Crucial talks on whether an import duty will be added to digital compact cameras ? potentially raising high street prices – are due to take place within weeks.

As we reported last year, the European Commission (EC) is considering plans to impose an import duty on such products.

There are fears that digital still cameras could soon by classed in the same category as camcorders if they include a facility to record short movie sequences.

?If the EC reclassification proposals are adopted, customs duties of 4.9% will be placed on digital cameras which have an auxilliary function for recording short video sequences,? warns the UK-based Photo Imaging Council (PIC) which is fighting against any such move.

The new rules are due to be considered by the Nomenclature Committee of the European Commission which is expected to meet on 18 and 19 April.

Keep an eye on AP?s news pages for more details.