The EU?s plan to place an import duty on some digital compact cameras may affect future product development though most ?current? product lines will escape the ruling, claims the UK?s Photo Imaging Council (PIC).

The European Commission last week decided to classify certain digital compacts with an on-board movie mode as a ?video camera recorder? ? products which attract a customs duty of 4.9% if they are imported into Europe from a non-European country, according to PIC.

PIC understand that the tariff will affect cameras that have a ?maximum storage capacity, capable of recording at least 30 minutes of a single sequential video recording, with a resolution of 800×600 pixels or higher at 23 frames per second or higher?.

Fuji Photo Film, Nikon and Pentax have already told the UK trade body that they do not expect their ?current models? to be hit by the ruling.

However, PIC spokeswoman Pam Hyde told Amateur Photographer: ?HDTV recording is a feature which most brands will be looking to introduce for the future and I guess they will avoid duty payments by keeping recording time to under 30 minutes ? so future DSC development may be affected.?

Commenting on the import duty proposal, voted on by EU members in Brussels last Friday, a spokeswoman for the European Commission in the UK confirmed to AP: ‘The Customs Code Committee – Nomenclature section – voted on 13 July (qualified majority) on a draft classification regulation. This means that the Commission can now formally adopt the regulation within a two to three months deadline.’

PIC?s members include major industry players such as Canon, Sony and Olympus.

?The first reaction of PIC members to the [European] Commission?s ruling is that the recommended proposal will have a minimal effect on current product ranges. However, it may affect future products and product development,? said PIC in a statement released earlier today.

The PIC statement added: ?PIC is discussing with members how the proposal will affect pricing, if at all, of products in their ranges.?

The European Commission’s UK office was yet to comment on the decision at the time of writing.

For the Photo Imaging Council’s full statement click below:

Photo Imaging Council reaction in full