Published: Sat, June 02, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

Amazon to restrict Australian customers to local site in July

Amazon to restrict Australian customers to local site in July

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

"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 worldwide sites", an Amazon spokesman said, adding that the firm was taking the measure to comply with the legislation and not to avoid paying tax.

However, that privilege is being yanked away on July 1. Most Australians have decried the Amazon.com.au store as being inferior to the United States store, with a considerably thinner product catalog and higher prices.

Alibaba and Etsy also opposed the changes.

In an email to customers on Thursday, the company said from July 1 it would redirect Australian shoppers from its worldwide sites to amazon.com.au where products sold by Amazon US will be available on the new global store.

USA internet giant Amazon will block Australian shoppers from its global websites to counter new tax laws on online purchases, it announced Thursday.

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Amazon has also announced a new "global store" section of its site, which is said to give Australian customers access to 4 million additional products that were previously only available in the US. Thankfully Aussies unimpressed by the local service have been able to shop on the USA site.

An eBay spokesman said the US company was working on a way to collect the Australian tax from sellers around the world without cutting access for Australians.

"eBay's GST solution will allow us to collect GST in any currency, from any seller, from any eBay site".

"We won't block Aussie buyers, redirect them or require them to pretend they are located overseas".

"Alibaba Group has been forthcoming about its concerns with the GST collection model", a spokesperson for the Chinese eCommerce company said.

Amazon wrote a recommendation to the Senate stating its concerns about the GST bill's introduction previous year. "At this stage our priority is to ensure that we prepare the business for the change on 1 July 2018 and that the consumer experience on our platforms is not adversely impacted by these changes".

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