ESP32 DevKitS/S-R "CCATS" - export from USA - specifically mouser

DavidLamb
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ESP32 DevKitS/S-R "CCATS" - export from USA - specifically mouser

Postby DavidLamb » Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:14 am

Hi there,

Background:
I'm module lead for an final year IoT/embedded systems module, as part of a Software Engineering undergraduate degree.
We use a number of MCUs, and in recent years, have focused on the ESP32 - it's very appealing to the students in terms of capabilities, cost. Anyway, as part of the current COVID19 situation, we've had to increase our provision, in order to supply students with dev kits on a 1:1 basis.

The query
I'd successfully ordered some of the ESP32-DEVKITS "motherboard" dev boards for evaluation from mouser (we're in the UK, so this is a USA-UK export situation). They seem great - easy to fit an ESP32-WROOM32. Resiliant to repeated use; brilliant.
However, when we've tried to order them in bulk for student use, mouser went through the usual form completion process. Then, they rejected the order on the DEVKITS as apparently they don't have the "CCATS" documentation for this product. I've now noticed a number of ESP32 products (and all the ESP32-S2) now have this export restriction marking on mouser.co.uk.

e.g. https://www.mouser.co.uk/ProductDetail/ ... CuxQ%3D%3D

Mouser don't appear to be able to move on this - so I wondered if there's a documentation step/tickbox that Espressif need to complete, but haven't?

Any thoughts?

Many thanks,
-David

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rudi ;-)
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Re: ESP32 DevKitS/S-R "CCATS" - export from USA - specifically mouser

Postby rudi ;-) » Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:44 pm

Hi David


Welcome in the mouser club :) - what i can say - you are not allone :!:

I come back to this post when i am sitting on my Desk then i can write you few things more and will edit this post.
this fast reply let you know, that the "restriction own inhouse mouser rules" are in work process and nobody understand the rules from mouser cause there are explicitly named from espressif few things as "engineering examples" ( S2 ) but mouser want few more infos from the buyer ( students, makers, and so on - shortly without VAT# is not possible buy just in time at mouser this things if the receiver in EU. ... :roll: :?

hope this fast reply help you in first time that you are not allone with this and espressif is working on this issue trying to solve Mouser issue as soon as possible.
All European buyer ( export from US mouser ) can't buy just in time without little more infos from buyer ( VAT# )
I can say from my side "What a mess what mouser do just in time with this (maker) buyer'S" but there are EU restrictions
background info and mouser wants to secure himself threefold.

i come back fast as possible to this ( will be in 5-8 h ) and let you know more from my desk.

best wishes
rudi ;-)
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DavidLamb
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Re: ESP32 DevKitS/S-R "CCATS" - export from USA - specifically mouser

Postby DavidLamb » Thu Nov 12, 2020 4:03 pm

Hi Rudi,

Thanks very much for responding so quickly, I do appreciate it. I guess you are in a similar frustrating situation.

It's a little disappointing - I was actually successful ordering it personally and then by the time my institution have come to order it (what, maybe a week later!) they've changed their policy on this item.

It's really disappointing (I would expect work to be VAT-registered, btw) and the lack of details / what to do is more frustrating!

I imagine we'll end up buying the ESP32 pico kits instead (as it'll go on a breadboard!), but I do wish mouser would be a little more transparent with the nature of the export restrictions and which hoops are necessary. It would be good if Espressif could supply the relevant documentation (whatever that might be!)

Thanks again, much appreciated :)
-David

DavidLamb
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Re: ESP32 DevKitS/S-R "CCATS" - export from USA - specifically mouser

Postby DavidLamb » Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:02 pm

Hi Rudi,

Many thanks for your reply - I thought I'd responded too, but perhaps I just clicked Preview and forgot to submit(!)

Anyway - I think the gist of my reply was that I take it you've had your fair share of mouser fun too. :)

What's puzzling is that I was able to order (and receive!) 2 boards, personally, to my home address. It's only when my employer have tried that they've hit a wall. I'm guessing they've got a VAT number, though there again, as a university, I think we are VAT exempt, so perhaps not. Since then, the product page has a restricted export flag on it, so I'm guessing it would fail if I tried to order more.

It's very frustrating anyway, and would be great if Espressif could sort it out by providing Mouser the certification they require. As you say, Mouser's process is about as transparent as mud, though. I think for semester 2, we'll just have to order the ESP32-PICO-KIT boards. Not ideal, but they'll fit on a breadboard and at least still have a fair number of GPIO broken out to headers. Providing mouser don't put an export restriction flag on it before we order :lol:

Unless there's anyone from Espressif on here who'll do a direct order of about ~50 units (ESP32-DEVKITS and ESP32-WROOM-32E) on a purchase order to a UK university? :)

Thanks Rudi again for getting back so quickly.

