Another industry body has been formed to address key regulatory issues confronting the retail sector and link with government to achieve real change on behalf of its members and the wider industry.

The Australian Traders Group (ATG) will advocate and lobby changes in areas including reducing the Low Value Imports Threshold (LVIT), counterfeit products, retail tenancy and other various tariffs, taxes and charges which put unnecessary regulatory burden onto Australian retailers and impede their ability to employ and meet modern consumer demand.

Peak retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) hosted the launch of the ATG. It comprises the following industry bodies: Australian Booksellers Association, Bicycle Industries Australia, Photo Marketing Association, Australian Music Association, Photo Imaging Council of Australia, Retail Cycle Traders Australia (Inc), Australian Toy Association, Australian Sporting Goods Association, Franchise Council of Australia and Snowsports Industries of Australia.

“The ARA has recently consulted with the industry bodies which now comprise the ATG to reduce the LVIT and close the GST loophole uncovered by an increase in online overseas imports,” ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said.

“An increasing amount of Australian retailers operating online are on an unlevel playing field as a result of this loophole.

“ATG is also calling on the Government to remove remaining tariffs so Australian retailers can compete against overseas competitors, as well as lobbying to combat the surge in counterfeit products currently making it through Australian borders.”

The ATG has been formed following the success of the Fair Imports Alliance (FIA), which ran a campaign to put the low value threshold (LVIT) on the political agenda and convinced the Government to have the Productivity Commission look at the challenges faced by the retail sector.

The members of the FIA realised they had more in common than just the LVT issue and so decided to expand the remit of the group to include other issues, including counterfeiting, retail tenancies and planning. In recognising this larger role, it was felt a different name and focus was required; hence the formation of the ATG.