I'm trying to use import for an npm package, and I get this error:
W20160331-11:02:58.473(-6)? (STDERR) import barcode from "bwip-js";
Also important to note that for server side npm packages, authors don't usually bother to transpile with babel, because a lot of the ES6 features are already in node. Unfortunately Meteor 1.3 still uses quite an old version of node without these features, but the goods news is that this has been earmarked as a priority for the next few releases.
For now, as you noticed, it's possible to change the imports by hand. You could also "convert" the module using babel; you can google how to do that if you want... but no need to worry with that if you already have it working.