Ebike tariff
New tariff move stalled

A secret move to slap a tariff on all bikes imported to Australia has been scared off in the wake of the outcry over a similar tariff imposed on e-bikes.

In a sneaky move, an anonymous application had been made to the Federal Government to impose tariffs on a wide range of bikes and bike components.

The tariff would have raised the price of many bikes sold in Australia.

The application was made earlier this year, but last week, before it was gazetted and made law, it was suddenly withdrawn after Bicycle Network exposed to its large membership the earlier move on e-bikes.

There would have been massive outrage in the Australian bike riding community had this tariff been imposed.

Such tariffs are usually applied in order to protect local industries. But other than some high quality custom manufacturers, Australia does not currently have a bicycle manufacturing industry to protect.

So why was the application made, and by whom?

As the applicant took deliberate steps to keep their identity secret, speculation is sure to spread.

Observers are watching with interest to see if any new bike manufacturing entities emerge in the coming months.

Meanwhile, the Melbourne company behind the e-bike tariff, Stealth, is sticking to its guns.

Stealth makes high powered e-bikes with motors capable of producing from 750 watts to 5.2 kilowatts, far in excess of the Australian and international pedelec standards.

Essentially they are electric trail bikes with pedals, and the law requires such powerful bikes to be registered as motorcycles and for the rider to have a licence.

Yet the company is forcing Australian e-bike customers to pay extra for their imported, and legal, machines.