Amazon to stop Aussies shopping from its global websites

This coincides with changes to the Online Goods Tax that require online retailers to apply the 10 per cent GST to all online purchases shipped to Australia from overseas.

Online retail giant Amazon will block Australian consumers from its global sites to counter new laws forcing it to collect GST on transactions.

The ABC reports that, in an email to customers today, Amazon said from 1 July it would redirect Australian shoppers from its worldwide sites to amazon.com.au where products sold by Amazon US would be available on the new global store.

From 1 July Amazon will redirect Australian browsers away from its amazon.com site in response to GST changes introduced by the government. While Amazon did not specifically mention this, the ban will most likely apply to other Amazon online stores (such as those for Germany, UK, Japan, etc.), as goods bought from those stores are also susceptible to the same tax.

Both eBay and Amazon previously indicated that they may have to block Australian buyers due to the changes - and Amazon today confirmed that it would redirect Australian customers from its worldwide sites to Amazon.com.au.

New Zealand had also already applied GST to digital services from offshore, such as Netflix in 2016.

National Retail Association CEO Dominique Lamb said Amazon's move was a surprise.

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Australian users weren't happy with their government's decision, and are calling the GST as the "Amazon tax".

He said the company 'had to assess the workability of the legislation as a global business with multiple worldwide sites'.

Amazon closing its worldwide stores to Australians to avoid paying GST is disappointing but Treasurer Scott Morrison is promising there will be no exemptions.

"If multinationals aren't forced to pay their fair share of tax, they will have a competitive advantage over retailers here in Australia, on our own main streets and in our shopping centers". "That tax revenue is used to fund essential services", the spokesperson said.

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 US site - and uncompetitive prices since it began taking orders in December.

"A number of other countries are taking a similar approach and adopting a vendor collection model to collect GST from low-value imported goods".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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