Amazon to block Aussie shoppers from USA website

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It may also benefit Amazon's main rivals, from California-headquartered online market eBay to smaller Australian merchants which had campaigned to have the GST apply to all goods shipped from overseas.

Currently GST is applied to items bought overseas for more than $AU1000.

Australian shoppers using Amazon's worldwide site will be unable to place orders, with the retail giant stopping shipping due to new GST rules.

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.

Australian customers will no longer be able to use the Amazon US website from July 1.

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

"Amazon Global Store will allow Australian customers to shop on amazon.com.au for over four million items that were previously only accessible on amazon.com".

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

Morrison doubted Amazon had difficulty with Australian taxes when it had the technology to cope with different tax regimes in Britain and Canada.

Amazon is getting a bit of flack this afternoon over its intentions to re-direct Australian visitors to their global site to their Australian arm thanks to upcoming changes to GST on imported goods.

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

"The government doesn't apologize for ensuring multi-nationals pay a fair amount of tax here in Australia", a spokeswoman for Treasurer Scott Morrison said in an email.

In a statement about the change, Amazon said it regretted "any inconvenience this may cause customers".

Amazon launched its Australian site last December and says it now has 60 million products, a fraction of the estimated 500 million products that are listed on Amazon's US site. "That tax revenue is used to fund essential services". Local media reports that these store chains have heavily lobbied the government in recent years to extend the GST to online products sold by vendors situated overseas, to level the playing field.

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