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Lower input costs for local IT industry.

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The Hon. John Moore, MP

Minister for Industry, Science & Tourism


Tuesday 12 May 1998



Lower Input Costs for Local IT Industry


Australian information technology manufacturers will reap the benefits from lower input costs as a resu lt of the Government’s decision to bring forward the removal of tariffs on certain inputs to 1 July 1998, the Minister for Industry, Science & Tourism, John Moore said today.


This announcement honours the Government’s commitment made in the Investing for Growth Industry Statement to remove tariffs on information technology inputs to reduce overall costs.


Mr Moore said this will correct an anomaly whereby frilly assembled information technology equipment can be imported duty free, but inputs to manufacture those same goods in Australia attract a duty.


“I believe this sort of reform is an essential priority for our industry policy if we are to lower the cost of manufacturing in Australia and improve the international competitiveness of Australian industry,” said Mr Moore.


“The changes announced today will save Australian industry $80 million in the next 18 months. We have brought forward the removal of tariffs, previously scheduled for 1 January, 2000, on the majority of items covered under the Information Technology Agreement (ITA).”


Australia, along with 42 other countries, is a signatory to the ITA, which covers 93 per cent of world trade in information technology products. This agreement produced a list of goods in the information industries on which tariffs were being phased to zero by 1 January 2000.


In addition, the Government will establish a new Schedule 4 Item in the Customs Tariff to cover a range of inputs not included in the ITA. This will allow duty free entry for inputs currently subject to a Tariff Concession Order (TCO). Coverage for the new Schedule will be expanded as new TCO’s are established for inputs to the manufacture of information technology equipment.


“As a result of these measures, industry will receive duty free access to key inputs, strengthening the competitive base of Australia’s information technology industry.”



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