Photo companies respond to Ukraine conflict – UPDATE
March 15, 2022
Most of the major photography equipment companies are continuing to respond to the conflict in Ukraine with a series of measures, including ceasing sales of their products in Russia and donating money to support humanitarian aid efforts.
Among the first to do so were US accessories company Peak Design, who revealed it had ceased gear sales to Russia, and Canon, who suspended all product deliveries into Russia.
Amateur Photographer has reached out to all of the major photographic equipment companies to ask if they have halted sales or stopped their equipment distribution operations in Russia.
We have also asked for the corporate stance of each company and how the conflict in Ukraine may have impacted their colleagues.
Since our initial online story on 7 March 2022, here are the latest updates from Leica, ZEISS, Fujifilm, Sigma, Sony, Panasonic and Nikon…
Leica – UPDATE, 15 March 2022
AP: Has the situation in Ukraine meant Leica has taken any steps with regards to halting sales or equipment distribution operations in Russia?
Leica: ‘We have decided to close our store in Moscow and suspend all business in Russia.’
AP: What, if any, is Leica’s corporate stance on the conflict in Ukraine?
Leica: ‘Leica is very concerned about events in Ukraine and our thoughts are with those who are affected by the fighting.’
AP: How has the situation in Ukraine impacted any Leica colleagues?
Leica: ‘We have Leica employees in Russia and care for their well-being. As a result they will continue to receive their salary despite the suspension of business.’
ZEISS – UPDATE, 11 March 2022
We have received these answers to our questions from ZEISS UK…
AP: Has the situation in Ukraine meant ZEISS has taken any steps with regards to halting sales or equipment distribution operations in Russia?
ZEISS: ‘ZEISS is monitoring the latest developments and current situation in Ukraine and across the region very closely. ZEISS is aware of the international sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus and is therefore constantly assessing potential changes in established business or logistics processes as the situation is evolving. Without saying, we fully comply with all regulatory and legal conditions in all markets we operate in. Therefore, all deliveries to Russia have been stopped, except for medical equipment and products for humanitarian use exempted from sanctions.’
AP: What, if any, is ZEISS’s corporate stance on the conflict in Ukraine?
ZEISS: ‘As an international and multicultural team, we are deeply concerned and saddened by the escalating military aggression against Ukraine. Our thoughts and sympathy are with all the people affected, especially our colleagues, their families and friends whose safety and support are our top priority. Many of our employees have responded personally with a great willingness to help. We stand together as Team ZEISS, our belief in peace and diplomacy unchallenged by the violation of international law and of humanity.’
AP: How has the situation in Ukraine impacted any ZEISS colleagues?
ZEISS: ‘We are trying to remain in contact with the employees as much as possible in order to help them in this unusual situation. Many of our employees have responded personally with a great willingness to help. Our thoughts and sympathy are with all the people affected, especially our colleagues, their families and friends whose safety and support are our top priority.’
Fujifilm – UPDATE
We received these answers to our questions from Fujifilm Europe…
AP: Has the situation in Ukraine meant Fujjfilm has taken any steps with regards to halting sales or equipment distribution operations in Russia?
Fujifilm: ‘We have pressed pause on several of our business dealings in Russia, apart from those that are indispensable to medical care.’
AP: What, if any, is Fujifilm’s corporate stance on the conflict in Ukraine?
Fujifilm: ‘FUJIFILM Holdings and its group companies long for a peaceful world and safe, healthy communities, and stand firmly against the use of military force in resolving conflicts under any circumstances.’
AP: How has the situation in Ukraine impacted on any Fujifilm colleagues?
Fujifilm: ‘Our first priority has been the safety and wellbeing of our Ukrainian members of staff, who operated out of a small subsidiary in Kyiv. Through Fujifilm Poland we are providing constant support to those affected. The sales operation in Ukraine has stopped as a result of the conflict.’
Previously reported: Fujifilm Holdings is donating $2million to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, including £$1 million to support humanitarian efforts and $1million in medical equipment.
