Aussie Shoppers Blocked From Using Amazon's US Website

Posted June 01, 2018

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).

"This will allow us to provide our customers with continued access to (our) worldwide selection and remain compliant with the law", it said.

The call not to ship overseas to Australia may see the use of geo-blocking software to avoid the ban.

While we regret any inconvenience this may cause, from 1 July we will be redirecting Australian customers from our worldwide Amazon sites to amazon.com.au where you can shop for products sold by Amazon US on the new Amazon Global Store, available today. Amazon has made this move primarily due to new GST rules that will force them to apply a 10% GST to goods purchased on worldwide sites and shipped to Australia.

The move will likely drive traffic to Amazon's Australian website, testing the patience of shoppers who have complained about its thin product range - a tenth the range of its USA site - and uncompetitive prices since it began taking orders in December.

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"While we regret any inconvenience this may cause customers, we have had to assess the workability of the legislation as a global business with multiple worldwide sites", it said in a statement.

Treasurer Scott Morrison ruled out doing any "special deal" for the second biggest company in the world run by the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos. Amazon offers 480 million products in the United States.

"If they want to take the bat and ball and go home then I think Australians will have the same view about that as they do about others who do that sort of thing in our community". Previously, the tax was only applied to purchases over AU$1,000.

Consumer campaigner Christopher Zinn said Australian shoppers will notice a significant reduction in options when browsing the internet for goods.

"eBay's GST solution. allows imports to Australia to continue without any structural barriers, redirects or blocks to the buyer experience", he said.

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