Icom in the USA
its all down to type approval and CE marking on those products.
The programming of the units is different to.
They use some channels in a strange way comared to the rest of us.
The US product is not CE marked.
It is not approved for Europe under R&TTE.
In the UK if you vessel is inspected by OFCOM (was Radio Agency)
And you have a US set fitted, you are liable for a fine of £5000, confiscation of the radio and its power supply (thats is the whole boat!)
It is classed as a "absolute offence) that means you only have to be in possesion of the kit not actually using it.
I know some will say this in scare mongering but these are the facts from OFCOM, not me making it up.
The big diff in ther UK market is warranty, we do not cover any US set under warranty, they will give you about 3 months warranty Icom UK will give you 3 years.
Out of interested what is the latest price you have seen in the US?