I'm a US citizen living in London. I've bought all my gear through legit retailers, most in the UK from Nikon 'approved' retailers. I bought one lens in Holland when I went on a trip from a real retailer as well. My question is this - are these considered 'grey market' when I go the US? I may do an extended trip and will take all my gear but am concerned about repairs not being warranted if they are 'not bought in the US from US import authorised distributors' etc. I guess I'm also irritated at the prospect
If lenses are bought internationally in a totally legitimate way, will Nikon service them? Or would I have to send them home to the UK?
Your UK lenses come with a Nikon Japan warranty - saying Nikon USA will carry out warranty work - though the UK warranty is only for 1 year. If you got a further 1 or 2 year warranty from Grays of Westminster this has nothing to do with Nikon so any warranty work during the extended period would have to come back to Grays.
Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.
Makes it kind of difficult for me to ever repatriate and get service, unless I choose to replace all of my equipment. I don't quite understand why they won't carry out work if you can prove you bought them totally legitimately. Is there no effort toward 'understandings' and relationships with the UK/EU Nikon folks?
You're in luck, there is a very clear answer: If you personally purchased a Nikon product from an authorized dealer anywhere in the world, then Nikon will also service the product, wherever you may be in the world. You will need to show the original receipts to prove that you bought the item abroad yourself.
So the lenses you have will not be considered gray market when you bring them to the US. As the previous poster has indicated, you may not get free service under warranty. In your case, the warranty conditions of the original purchase apply, not the U.S. warranty. But even after the warranty is up, Nikon USA will happily service your lenses for a charge.
Gray market is a different situation. It means that not the individual owner has imported the lens, but a dealer who buys lenses in one country and sells them in a different country.
I checked into this very carefully a couple of years ago as it appeared that I might be relocating from the US to Europe (and subsequently back, a couple of years later). As long as you can prove to Nikon's satisfaction that you were the original purchaser and that the products were purchased through official Nikon authorized resellers, there's no problem. If you lose that receipt though, you're stuck, because fast talking generally does not get accepted by Nikon USA. Yes, that means that Nikon assumes you're guilty until proven innocent. Don't shoot the messenger, I don't approve of the policy, I'm just reporting it.
In my case I scan the receipts and archive them with the images themselves.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!