Digital Camera Prices Set to Rise in EU?

October 10, 2006 | Mark Goldstein | Digital Compact Cameras | Comment |

The EU is set to reclassify any digital camera with video clip capability as a camcorder, thereby increasing the custom duty and ultimately the price to the consumer (as if prices weren’t high enough already…).

Photo Imaging Council Press Release

The Photo Imaging Council is supporting an international initiative against the reclassification of digital cameras by the European Commission. The international photo industry and photo traders have urged Brussels to comply with the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), countering arguments that digital cameras with video function can be equated with dedicated camcorders in terms of customs legislation. If the EC reclassification proposals are successful it will introduce customs duties of 4.9% and 12.5% on digital cameras which have an auxiliary function for the recording of short video sequences. At present, no digital cameras are manufactured inside the European Union so consumers in Europe will have to pay much more for digital cameras in the future.

Considerable resistance is emerging against these plans that are clearly opposed to the interests of European importers, traders and final consumers. A statement, given by leading photo industry and trade associations of numerous European, Asian and American countries – vigorously demands that all ITA signatory countries and all WTO regions continue to recognise digital cameras as information technology (IT) products, thus respecting the exemption from import duties decided in the first WTO Ministerial Declaration of Singapore, 1996.