Best wishes,
-David

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rudi ;-)
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Re: ESP32 DevKitS/S-R "CCATS" - export from USA - specifically mouser

Postby rudi ;-) » Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:56 pm

Hello David

in advance, I'm sorry for my bad English, but I'll try ..

I have heard from colleagues that at the same time only Mouser and Digikey had these new modules and other Espressif items in stock. This time Espressif sent the engineering samples to the distributions instead of sending each sample request itself.
(Unfortunately - big mistake !!!)

After asking espressif business head office, I was kindly made aware of mouser and digikey as the modules were already on their way to Distributions.

I made the daring attempt to order ~50 (stock 66) pieces from mouser privat immediately (ESP32-S2-Mini-1)
they were marked with ERP (additional information may be required). After the ordering process, the stock became less and I saw that the stock was then smaller.

At the same time, I had to order ~10 (15) pieces immediately from mouser (ESP32-S2-DevKitM-1) for test purposes in another order (free shipping from 50 EUR) they were not yet labeled with ERP. After the ordering process, the stock was also less and I only saw 5 in stock.

Everything is okay.

Mouser then calculated both invoices with VAT, PayPal was debited immediately (i.e. paid gross).
So Mouser had the money including VAT.

After a week, US Export Admin wrote to you (for the first order "only modules") that additional information was required, including filling out a form and specifying VAT #.

I ordered privately, not with a business account (VAT # available) and also not with a university account (tax-exempt - no VAT # necessary - there is none)

I then filled out the form - without VAT # - and sent it back. After asking US Export Admin in an email, I should add VAT # and send it back, I informed him that I was ordering privately. Thereupon the order was canceled by the US Export Admin "unfortunately no shipping is possible"

Although mouser points this out 100 times during the ordering process and allows the customer to agree 100 times that it is engineering modules, goods that have not been fully tested ect ect ect) mouser makes its own in-house regulation with this regulation.

Mouser answere:
"as mentioned above, it is up to the manufacturer to inform us whether the
components are CE certified. If we do not have any information, we can only
sell the components to companies that also fill out the form - not to
private individuals"

"There are two types of how we can sell components that
are not CE certified in Europe: with IPC code CEN (then the component may
not be sold in the EU at all), or with IPC code EUF, which allows sales
within the EU under certain conditions (as described above).
I hope that everything I have been able to clarify will be clarified."

further after re question, cause this are engineering samples and CE is not need for using only by the LAB / Test person ect
"Hello, the decision how we handle this is ours. But I don't know what the legal situation is. "

:shock: :? :roll:


Believe me, I was mad. Really angry. :evil:
Especially since the cancellation came after a week.
The money was returned after another week. :twisted:

I then contacted Mouser EU and discussed Espressif and the incident. Espressif is standing there with tied hands at the moment, as these engineering samples are expressly marked as such. Mouser wants to free itself from recourse to private customers by simply not selling to private customers.

Espressif endeavors to prefer CE cerification and to submit it to Mouser. Nobody buys these engineering samples when the subsequent delivery with certificates is delivered in December.
Mouser's gross nonsense - but it's Mouser's rules. Unfortunately.

I am in contact with Mouser EU about this. Also with espressif.
Espressif tries to regulate this as quickly as possible.
Espressif meant well by sending the engineering samples to distributions for redistribution.

Something else.
Incidentally, the second order (ESP32-S2-DevKitM-1) has not been canceled by Mouser, which was overlooked by Mouser because it contains the same modules that Mouser is restricting when selling. It will have been the same with you.
Mouser explains: "It was a mistake. But that has now been corrected. Again, it is no longer possible to order and deliver these without further information."

What a Mouser and EU mess
:)

I could have bought with a business account,
But I didn't want that, because I wanted to test whether Makers could buy it, and I also needed the things privately to give away tomorrow. We're celebrating here tomorrow 13th Nov 5th anniversary of BBS ESP32.com
Now unfortunately I have to wait :(, because the items are only available again on Mouser in mid-January 2021 because my first order was returned to the warehouse. And hey presto, 12 of them had already been sold again.

Mouser announced that the same thing happened to an additional 37 customers.
I think you will have been among them :)





Incidentally, I also ordered DigiKey at the same time ~50 for security, not yet canceled but not yet debited and no dispatch notification either. They only debit when the delivery takes place.

