Repair website iFixit has confirmed Nikon will be ending its authorized repair program in the United States in March 2020, effectively de-authorizing more than a dozen independent shops across the U.S.

The news first came from a letter obtained by iFixit that Nikon USA sent out to its roughly 15 remaining Authorized Repair Stations in early November. The letter notes that Nikon will not be renewing its agreements with the shops after March 31, 2020, meaning these stores will unlikely be able to obtain genuine Nikon parts, as Nikon stopped selling genuine parts to non-authorized shops back in 2012. This will leave just two facilities on opposite sides of the U.S. — in Melville, New York and Los Angeles, California — compared to the roughly 15 shops currently in operation.

An illustration showing the weather-sealing around the perimeter of the Nikon D700 frame.

According to iFixit, the letter notes ‘The climate in which we do business has evolved, and Nikon Inc. must do the same.’ As a result, Nikon needs to ‘change the manner in which we make product service available to our end-user customers.’

Nikon confirmed the news in a statement to iFixit, saying ‘We remain committed to providing the best product support and repair services to our customers.’ However, Nikon didn’t respond to iFixit’s question regarding whether or not former authorized shops will still have ‘access to parts or other official services.’

In its coverage, iFixit spoke with half-a-dozen of the authorized repair shops — most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity —that received the letter and shared statements and thoughts from managers and owners. As you can expect, it doesn’t look good for the independent shops (or photographers who don’t want to ship their gear halfway across the country for a repair); repairing Nikon camera gear is about to get much more difficult after March 31, 2020.

We have contacted NIkon for a comment of our own and will update the article accordingly if we receive a response. In the meantime, head on over to iFixit to read the full report.