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Information regarding parallel imports (so-called “gray imports”)

What is a parallel import?

A parallel import is generally defined as the commercial import of goods via a distribution channel which has not been authorized by the manufacturer. The manufacturer’s distribution network is deliberately avoided. Parallel imports – also known as “gray imports” – take place without the consent of Olympus and are not intended for sale in Europe.

Olympus works exclusively with authorized dealers and distributors who sell the goods on behalf of Olympus. A list of authorized dealers is available on our “Dealer locator” website.

What are the benefits of products intended for the European market?

Products intended for sale in Europe comply with European consumer protection requirements. The operating instructions are safety information written in your own language so that you can understand them. You are also able to have your Olympus product repaired in qualified workshops under the warranty. This saves you costs which you would otherwise have to pay for. Products intended for the European market include accessory products which are suitable for Europe. It is not necessary to buy expensive additional equipment for setting up and using the product for the first time.

How do I recognize a parallel import?

The first sign of a parallel import is the sales price. The sales price of a parallel import is often much lower than the manufacturer’s recommended retail price. In some cases, the product is not delivered in the original packaging either.

Take great care in particular when buying online. Olympus always dispatches its products from the so-called European Economic Area (EEA). The European Economic Area includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. If an Olympus product is dispatched, for example, from Asia, then it is definitely a parallel import.

In some cases, the seller does not clear the parallel import through customs correctly and tax is not paid by the seller in accordance with the regulations. The import duties or customer duties due must then be paid by you.

The scope of delivery may also be suspicious. The scope of delivery of an Olympus product always has the same elements in the EEA. If it is a parallel import, then the accessories supplied may differ in nature and scope from those in the official Olympus shop and be unsuitable for the European market.

In addition, the warranty card for each product should be examined carefully. If it is immediately apparent that the warranty card has not been issued by Olympus or even that it is missing, then the product purchased is a parallel import. Here is an example of our warranty card.

What are the consequences for me of buying a parallel import?

1. No claims can be made under warranty.
2. The product cannot be registered for additional service benefits or similar.
3. Participation in European promotions is excluded.
4. You may have difficulties enforcing claims for a refund against the seller if the seller's company headquarters is located outside the EEA.