BRUSSELS Some top-end digital cameras entering
the European Union could become more expensive after trade
experts decided their advanced video functions meant they
should be classed as video recorders, which attract import
Digital cameras are imported into the 27-nation EU
tariff-free but video recorders are subject to duties starting
at 4.9 percent.
The Tokyo-based Camera & Imaging Products Association
(CIPA), whose members include Nikon Corp, Canon Inc, and Sony
Corp, has previously said it was concerned about a possible EU
customs duty on digital cameras.
In 2006, shipments of Japanese digital cameras to Europe
were worth about $5 billion.
An EU official said on Tuesday the change was unlikely to
affect cameras sold to ordinary consumers as it related to the
more expensive models that have very good video recording
The EU trade experts decided last Friday that to be
classified as a digital camera, equipment must not be able to
record at least 30 minutes of a single sequence of video in a
quality of 800 x 600 pixels or higher at 23 frames per second
Some camcorders that fall short of those specifications
could enter the EU duty-free in future, the EU official said.
The European Commission is likely to formally adopt the
decision of the EU trade experts within two or three months.