Why not buying Naim Audio in England

Hello, I’m from Germany and wanted to buy a Naim audio combination Ex-demo from an English dealer. Such things are not offered that often in Germany and so I thought why not buy them in good old England. After all, that’s where the beautiful things come from. I was informed twice that Naim Audio would not allow the english dealers to sell these things to Germany. As far as I know, Naim Audio now sells itself in Germany. The former distribution musicline was simply taken over.
Until now I always thought that Naim Audio was a company that deals fairly with its customers and then something like that. In 2021 I am not allowed to order products in England.
I don’t think it has anything to do with the Brexit. Maybe it comes from the German dealers, I don’t know. Who can say something about it?

That sounds rather strange but is possible that there’s some logical rationale.

Do you have any friends in the UK that could purchase and ship over to you?

Hopefully, things will calm down this year (re covid) and perhaps you could trip over here and purchase directly in person. I can’t imagine there’s a rule against selling to a physical customer entering a shop.

Regarding the B word I’m currently having trouble with work suppliers as they’re refusing to deal with the UK. I very much doubt your experience is related but there’s some funny things going on at the moment.

Best of luck with your purchase.

Since when?

A while now. Focal/Naim bought Musicline a few years back.

I see. But it’s still called MusicLine, produces PowerIgels, etc. And when I send stuff to service, my dealer refers to them as “the German Naim distributor” not as “Naim” (as in, “recapping would be done by ML, is that ok or is there a reason to send it to Naim”).

Edit: Now that you mention it I realize that the ML website has said “Focal Naim Germany” in the banner for ages

RO, I’m sure you may find some UK dealers who would be happy to sell to you, however, a few things you need to bear in mind before you take this route;

Any kit you buy in the UK will be subject to local imports charges, such as sales taxes when you import it to Germany. Check with your local government guidance on imports for more info here.

A UK dealer may not be willing or able to install or effectively support the kit if it’s located in a different country. Do not expect this service from a local dealer on kit purchased from abroad, without paying them extra for the service.

Your warranty contract is between you and the dealer, which is then underwritten by Naim. If you have any issues then you will be dealing between the UK and Germany, which in some circumstances may not be so easy. Also, any UK extended warranty offered by Naim is UK only.

Further to the above, do not be surprised if local dealers or the local distributor are not very keen to offer any help or assistance to you with your grey import. They’re run as independent businesses from Naim and not under any compulsion to offer support to goods brought in through the “back door”; these grey goods are effectively undermining their business. You might of course find that they extend you some goodwill, but if it were me, I’d probably not want to test that.

With all that in mind, you can better make the right decision. Good luck.


AFAIK, they’re run independently to Naim and Focal but within the same Vervent Audio group.

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Thanks for the info, I never realized. Preferring to be closer to the mothership anyway.
Is it true what the OP was told? I did occasionally consider buying something from a UK dealer, too. It never panned out, so I never was in the position to try. Would be nice to know to save everyone the time when the 552 starts itching. Edit: I see you already explained while I was not looking

See my post above re. the pitfalls and caveats of purchasing kit from another country. I would imagine most of these points would apply to most brands, not just Naim

Prior to Brexit, my local dealer used to sell quite a bit to “day trippers” from Calais.
I expect trade is down due to covid. But who knows once the world returns to normal?

Yes, thx, I saw and already edited my post

The UK dealers i’ve communicated with in the past all refused to ship to mainland Europe, they told me they were forbidden by Naim to sell to areas that were covered by local distributors.

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Shipping to Europe may be a bit different. I’d imagine Naim wouldn’t be very keen on it, either way, purely because, how would the dealer install or support the kit once it’s in another country. And yes, I would imagine they wouldn’t be too keen to be undermining a distributors business.

They were happy to sell me second hand stuff.

I got a nac72/nap140/hicap from dealers and my Ovators from a nice chap in surrey.

Looking backwards, a great experience.

Yes, i understand the rationale behind it.

The price difference between the UK and other areas is a real problem though, in some instances a Naim product can cost up to 20-25% more on the coast of Europe, compared to 50 miles away on the coast of England.

I’m not sure how the pricing will be in the new EU/UK situation, but that used to be the situation in the last few years at least.

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Thank you all. It is probably not as simple as I thought it would be. I’ve been a Naim owner for many years and I would probably get by without a dealer. There is a price difference, but it is not so great that it is really worth it for new goods. I didn’t realize that I might have to pay sales tax backwards. Has anything changed since Brexit? I thought this was avoided by the customs agreement with the European Union. Thanks again to everyone. This is just a great forum.

Since January 1st of this year the UK no longer has a customs union with the EU (not to be confused with Trade & Co-operation agreement l that was agreed between the EU and Uk), so, while duty may be avoided, at least VAT (sales tax) will be due on any imports to the EU from the UK.

That’s probably not really a problem since UK sellers would not apply VAT to international sales. So it would make the product likely cheaper for buyers in for instance Germany (UK 20% VAT versus Germany 19% VAT).


I think what Richard wrote above is mainly the current situation now that Britain is out of the EU. The warranty wouldn’t be an issue as described when sold within the EU, and I imagine that’s backwards compatible. But anything sold now in the UK is of course not bound by EU rules.

FWIW I regularly visit the UK, so just “used” it to negotiate a discount. I.e. I would have been happy to buy in the UK, but wanted to support my local dealer. Just not at any cost. It was still more expensive, but I didn’t mind paying a small premium.

The extra warranty is of course different. Which reminds me, as Claire hasn’t gotten back regarding the confirmation I need to chase Naim as to whether I have indeed got it.

Apart from the fact that many of the delivery companies are adding quite hefty fees to cover their cost of collecting tax and customs duty and the associated administration.
This seems to be a new cost.