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Government decision: industries assistance commission report on computer hardware and software; office machines; parts and accessories; recording media



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J f e DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE ■««asK INCLUDING THE AUSTRALIAN CUSTOMS SERVICE

News Release News Release EMBARGO 4PM THURSDAY 5 JULY 1984

GOVERNMENT DECISION : INDUSTRIES ASSISTANCE COMMISSION REPORT ON COMPUTER HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE; OFFICE MACHINES; PARTS AND ACCESSORIES; RECORDING MEDIA ________________________________________ ______

The Government has taken action to reduce the price of computers to

industry and consumers.

A decision, which takes effect tomorrow, also will reduce the cost of

office equipment and.recording media.such as video.and audio cassettes.

At the same time, action has been taken in a way which should lead to an

expansion of the computer hardware and software industries.

The Minister for Industry and Commerce, Senator John Button,detailed

the measures announcing the Government's decision on an Industries

Assistance Commission (IAC) report covering computer hardware and

software; office machines; parts and accessories; recording media. .

He said the decision marked a further important step in the

development of Government policy towards Australian information

industries. .

"This decision, combined with our earlier decisions, means that we are

now moving towards a proper mixture of development measures to meet

specific industry needs and measures which provide a framework for

longer term growth."

Further measures to encourage growth within these industries are

being considered.

The Government's decision means that from tomorrow

. computer hardware, electronic microcircuits, most office equipment,

and parts and accessories for this equipment can be imported

at minimum rates of duty

. . . 1 2

tC'

2.

. computer software imported on media will be free of duty

. duties on recording media will be standardised at 20 per cent

which will involve duties on most recording media being phased

down over two years to this rate

. duties on cathode ray display terminals will be reduced to

minimum rates over 12 months

. to ensure that local producers are not disadvantaged by these

changes manufacturers of computer hardware and assemblies and

electronic microcircuits will be assisted by a bounty of

257o value added. Bounty will be calculated on the basis of the ex-factory cost of equipment less the cost of inputs

. the cost of systems design and systems software will be

eligible for bounty

. bounty will be paid on all production whether for domestic or

export sale

. the two bounties are estimated to cost about $7m next year.

The Minister said that the previous arrangements involving

tariff at various levels on computer hardware, software and components

had led to a number of distortions in consumption and production in

Australia. The new arrangements were designed to overcome these

distortions.

'Industry competitiveness generally should be enhanced through the

availability at world prices of most products covered by the

report," he said.MAt the same time local computer manufacturers

should not be disadvantaged because of duties on many of their

inputs".

.. ./3

BACKGROUND

Senator Button said the Government had already introduced a number of

direct measures to encourage the development of the computer

hardware and software industries.

These included measures designed to stimulate the development of a

venture capital market, modified Government purchasing arrangements,

and modifications to the Australian Industrial Research and Development

Incentives Scheme to specifically include software.

In addition, following changes to the Australian Industries Development

Corporation last year, the Corporation has undertaken a major

investment in these industries with further initiatives being

examined.

"I have now received the Cashman report on the need for establishment

of an advisory service on computer assistance in manufacturing

industry", he said. "In addition, we expect to receive shortly a

report by consultants on opportunities for Australia in information

technology.

"Following consideration of these reports, the Government will be

in a position to decide what further measures need to be

introduced."

He added that decisions on other parts of the IAC' s report covering

robots and metal working machine tools will be taken in the light

of consideration of the report of the expert committee on the

establishment of a manufacturing advisory service on computer

assisted manufacture.

Copies of the IAC1s report are available through the Australian

Government Publishing Service Bookshops.

Details of the Government's decision on the report are

attached.

