The products for sale in the Americas do not have CE marks and therefore might be technically illegal to be sold in Europe or other places where a product like a recreational marine electronic device may be required to be certified with the CE mark.
Distinguishing which Lowrance product you have is apparently best accomplished by a close inspection of the original packaging. The box should show a notation of "This product for use in North or South America only" (or something similar).
On units intended for sale and use only in the Americas, some restrictions have been put into the software on the device. If the device determines (from its deduced position from its GPS receiver, I assume) that it is outside of the intended region, it goes into a limited function mode. The boundaries are the meridian at 30-degrees-West longitude and the International Date Line. The limited functionality consists of locking the units into the English units, that is, distance in feet or miles, not in Metric units, and a flashing of an on-screen reminder that the device is being operated outside of its intended region. For more details see Lowrance's document on Restricted Use of Americas Region Units Outside of the The Americas
The onset of these geographic restrictions apparently began around software version 3.0. Downgrading units to earlier versions of the software can apparently remove the geographic restrictions, but, of course, comes with a loss of features and upgrades.
Lowrance also apparently has a policy of providing a software unlock which will remove the geographic restrictions. It sells the unlock in four tiers, depending on what unit is to be modified. The prices are believed to be
HDS-5 = €250
HDS-7 = €550
HDS-8 = €650
HDS-10 = €750
It has been speculated that this "geo-fencing" was undertaken to reduce the gray market export to overseas markets of devices produced and distributed for sale in the USA. There is often a substantial price difference between the cost of an HDS unit in the USA and the same unit in a foreign country.
Distribution for: Simrad, Lowrance, B&G
LOWRANCE For nearly 50 years, Lowrance has been a world leading brand in marine electronics.
SIMRAD One of the oldest names in marine electronics, Simrad started out over 60 years ago.
B&G The world's best sailors prefer B&G, and not without good reason.
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Saša Albert, Meridianprojekt d.o.o.