If you’re a fan of German camera lenses and you’re thinking of buying one in the near future, you may want to pull out your credit card and pull the trigger right now. The US is set to unleash $7.5 billion in punitive tariffs on the EU starting Friday, and German lenses look set to be getting a 25%+ price hike in the process.
The World Trade Organization gave the United States the green light this week to move ahead with trade sanctions, agreeing that the European airplane maker Airbus had received illegal subsidies that provided unfair competition for the US-based Boeing.
Here’s a list of the countries and products affected by the upcoming tariffs imposed by the US:
Capture Integration CEO Dave Gallagher spotted that German lenses are impacted under subheading 9002.11.90:
“Yes, in only 4 days our country will possibly enact a 25% tax, to you the consumer, for any German manufactured lens, or product that has or uses a German lens as a part of its whole,” Gallagher writes. “Importantly, the manufacturer’s pricing to the US will stay the same. It is not the EU manufacturer that will pay any of these taxes. It is the US distributor of these products to the United States that will pay an extra 25% to their current duties of these products.
“And these tariffs will then be added on to the current price of the US product accordingly and be absorbed directly by the US consumer.”
Gallagher believes that lenses made by companies like Leica and Zeiss will have a direct 25%+ price increase due to these tariffs. And camera bodies with fixed German lenses (e.g. the Leica Q2) may be affected as well, though if and how the industry will be impacted remains to be seen.
Think Leica lenses are expensive now? A Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH lens that already costs $5,295 today may soon cost over $6,600.