. By the way, my house does not have natural gas – it is all electric. Heat not produced by low energy bulbs has to be replaced by using more heat from electric heaters. Savings ZERO! Good luck with the campaign.

  2. peter

    February 25th, 2011 at 10:26

    update end feb 2011 – seems from organizers that in 4 to 8 months time the german courts will rule on the issue….

  3. […] to allow for this. Needless to say most have not. As you can see from the post elsewhere about ‘Heatballs’ some countries, Germany in this case, are being quite draconian, preventing the import and sale of […]

  4. peter

    June 28th, 2011 at 17:23

    In the court 26 July 2011 (pdf document in German:)

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