Amazon just blocked Australians from shopping on most of Amazon

by Ben Pena June 2, 2018, 10:46
Amazon just blocked Australians from shopping on most of Amazon

Under the new GST collection laws, online retailers like Amazon will be forced to apply the 10 percent GST to goods purchased on worldwide sites and shipped to Australia.

"As a result of changes to Australian GST law on 1 July, worldwide shopping options for Australian customers will change", a spokesperson for the online retail giant said.

Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday it will force Australians to use its Australian website instead of its much larger USA site to avoid a new sales tax, setting the stage for a showdown with rival eBay Inc in the No. 12 economy.

The GST is set to come into effect on July 1, this year, when Amazon also plans to enforce the geo-fencing of Australian users to their local store.

Media reports said the other major online retailer, eBay, would not follow Amazon and apply the new tax in the interests of consumers purchasing goods from its website.

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.

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

"Amazon's huge scale leaves them in a far better position" than other overseas-based retailers, he said.

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Amazon no longer allowing Australian shoppers to buy digital content through its main Amazon.com website will be a serious blow to people who purchased ebooks legitimately.

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

Amazon is launching a global store accessible to Australian customers, where products from its retail site will be available. In addition to allowing Amazon's USA arm to bypass complicated GST obligations, it also forces more customers to use the Australian service, therefore boosting its sales performance.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said the new laws "level the playing field for Australian businesses".

"The government doesn't apologise for ensuring multinationals pay a fair amount of tax here in Australia".

The move comes after the Australian government has expanded a local tax named the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to online goods shipped into the country.

A Productivity Commission inquiry concluded that given the decision to collect GST on low value imported goods, "the legislated model is the most feasible among the imperfect alternatives at this time".

The "Global Store" will offer some 4 million items, in addition to the 60 million products previously offered at Amazon.com.au, the spokesperson said.

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