25% Pinball Tariff On All USA Imports To EU

The EU have slapped tariffs on imports from the USA to the tune of “£3BN” in retaliation to the tariff escalations. From reports in circulation, it seems that the USA introduced tariffs after Airbus, manufactured in France, Germany and Spain was found to have received anti competitive protectionist subsidies. After further investigations, it turns out that the USA were also guilty of providing US manufactured Boeing (California and Washington State) the same. The EU’s response is an escalation in tariffs, with a 25% tariff being placed upon a whole host of US manufactured items, from Rum to Pinball Machines. The full list can be found in EU resolution 2020/1646.

The tariff applies to all machines, spare parts, mods and consumables.

25% EU Pinball Tax

What does the EU “Pinball Tax” mean for UK Pinball?

Let’s work through what this means for a new in box pinball machine. Let’s take Guns N’ Roses by Jersey Jack – currently listed on Pinball Heaven for £6,995. Assuming the tariff is applied to the machine prior to VAT, the game would now cost the end user £8,743.50. An increase of £1,748.50, or 24.996%. At current exchange rates, that makes a JJP GNR $11492.32 in USD. Pretty much, the consumer has to take the entire hit.

But isn’t the UK leaving the EU, won’t that mean the EU “Pinball Tax” doesn’t apply?

This is correct, as of January 1st 2021, the UK will move the UK Global Tariff – which has the relevant catagories for machines, spares, mods and consumables listed at the previous 0% tariff. Returning the pricing to the previous normal. Of course, with ongoing Brexit negotiations, this could change. UPDATE OF 1ST JANUARY 2021 – As of January 1st January 2021 the UK Tariff is 0% as per below.

UK 0% Tariff as of January 2021

What about the rest of the EU?

Currently, there seems like there is no backing down from the Trump administration on tariffs placed on the EU. Whilst the EU have said that de-escalation of EU tariffs would resolve the issue, this seems unlikely. As recently as October, Trump commented on the use of Tariffs. “If they strike back, then we’ll strike much harder,” Trump told reporters Thursday. “They don’t want to do anything, I can tell you that.”

Whilst an incoming Biden administration seems likely to the outside world (after recent electoral security services reject Trumps fraud claims), Trump is yet to conceed defeat. Even were he to do so, the changing of control in the US takes time. Whilst removal of tariffs could be seen as a win for Biden. Whether that would be his first priority, or even on the agenda considering they were imposed during a potential change of administration. I am not qualified to speculate on, however given the facts, it creates an interesting debate.

How are UK Pinball Suppliers Handling the EU Pinball Tariff?

As recently reported, I myself have set up the upcoming mods and consumables supply shop – The Pinball Bazaar. Whilst this is a shock. The fact that the UK will be back to a zero tariff situation in January, means from then, its business as usual. We have had to delay some products coming into the country, affecting the potential busy Christmas rush. Customers with pre-orders of products such as Pin Stadium lights have been very understanding of the situation.

Pinball Heaven, New In Box Pinball Machine Supplier Statement

Pinball Heaven, who supply new in box machines and partner The Pinball Bazaar released this statement yesterday to their customers.

Update on EU Imposed Tariffs Relating to Pintables, Parts and Accessories.

As many of you are aware, the recent update to tariffs placed upon pinball machines, their accessories and consumables was swift and lacked meaningful consultation with any US/EU supply chain members.

Without politicising this decision, mainstream media have commented that this is in response to a dispute over alleged subsidies and payments within the US and EU over Boeing (manufactured in Washington and California) and Airbus (manufactured in France and Germany).

Common commentary suggests that these tariffs are in direct retaliation to tariffs implemented on the EU last year.As things currently stand, when the UK moves to the UK Global Tariff on January 1st, 2021, all tariffs on Pinball machines, accessories and consumables will cease. Returning the UK to a 0% tariff situation.Considering this, and not wishing to pass this tariff on to our loyal customers, we have made the decision to hold our shipment of new in box machines to arrive in January 2021.

Where all prices paid will remain the same. We will continue to monitor the situation, and keep our customers updated as things progress. Should you wish to discuss options on bringing your games to the UK prior to the implementation of the UK Global Tariff, we can discuss this, however current estimates are that this will attract a £700 shipping fee, plus a 25% tariff on the cost of the machine.

We understand that this is not a perfect situation and continue to explore the best outcomes for our customers and supporters. We do currently have a stock holding in the UK of new in box machines, which we are able to offer at pre tariff pricing.


Pinball Heaven, November 12th, 2020

Not What The Hobby Needs

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, this is not what this hobby needs. Whilst it seems that the UK has an out from this situation due to Brexit. We do feel for our EU counterparts. I do not know the intricacies of the redistribution of such tariffs. This will affect people’s livelihoods and jobs, as well as stopping the community from owning, enjoying and sharing the latest and greatest pinball has to offer. Even during the strangest of times, the pinball community knows no bounds of geography through forums and social media. With huge launches such as Guns N’ Roses and Avengers Infinity Quest – how many orders will be cancelled, or delayed indefinitely.

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