UPDATE: We reached out to Nikon UK, which made the following statement regarding the situation:
"Nikon have commenced shipments to our trade/retail partners, with a regular shipment schedule in place. Naturally, we may incur potential delays at the border as the new process takes force, however we remain committed to minimizing delays within our own processes.
"Please note that, as we navigate the changes brought on by Brexit, we have temporarily suspended orders on our own Nikon Store, however we expect this to reopen shortly. Customers who have already placed an order with Nikon via the Nikon Store should rest assured that their order will still be processed and should expect their order to arrive as soon as possible."
ORIGINAL STORY: The Brexit chaos currently embroiling the United Kingdom has struck the camera industry, as Nikon has paused shipping to the UK and is not currently accepting any new orders from the nation.
"UK SHIPPING – DUE TO BREXIT CHANGES WE ARE TEMPORARILY PAUSING SHIPPING TO THE UK" reads an all caps statement atop the Nikon UK website, causing problems for customers keen to purchase the newly released Nikon Z7 II (opens in new tab).
And it appears that it's not just new orders that are affected by the trade disruption; outstanding orders still awaiting delivery seem, understandably, to be caught up in the red tape between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
"Please note that, as we navigate the changes brought on by Brexit, we will temporarily not be taking any new orders," reads a note on the front page of the main Nikon UK site (opens in new tab) as well as the online Nikon store (opens in new tab).(opens in new tab)
"If you have already placed an order with us, we are working hard to ensure your order arrives as soon as possible. Thank you for bearing with us during this time."
Visiting the online store from the UK lists all products as "coming soon" with a "notify me when available" button in place of the usual ability to add an item to the shopping cart, to prevent customers placing orders that cannot currently be fulfilled.
So, what exactly is the Brexit disruption and why does affect Nikon specifically? Well, to answer the first question, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union – the world's largest trading bloc – in 2016. The divorce was finalized and the UK officially left the EU on 31 December 2020.
Due to the acrimonious dissolution of the UK's membership to the European single market, there has been massive turmoil with regard to trade between the United Kingdom and Europe.
Consequently there are now enormous shipping tariffs being imposed on the United Kingdom, as well as physical queues of vehicles into and out of the nation, resulting in huge delays to order fulfillment – or even non-delivery altogether (resulting in stores, including supermarkets, running out of products in some areas).
As to why this affects Nikon specifically? It doesn't. Nikon has made the decision to pause shipping and orders until some clarity on trade is reached (or, at least, the backlog of orders can be dealt with). However, any other camera manufacturer – or, indeed, any retailer period – could make the same decision.
Currently other brands are continuing to ship to the UK. However, such is the scale of the issue with EU shipping that the entire UK fishing industry is facing potential collapse, so this disruption could well spread.