I am keen to take advantage of the current strength of Sterling vs the US Dollar to buy two 'USA' SB800s from the B&H Photo website and having these shipped back to the UK for use on my 'UK' (non-North-American-serial-numbered) D200.
My only _big_ concern is that the USA-purchased SB800s won't work in perfect harmony with my UK D200 - can anyone share their technical expertise, or experience, or surmises, on compatibility issues.
Thanks as always
btw, if there is a general thread on USA-UK importing, would be great if you could point me in that direction also. I'm thinking warranties, import duties etc.
#1. "RE: USA SB800 / UK D200 compatibility" In response to Reply # 0
Pretty sure you have nothing to worry about, the electronics will be dead standard. I did the same thing some time ago. Mine is just a South African D200 combined with a USA SB800. They work together beautifully ( as expected ). Ordered mine from B&H. Cant offer too much help on the customs fees as they differ from my country to yours, but I paid the equivalent of about 3 Pounds Sterling.
#2. "RE: USA SB800 / UK D200 compatibility" In response to Reply # 0
>My only _big_ concern is that the USA-purchased SB800s won't work in perfect harmony with my UK D200
As far as I'm aware there is only one difference between the SB800 sold in the US and that in the UK. ON the front of the SB800 right under the AF illuminator there is a small cap. Under that cap is the external power socket. From what I understand the socket used in the US is the same as that used in Japan, however the European design specs require a different socket. This is why European power accessories for speedlights are marked with an A at the end of the name. But unless you plan to use an SD-8A external battery pack or an SK-6A power bracket then there really isn't any reason to be concerned by this. If it is a problem then just order the parts from the US or Japan where they use the SD-8 and SK-6 instead.
Note that while the US version of Wireless Transmitter for the the D2X is called the WT-2A the A on the end does not stand for American as I've seen some people refer to it. Where Nikon add an A on the end of a part number it solely means that it is different from the standard design used in Japan. The US has different specs for wireless transmission, Europe has different specs for power connectors.
> I'm thinking ......., import duties etc.
It depends on how you have the parts delivered. Fedex and a few other couriers will give you the items then send you the bill for the customs handling and duties later. If Parcel force are used at the end of delivery (e.g. if you package is sent via USPS) then you have to pay the charges before they will let you have the items.
You will have to pay VAT on the item no matter whether it has import duty to pay or not. Import and/or Excise duties are applied depending on the item. You can find out what the charges will be if you are prepared to pay the HM revenue and customs £250 per annum minimum to get access to their charges website. I don't know why they are allowed to charge for this information as most other countries publish that information for free but that's the HMRC for you, grasping little blighters. But so long as your items come via post or courier your charges will be worked out by the carrier and you will be billed as appropriate (plus a handling fee from them for doing it)
>I'm thinking warranties
Your warranty will still apply but just as in the UK your first resource is to the company you bought from. That means that while you do have a warranty you will have to ship the item back to the US in order to exercise it. If you need a repair you can send it to Nikon in the UK but if they repair it then they will charge you for the work, the warranty is via the US not the UK so they won't honour it.
#3. "RE: USA SB800 / UK D200 compatibility" In response to Reply # 2
Thanks for your detailed input.
The power socket should not be a problem because I am planning on using batteries, but it's good to know the difference exists for future reference.
Re VAT and duties, the process seems to work very much as you described. FWIW, UPS charge GBP11 handling fee.
Re Duty costs, thanks for the HMCE link. I called the Tariff Classification Service Enquiry Line (01702 366077) and got an indicative import tariff 'code' for each item of my shipment. The SB800's code is (probably) 9006610000, which attracts import duty at 3.2%. Other items attracted duty at between 2.7% and 6.7%.
On which basis, I have taken the plunge and should end up, after shipping, VAT, import duty, handling charges, and the bank's cut on the exchange rate, with a net saving of around 25%. Worth the effort.
Let's hope it all goes smoothly, and that I don't have to claim on the warranty
#4. "RE: USA SB800 / UK D200 compatibility" In response to Reply # 0
I can't answer your exact question, but I can tell you that my US SB-600, Dutch D80, French Coolpix 5700, and English SB-22s have had no interoperability problems. So the chances are good that you won't have any major issues.
#5. "RE: USA SB800 / UK D200 compatibility" In response to Reply # 4
I received the goods on Friday via a supremely efficient B&H and UPS. I've had limited time to check things out, but the good (and, it would seem, expected) news is that everything seems to be working a treat.