Sigma – UPDATE
AP: How has the situation in Ukraine impacted on any Sigma colleagues?
Sigma: ‘There is no SIGMA subsidiary in Ukraine, but there is a distributor there that is responsible for sales and customer service. Mainly due to the impact of COVID-19 over the past couple of years there have been no recent shipments of SIGMA products to our distributor in Ukraine, but customer service and other services are being provided locally. Despite our efforts to contact our partners in Ukraine we are yet to receive any reply. We are very concerned for their safety and our thoughts are with them at this time.’
On 7 March, Sigma Japan told AP, ‘We have stopped all shipments of Sigma products to Russia. We are deeply saddened by the current situation in Ukraine and hope that a ceasefire will be reached soon so that all can live safely and peacefully.’
Sony – UPDATE
Sony told us, ‘Sony is committed to supporting local humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. Sony sincerely hopes that this situation will be resolved quickly, and that peace will be restored in Ukraine and around the world.’
On 2 March 2022, Sony Group Corporation announced that it is donating $2million US to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the international NGO, Save the Children, ‘to provide humanitarian aid in Ukraine and countries in the region.’
In addition, Sony announced, ‘Sony Group companies around the world will collect donations from employees and match the amounts raised to support humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.’
Panasonic – UPDATE
Panasonic told us, ‘At Panasonic Group, we have been very concerned about the current situation in Ukraine and would like to express our deep condolences to all the victims. We hope that the world will return to peace and security as soon as possible.
The Group will keep monitoring developments and provide humanitarian assistance where necessary. As a first step, we have decided to donate approximately 20 million yen to the Polish Red Cross, which is supporting those who have evacuated to neighbouring Poland from Ukraine and to Peace Winds Japan, an NGO providing assistance to Ukraine.
Due to the economic, logistical and other practical challenges, we have in principle decided to suspend transactions with Russia.’
Nikon – UPDATE
Nikon pointed us towards the official statement it issued on 8 March 2022:
‘We are saddened by the tragic events in Ukraine. Our thoughts very much remain with all those affected and we are hoping for a peaceful resolution.
As an immediate emergency measure, Nikon Group has made a donation to the UNHCR for its support in this crisis. Nikon Europe will also continue donating to humanitarian organisations and supporting colleagues and initiatives across the region.
Nikon Europe has currently suspended product shipments to Russia. We are continuously evaluating the changing situation.
We stand together in our desire for peace in the region.’
On 4 March 2022 Canon EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) issued an official statement that said the following:
‘The violence and destruction being caused by the military attacks on Ukraine is shocking to all of us. We share our heartfelt concerns for our colleagues and the Ukrainian people whose lives have been deeply affected.
As part of the world-wide relief efforts supporting Ukraine, we are donating to international aid and humanitarian organisations in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.
As of earlier this week, Canon EMEA suspended all product deliveries into Russia. We continue monitoring the fast-evolving situation and developments.
We stand united in desire for peace.’
On 4 March 2022 the CEO of imaging accessory company Peak Design, Peter Dering, revealed the company had halted sales of its products to Russia in response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Peak Design also pledged to send any Peak Design bags that have been returned in the EU to refugees in Poland.
The company has also promised free access to Peak Design gear for any photojournalists on the ground who could use the equipment to help them to share ‘critical information’ about the war in Ukraine.
What does ceasing sales, shipments and deliveries mean?
With the likes of Canon, Sigma and Peak Design ceasing deliveries, shipments and sales to Russia respectively, what does this mean?
The major delivery companies FedEx, DHL and UPS stopped delivering into Russia some few days ago. Major airline companies have also halted their operations in Russia.
However, products can potentially be delivered by land, through Europe and the east. It’s also unclear if online equipment orders can be flown to Europe and then delivered into Russia.
Either way, more imaging companies are making a clear stance in the wake of the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and we will bring any significant updates on this as and when they happen.