The Photo Marketing Association (PMA) is set to take over the running of the Photo Imaging Council (PIC) in a cost-saving move expected to give UK manufacturers and retailers ?one voice?.

Amateur Photographer understands that PIC’s base in Croydon, Surrey will close by 1 September, the date the new alliance is due to be completed.

?PMA will take over the administration of PIC with the exception of the statistics and statistics bulletin,? said the organisations in a joint statement.

They say benefits of the deal will include being able to deal with the Government through one organisation, on issues that affect an industry worth £4 billion to the UK economy.

They cite VAT payable on goods via the internet as one such issue. Last year PIC and PMA warned that failure to collect VAT and Customs Duty due on cameras imported into the UK, through non-EU based websites, may drive up high street prices.

?The alliance reflects the changes in the imaging sector over the past few years, the overlap in membership of PIC and PMA and the requirement to offer value for money services,? added the joint statement.

PMA’s UK representative Nigel McNaught hopes the move will allow retailers and manufacturers to better co-ordinate consumer promotions for example, to market photography through newspapers and magazines.

Though people are taking more pictures than ever before, McNaught explained that consumers are no longer ordering prints, meaning UK retailers are having to look at other ways of making a profit, by selling photo books, for example.

PMA will also use the new alliance to lobby the Government over the printing of passport photos, a valuable source of revenue for UK retailers. McNaught said it is not clear whether the Government intends for high-street shops to be in line for the printing of future passport photos.

PIC, the roots of which can be traced back to 1918, will continue as a company limited by guarantee.

PMA’s UK office is located in Welwyn, Hertfordshire.