The UK photo industry has issued its response to the EU’s decision to place an import duty on some digital compact cameras.

In a press statement the Photo Imaging Council (PIC) said:

‘Photo Imaging Council members are actively assessing the implications of the proposal to classify certain types of digital camera as camcorders.  The reclassification will mean they will now attract customs duty of 4.9%.

‘The European Commission’s Nomenclature Committee meeting in Brussels last Friday recommended the proposal in an Explanatory Note directing that a camera using the maximum storage capacity, capable of recording at least 30 minutes of a single sequential video recording, with a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels or higher at 23 frames per second or higher, will be classified as a video camera recorder under code 8525 80 91 – and therefore attract duty.

‘If the camera does not meet these criteria, it will be classified as a digital camera under code 8525 80 30 and will not attract duty.

‘The Explanatory Note did not achieve the required Qualified majority vote. However, under the Commission’s rules of procedure, the proposal is likely to be adopted, and published in due course in the Official Journal.’

The statement added: ‘The first reaction of PIC members to the 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.  PIC is discussing with members how the proposal will effect pricing, if at all, of products in their ranges.

‘PIC members? responses will also be fed into the European Photo Industry Association and the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) in Tokyo whose representatives plan to fly to Europe for lobbying purposes before the end of this month.’