Amazon will block Australian shoppers from accessing its overseas sites and restrict them to its smaller local platform when the government’s new GST rules come into effect from 1 July.
The new laws require any overseas business with a turnover greater than $75,000 to pay GST on all goods sold, including those under the current low-value threshold of $1,000.
In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson said, “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 international sites.”
Retailers have lobbied for the GST changes, which the National Retail Association (NRA) CEO Dominique Lamb said would allow Australian retailers to compete on a level playing field.
“Australian retailers were getting the rough end of the pineapple compared with overseas competitors and the new laws to come in effect from July 1 will bring that to an end,” she said.
“Large overseas retailers have been receiving an unfair advantage over local businesses, but that will soon end when they are forced to pay GST on items shipped into Australia.”
Reuters estimates amazon.com.au has roughly a tenth of the range of the US site, and shoppers have complained about uncompetitive prices since the retail giant launched here in December 2017.