The Labor Government will abolish nearly 500 tariffs starting 1 July 2024, marking the largest unilateral tariff reform in at least two decades. The reforms will eliminate import tariffs on a range of goods including appliances such as dishwashers and fridges.

The aim is to cut compliance costs, reduce red tape, facilitate business operations and enhance productivity.

Following successive trade agreements, most goods are already imported duty-free but businesses still spend resources proving eligibility for tariff preferences, costs often passed onto consumers. The removal of nearly 500 tariffs will streamline approximately $8.5 billion worth of annual trade and save businesses over $30 million in compliance costs annually.

Products subject to the removal of the customs duties include fridge-freezers with annual imports worth over $668 million but raise less than $28,000 in revenue per year and washing machines with annual imports worth over $490 million but raise less than $140,000 in revenue per year.

Consultation on the proposal initial reforms is underway with submissions open until 1 April 2024. A full list of tariffs to be abolished will be finalised and provided in the Budget.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said abolishing hundreds of import tariffs will reduce red tape, boost productivity, ease the burden on small businesses and help cut the cost of doing business.

“This is meaningful economic reform that will deliver meaningful benefits to businesses of all sizes around Australia,” he said.

“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.

“Tariff reform will also provide a small amount of extra help with the cost of living challenge by making everyday items just a little bit cheaper. These tariff reforms will be better for businesses, better for consumers and better for the economy.”