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Australia scraps 'nuisance' tariffs to remove red tape, lower living costs

SYDNEY, March 11 ------ Australia said on Monday it would remove import tariffs on a wide range of goods including toothbrushes, toasters, hand tools and clothing in a bid to eliminate red tape for businesses and bring relief to families battling higher living costs.  


Removing the tariffs will streamline about A$8.5 billion ($5.62 billion) worth of annual trade and save businesses over A$30 million in compliance costs each year, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said in a statement. "(The government) will abolish almost 500 nuisance tariffs from 1 July this year ... these reforms are an important step towards simplifying Australia's trading system," Chalmers said. 


Most goods are now imported duty-free after successive trade agreements but businesses spend time and money proving their imports are eligible for tariff concessions, a compliance cost they often pass on to consumers. The move, which Chalmers said was the biggest unilateral tariff reform in two decades, will abolish 14% of Australia's total tariffs. The full list of tariffs to be axed will be finalized in the May federal budget, he said.   




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