Let's see.
Espressif is already on it and clarifies it with Mouser Business Manager.
These are impossible barriers for engineering samples ...

hope it comfort a little :)
you are not alone with it
:)
cheers and
stay healthy and take care!!

rudi
Last edited by rudi ;-) on Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DavidLamb
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Re: ESP32 DevKitS/S-R "CCATS" - export from USA - specifically mouser

Postby DavidLamb » Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:35 am

Thanks for such a detailed and comprehensive reply, Rudi - really appreciated :)

Yes, incidentally, I did also try to order some ESP32-S2s (for personal use) in my original order but that seemed to show the other issue you highlighted. Signed (I think the same as you describe) form saying they wouldn't be used a product, etc, and an email saying it was cancelled. I just wish mouser were a little more transparent about the conditions for each product.

Show it as export to UK or EU prohibited if that's the effective situation.

Anyway, back to the larger order from my employer - for the ESP32 spring-loaded devkit board. I have checked and we did supply a VAT number, so we are ordering them as a business - but still "no dice". The only form mouser sent to our resources manager had to fill for that one was the "not for resale"- which of course we did. Like both our own personal experiences.

It seems that there are a bundle of different export restrictions that all flag up under a single EAR flag on mouser. It's very frustrating if they all translate to "sorry but no"

Mouser did follow-up to our resources manager to say, as I think you have near the end of your email, that Espressif are on it and apparently are applying for licences. I can understand why our own personal EUC's weren't satisfactory (but like you, very angry about that!), but am now puzzled as to why my institution's declaration was not sufficient.

I've seen that the ESP32-DEVKITC-F is showing as available on digikey so we'll give that a go and see if it works. No apparent flags against export on that one yet. Obviously at risk of hitting same US export restriction, but fingers crossed. No easily replaceable ESP32 module on this one, but they will do fine for students. If we get them. Beginning to fear for my (taught!) module now ( :roll: !)

Thanks again for the detail and your own observations; really appreciated.

Apologies also for the repeat post before - I'd missed the message that I was still subject to moderation :)

Best wishes,
-David

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rudi ;-)
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Re: ESP32 DevKitS/S-R "CCATS" - export from USA - specifically mouser

Postby rudi ;-) » Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:01 pm

DavidLamb wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:35 am

It seems that there are a bundle of different export restrictions that all flag up under a single EAR flag on mouser. It's very frustrating if they all translate to "sorry but no"

Hi David

i checked all Items which mouser is list from espressif and have a restriction flag for EU,

43 - 1
42 Items !!! ( one was doubled add )

shared basked link

also as PDF attached
Basket_Nov13_0535AM.pdf
(1.06 MiB) Downloaded 9 times

Yes try DigiKey - i did it too and will update this post.

But also i must use Business Account at Mouser basket cause i want buy few new products which i saw just in time only at mouser from espressif which i not was informed that they are out / can be buy. So mouser get a Business Order next time from me - for picked things which i need for "showroom" and Lectures at universities.

mouser probably doesn't even know that there is no VAT obligation for some institutions in the EU.
Mouser is thus cutting itself off from a large customer base. Who should buy the DevKits?
A company? They buy SoC and manufacture them themselves.
What a mess.

best wishes
rudi
Last edited by rudi ;-) on Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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rudi ;-)
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Re: ESP32 DevKitS/S-R "CCATS" - export from USA - specifically mouser

Postby rudi ;-) » Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:03 pm

Manufacturer Item ID || Mouser Stock Item ID || in stock
ESP32-S2-Saola-1R || 356-ESP32-S2-SAOLA-R || 451 in Stock
ESP32-S2-Saola-1M || 356-ESP32-S2-SAOLA-M || 576 in Stock

and no one can buy it from EU without a VAT#
This product may require additional documentation to export from the United States.
:( :? :roll:

i hope that mouser manager are read here too.
i am in contact with few mouser manager but they can't change at mouser US this things
also not for engineering samples.

i think espressif should not more send this goodies to mouser if they not forward the things to EU.
i think espressif should send it to BRNO to espressif center and BRNO should create a EU center for students maker and so on
cause espressif started on a educational collaboration between espressif and BRNO university of technology
please espressif - don't send engineering samples further more to mouser and colaborate with the brno university for this engineering samples. no student can buy at mouser this engineering samples cause restriction of mouser inhouse rule not by the EU rule.

