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Grey Imports Warning

The potential pitfalls of buying a Grey Import

Everyone wants a bargain. Sometimes, we find a price that seems too good to be true, and usually, it is.

Currently a number of retailers, particularly on market places, are importing genuine photographic goods from outside the European market, (which encompasses the European Economic Area (EEA) plus Switzerland) for sale to UK and European consumers.  Often these products are intended for Asian or US markets that may require different standards and legal compliance.


If you buy a product from one of these retailers we'd like you to be aware that there are risks associated with buying what is termed a "Grey Import”. A grey import is generally described as a non-counterfeit product sourced from outside the EEA.  They are also known as “parallel imports”.

The potential problems with Grey Import products – including Non CE Mark

European consumers may find that grey market products do not meet their expectations because the products were not set up and tailored for that local market. For example:



• They may not have a CE mark which is required by European law and shows the product meets European safety requirements and can therefore be placed on the European market;

• The box may not contain a UK power cord, or may contain a UK power cord or adaptor that was not provided by the manufacturer and has not been quality checked by them also;

• The product may comprise a bundle of different products such as camera and lenses which were intended for different countries such as Hong Kong and Australia and which were not technically meant to be put together. 

• In some cases the manufacturer will not support the standard warranty - see further explanation on our Warranty Policy 

• Some of these sellers ask for a stocking fee if you want to return within the cooling off period, even if such fees are illegal which may mean it is more difficult to return an item;

 You could potentially be liable for customs duty and import VAT on your purchase either directly (if you are the importer of record) or, more likely, indirectly (where the retailers seeks to pass on those costs as part of the price charged to you). It is possible that  these sellers are failing to properly declare and pay such taxes; and


As grey-market products are not intended for the European market, such products are ineligible to benefit from UK/European promotions, including manufacturer Cashback offers.


At Camera Solutions you can buy with confidence knowing: 

  • We are a UK company, based in Chester
  • We are committed to selling UK and EU sourced stock. 
  • Our Chester Store is open 7 days a week. 
  • We are proud of our unmatched, friendly, Customer Service. 
  • You will always get the full Manufacturer's Warranty. 
  • Our prices have no hidden charges or taxes, what you see is what you pay
  • Don't just take our word for it, there are other examples of recurring issues: