Nuisance Tariffs

13th March 2024

Federal Treasurer has announced the elimination of almost 500 ‘nuisance tariffs’, typically those that are lingering in the system from when tariffs were more typical on particular products but are no longer useful and generate little to no revenue.

This is the biggest unilateral tariff reform in at least two decades. It will cut compliance costs, reduce red tape, make it easier to do business, and boost productivity. Australian workers and businesses are not protected by these tariffs, but they still have to navigate the red tape involved and bear the costs of complying with the tariff regime.

“This is meaningful economic reform that will deliver meaningful benefits to businesses of all sizes around Australia,” said Treasurer Jim Chalmers. “These tariffs impose a regulatory burden on Australian businesses and raise the costs of imported goods but they do little to protect our workers and businesses because they apply to goods that are mostly already eligible for duty‑free importation.”

Consultation on the proposed initial reforms is underway, with submissions open on the Treasury website and closing 1 April 2024. A full list of tariffs to be abolished will be finalised and provided in the May Budget.

The proposed list of tariffs to be removed includes only one music product code, covering all acoustic percussion instruments. This includes Drum Sets (9206000042), Individual Drums (9206000043), Cymbals (9206000044) and ‘Educational & Other Percussion’ (9206000045), with $27637 (duty) collected in the past 6 months across these codes.

In 2023, $976,000 in revenue was raised from tariffs on music products. The largest category by revenue collected was Electric Guitars, followed by Acoustic Guitars.

In total, 10 of the HS codes monitored by the AMA for its Market Report had duty collected in the financial year to date, those mentioned above (percussion, electric and acoustic guitars) as well as electric bass guitars, other electronic instruments, stringed instrument parts & accessories, and other acoustic stringed instruments (ukuleles etc).

Members Only: Read more analysis and data, including duty collected and exports.

Category names such as ‘Individual Drums’ here are those used in the AMA Market Report, the plain English description of each code, which is sometimes different to the definition used for the Harmonised System code.