mouser wrote:
"Hello, the decision how we handle this is ours. But I don't know what the legal situation is. "

this statement is a mess from mouser in my eyes.
i have this statement in my mail in the case of deleting my "privat" order.

we are going to think over to buy not more from mouser any more if this statement get a base rule at mouser US

the main problem is, that you not know in the order process that VAT# is need.
you can order, put the thing in your basket and you can pay by credit card or paypal ...
after one week the export admin ask you for the VAT#, without it, they delete the order without right comments.
after one week further the money is back now they use 14 days the money - nice doing from mouser US
mouser US did not response to any of the email
mouser EU did response to few emails
mouser EU at twitter did help few things to order it in the right directiom
mouser US at twitter did not response
a custom service looks different from this what mouser US do with EU orders
just my 5 cent - it is not an espressif problem - engineering samples are allways without CE - they are what they are - engineering samples, why mouser want a VAT# and business contact for this is in my eyes a mess not a legal rule.

yeap i am angry - :lol: :oops:

:twisted:

best wishes
rudi ;-)
Attachments
Screenshot_2020-11-13 ESP32-S2-Saola-1R Espressif Systems Mouser.png
Screenshot_2020-11-13 ESP32-S2-Saola-1R Espressif Systems Mouser.png (54.28 KiB) Viewed 471 times
Screenshot_2020-11-13 ESP32-S2-Saola-1M Espressif Systems Mouser.png
Screenshot_2020-11-13 ESP32-S2-Saola-1M Espressif Systems Mouser.png (42.35 KiB) Viewed 471 times
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Re: ESP32 DevKitS/S-R "CCATS" - export from USA - specifically mouser

Postby rudi ;-) » Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:49 pm

@David, I am very happy that you brought up the topic here.
I don't understand why Mouser explicitly puts these "ESP32-Wroom-spring PCB boards" and "ESP32-Wrover-spring PCB boards" under this export framework. there are also no RF functions on these developer boards. This Test boards are not functional without a Modul ( Wroom, Wrover ) which is an other order at mouser.
They also apply this inability to all other no RF-development kits and accessories, although they should know that they do not work independently, which CE however "requires" or "makes necessary".
so an mouser in house rule too i think.
best wishes rudi
Screenshot_2020-11-13 ESP32-DevKitS-R Espressif Systems Mouser.png
Screenshot_2020-11-13 ESP32-DevKitS-R Espressif Systems Mouser.png (69.68 KiB) Viewed 429 times
Screenshot_2020-11-13 ESP32-DevKitS Espressif Systems Mouser.png
Screenshot_2020-11-13 ESP32-DevKitS Espressif Systems Mouser.png (71.31 KiB) Viewed 429 times

edit:
the same with ESP-PROG Board. no student can buy it at mouser US for EU.
but also no RF-Function on it and do not work independently, which CE however "requires" or "makes necessary".
its an evaluation / engineering board.
happy you open this post here. we talk here in the university circle too about this mess at mouser inhouse rule for EU buyers.
Attachments
Screenshot_2020-11-13 ESP-PROG Espressif Systems Mouser.png
Screenshot_2020-11-13 ESP-PROG Espressif Systems Mouser.png (63.11 KiB) Viewed 427 times
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DavidLamb
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Re: ESP32 DevKitS/S-R "CCATS" - export from USA - specifically mouser

Postby DavidLamb » Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:10 pm

Agreed; it's very confusing and appears to be a constantly changing picture.

As you note - the ESP PROG, the ESP32 DevKitC, DevKitS etc are all now showing that flag. These are all things I've bought previously (personally) from mouser. As you say, what's the issue with the DevKitS, PROG, etc - they don't even have a module included(!) - curiously, the castellated WROOM32 modules themselves are one of the few ESP32 things that is presently not verboten for whatever reason. It does have a nice big CE sign on it though :lol:
Things I've bought via work - are, again, as you say, getting a badly-explained cancellation.

Fingers crossed with Digikey for the ESP32 DevKitC. It will at least allow the final-year module to run(!)
They've not cancelled it yet.
We've just had to fill in the "I won't resell this" guff, so fingers crossed. I'll only believe it when they turn up in Liverpool!
I'll keep you posted.

I'd add a voice to Espressif - please consider a UK/EU importer. Farnell/element14 would do. I know they're pricey, but at least it doesn't involve this strange smoke and mirrors with foggy export restrictions.

Unforunately, for students, I direct them to amazon or suchlike and the Olimex or similar boards. It's disappointing as I'd put some stuff together for the ESP PROG (for those students getting ahead) which will now need another source.

Best wishes,
-David

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