CANBERRA ACT CONTACT: M. Blake

(W) 72 3202 (H) 54 3200

ATTACHMENT

DUTIES ON COMPUTERS AND RELATED PRODUCTS

Goods ________________ General # __________ Special#

TYPEWRITERS, OTHER THAN 27, DC : FREE

TYPEWRITERS INCORPORATING CALCULATING MECHANISMS;. CHEQUE-WRITING MACHINES (84.51)

CALCULATING MACHINES; 27, DC : FREE

ACCOUNTING MACHINES, CASH REGISTERS, POSTAGE­ FRANKING MACHINES, TICKET-ISSUING MACHINES AND SIMILAR MACHINES,

INCORPORATING A CALCULATING DEVICE (84.52)

AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES AND UNITS THEREOF; MAGNETIC OR OPTICAL READERS, MACHINES FOR TRANSCRIBING DATA ONTO DATA MEDIA IN CODED

FORM AND MACHINES FOR PROCESSING SUCH DATA, NOT FALLING WITHIN ANY OTHER ITEM (84.53)

. In respect of cathode

ray display terminals, whether or not imported separately

To 5 July 1985 157, DC : 57,

From 6 July 1985 27, DC : FREE

In respect of remainder 27, DC :

CANADA : FREE FREE

OTHER OFFICE MACHINES (INCLUDING HECTOGRAPH OR STENCIL-DUPLICATING MACHINES, ADDRESSING MACHINES, COIN-SORTING MACHINES, COIN-COUNTING AND WRAPPING MACHINES,

PENCIL-SHARPENING MACHINES, PERFORATING AND STAPLING MACHINES) (84.54)

Stapling Machines 157, DC : 107,

Goods General# Special#

- Other

. In respect of cathode ray display terminals, whether or not imported separately

To 5 July 1985 157= DC : 57=

From 6 July 1985 27= DC : FREE

In respect of remainder 27= DC :

CANADA : FREE FREE

PARTS AND ACCESSORIES (OTHER THAN COVERS, CARRYING CASES AND THE LIKE) OF A KIND

USED SOLELY OR PRINCIPALLY WITH MACHINES OF A KIND FALLING WITHIN 84.51,

84.52, 84.53 OR 84.54 (84.55)

- Of a kind used solely

or principally with stapling machines 157= DC : : 107=

Other 27= DC : : FREE

THERMIONIC, COLD CATHODE AND PHOTO­ CATHODE VALVES AND TUBES (INCLUDING

VAPOUR OR GAS .FILLED VALVES AND TUBES, CATHODE RAY TUBES, TELEVISION CAMERA TUBES AND MERCURY ARC

RECTIFYING VALVES AND TUBES); PHOTOCELLS; DIODES, TRANSISTORS AND SIMILAR SEMI­

CONDUCTOR DEVICES; LIGHT EMITTING DIODES; ELECTRONIC MICRO­ CIRCUITS; MOUNTED PIEZO­

ELECTRIC CRYSTALS (85.21)

Goods

- G o o d s , as follows: 27, DC : FREE

(a) diodes, transistors and similar semi­ conductor devices;

(b) light emitting diodes;

(c ) electronic microcircuits (ex 85.21.9)

- Other (ex 85.21.9)

General #___________ Special#

To 5 July 1985 357o DC : 357,

From to 5

6 July 1985

July 1986 307, DC : 307,

From to 5

6 July 1986

July 1987 257, D C : 257,

From 6 July 1987 207, DC : 207,

Prepared tapes, w i r e s , strips and like goods of a

kind commonly used for magnetic recording of sound or similar recording,

recorded with computer software; (ex 92.12.1)

. In respect of the 207» FI : FREE

carrying medium, ' DC : l07o

being rigid disc packs or rigid disc cartridges

. In respect of the

carrying medium, not being rigid disc packs or rigid disc cartridges

To 5 July 1985 307, NZ : 57 to

FI

31.12.84 : FREE DC : 207,

From to 5

6 July 1985

July 1986 257, FI : FREE

DC : 157,( Subject to review)

From 6 July 1986 207, FI : FREE

DC : 157,( Subject to review)

. In respect of

remainder FREE DC : FREE

Goods General# Special#

Prepared tapes, wires, strips and like goods of a

kind commonly used for magnetic recording of sound or similar recording, N S A :

— Rigid disc packs or rigid disc cartridges 207= FI : FREE

DC : 107o

— Other

To 5 July 1985 307, NZ : 57= to 31.12.84

FI : FREE DC : 207=

From to 5

6 July 1985 July 1986 257= FI : FREE

DC : 157= (Subject to review)

From 6 July 1986 207= FI : FREE

DC : 107= (Subject to review)

# Unless otherwise indicated:

- General rate applies to all sources except NZ and PNG - PNG.rate is Free - NZ rate is Free - DC rate applies to FI and DPC countries