Published: Sat, June 02, 2018
Money | By Bruce West

Amazon US Website Blocked In Australia

Amazon US Website Blocked In Australia

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

Before the change, GST only applied to items purchased overseas worth more than $1000. Most Australians have decried the Amazon.com.au store as being inferior to the USA store, with a considerably thinner product catalog and higher prices.

"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 in an email.

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

Amazon will block Australians from buying from its worldwide e-commerce websites and restrict them to a smaller local platform from July in response to new tax rules that consumer advocates fear will reduce the range of choice for customers in Australia.

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.

For now, the GST change looks like a win for local businesses, which will have an easier time retaining shoppers while Amazon builds out its Australian inventory.

"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.

Ms. Wong, the visually impaired Amazon customer, said the company's main site offered products she just couldn't get from Australian retailers, including many created to help visually impaired people like her.

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.

Amazon said it regretted the change which it blamed on the new tax rules.

Amazon.com.au will allow Australians to "shop for products sold by Amazon US on the new Global Store", the company's spokesperson said.

"A level playing field will help Australian businesses grow and create more jobs and opportunities".

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