Amazon blocks Australian shoppers from global sites over tax

Marcus Newton
June 2, 2018

Australian shoppers using Amazon's global site will be unable to place orders, with the retail giant stopping shipping due to new GST rules. The change will be put into effect to charge GST on "low value imported goods" as of July 1st according to the ATO, and it seems Amazon is not keen to fall afoul of the Australian government.

eBay also stated its case against the Bill which applied GST to overseas sales.

In a statement issued to the Good e-Reader, Amazon said it regretted the move and the inconvenience to customers accustomed to visiting Amazon's global online stores.

US internet giant Amazon will block Australian shoppers from its worldwide websites to counter new tax laws on online purchases, it announced Thursday.

The ABC says GST collection requirements for online shopping sites come after years of intense lobbying from local retailers in Australia such as Harvey Norman, Myer, JB Hi-Fi and David Jones, "who have seen their traditional bricks and mortar sales suffer from online competitors".

New rules require internet retailers like the American behemoth to collect a 10 percent goods and services tax on everything bought from overseas sites from July 1, including under the current tax-free threshold of Aus$1,000 (U.S.$760).

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Amazon's primary site, Amazon.com, will be inaccessible in Australia, with buyers diverted to the local store, which has been heavily criticised for its higher prices and lesser variety.

But even with the changes, the number of products available will be a fraction of what's on sale globally.

Amazon announced plans to block Australian users from ordering from its main U.S. store (Amazon.com) and will redirect customers to its local Australian site (Amazon.com.au) instead.

For now, the GST change looks like a win for local businesses, which will have an easier time retaining shoppers while Amazon builds out its Australian inventory.

Amazon has also announced a new "global store" section of its site, which is said to give Australian customers access to 4 million additional products that were previously only available in the US.

"This isn't an anti-trade move by the Australian government", he said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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