Issues re importing from Europe?



I've been asking advice about a DVD player on another thread and, after much deliberation, I decided on the Harman Kardon DVD31, which I've now downgraded to the DVD22 as I've decided I can live without DVD-Audio.

So I went looking at prices. All the online retailers in the UK are quoting £300 (bar some piddling number of pennies). But I also found a retailer in Germany quoting (wait for it) 217 Euros. At the current exchange rate, that comes in at £145 - less than half the price!:eek:

But, even though they'll ship to the UK, you end up getting the German version. I imagine that getting an adapter to make this work with the UK main supply will be dead easy, but I was wondering if there would be any other issues. For example, do Germany and the UK use the same flavours of PAL? And am I going to get stung for miscellaneous taxes and duties if I import from another EU country?

If anyone has been down this path, I'd appreciate any advice as to whether the hassles and hidden charges involved make it worthwhile or not.


Standard Member
I was thinking of going down the same route, and would also be interested in other member's experiences of doing this. As you say, the savings are significant - especially on HK kit.

As far as I know, there should be no technical issues - they use the same PAL standard as we do, and the power supplies will be fine. It should only be necessary to swap the plugs or use an adaptor.

As long as the goods are duty paid in the EU (which they will be) there are no further taxes or duties to pay when buying from other EU states.

Out of interest, could you post a link to the site where you saw that price please?


Distinguished Member
The only issue you will have is the warranty will not be valid within the U.K. If anything goes wrong with it you will have to ship it back to Germany and collect it from there.


Staff member
1: The differences in PAL TV standard between the UK and Germany are confined to RF (radio frequency - i.e. via an aerial cable) signals only. Since DVDs typically don't have RF converters inside, this isn't going to be an issue. (It might be e.g. for a VCR if connected to the TV via RF). For absolute clarity - there is no difference at all in a PAL TV signal via Composite, SVideo or Component across Eurpoe.

2: If your product is purchased tax paid in an EEC country - there is no tax due at all on arrival in the UK.

3: You will need to change the mains plug.

4: Warranty claims if required may be logistically more difficult.

That's it. My projector came from Germany (at a saving of about 25%) 4 years ago.


Just looked at this site and under info it states

"We only provide the German versions of all devices. Of course they are originally packed and include all ex works accessories. For example, we obtain your Sony-devices directly from the Sony-branch in Cologne - like any other German dealer. We obtain all devices directly from the German branches; We usually obtain Harman Kardon and Yamaha from free European market and take on the full guarantee equivalent to the manufacturers guarantee - an additional price advantage for our customers."

Essentially i read this as HK and Yamaha being sourced on the grey market with no manufacturers warranty. Interesting this is what our courts have banned (remember the recent cases).
This means that if there are any problems you will need to ship it back to Germany - what would be the cost consequence of a single problem.

Having said that the cost saving on HK AV receivers is amazing.


Thanks to everyone for their feedback. I'm really tempted to go for this!

One other thing I've noticed is that it's configured for region 2 only. All the stuff I've read about other HK models refer to a handset hack to make it multi-region. Does anyone know if the same thing will work for the DVD22?

If I do go ahead with it, I'll post here to let you know how it went with this company.

Thanks once again.



I went ahead and ordered the HK DVD22 from HiFiComponents and can have no complaints about their service. I got confirmation of the order within minutes, and the machine was in the post within a couple of days of my payment being received, and was in the UK in next to no time.

UK cost of the DVD22 : £300 near as dammit, just for the machine

Costs of getting it from Germany :

DVD : 217 Euros
Postage : 30 Euros
Bank charge for electronic payment : 25 quid :)eek: :mad: :censored: )
Cost of converter plug : 2 quid

Total cost : 193 quid

The only hassle I had was getting it delivered at the UK end, but this drama was courtesy of Parcelforce and nothing to do with the Germans. (I'll spare you the details, but t'was indeed a n'orrible tale, involving tracking the parcel's route on German websites, seeing delivery failures being recorded when no-one was actually turning up to deliver, trying to get Parcelforce references from the continental carrier, trying to speak to a real person at Parcelfore instead of the automated voice recognition system that wouldn't recognise my voice and finally having to give explicit directions so that they could find the delivery address. It took longer to get from Southampton to just outside Andover than it did to get to Southampton from Germany!)

Never mind - it's wired up and it works and I've saved over 100 quid, so all's well that ends well.

So, in summary, if anyone else wants to try this company, then I can vouch for the fact that they were totally on the ball when I made my order. If you do encounter any problems, they're more likely to occur on this side of the channel!


Standard Member
Hi There,
I am now waiting delivery of the Yamaha RX-SL100 and the Yamaha DV-SL100, the slimline receiver and DVD player.
I got both for 400.00 pounds inc delivery and 2 years warrenty, (in Germany of course). The bank transfer was 15.00 at HSBC for euro,s. It is now on its way, by the time I receive it, it will have taken about 3 weeks in total. It does seen like 3 months, as it is the first time I have purchased abroad. The best price I could get in the UK was 560.00 pounds.:smashin:

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