How Amazon plans to block Australians from using popular feature

Amazon's new restrictions may boost visits to Australian website, which been criticised for a relatively small product range and higher prices since it began taking orders in December.

The Labour-led government proposes to collect GST on those goods, imposing it at the point of sale and waiving the tariffs and border recovery costs previously applied at the border.

"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 spokeswoman told SMH.

The new tax laws will require online retailers like Amazon to apply the 10% GST to goods bought on worldwide sites and shipped to Australia.

Last year, it was announced that Aussies would have to pay GST on all overseas purchases from July 1, 2018, leaving the country's online shopping future uncertain in the process.

Amazon no longer allowing Australian shoppers to buy digital content through its main website will be a serious blow to people who purchased ebooks legitimately. Most Australians have decried the store as being inferior to the United States store, with a considerably thinner product catalog and higher prices.

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Currently GST is only charged on items bought from overseas sites and shipped to Australia if they're worth more than $1000. Inc said on Thursday it will force Australians to use its Australian website instead of its much larger US site to avoid a new sales tax, setting the stage for a showdown with rival eBay Inc in the No. 12 economy. "That tax revenue is used to fund essential services".

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 USA site.

A Productivity Commission inquiry concluded that given the decision to collect GST on low value imported goods, "the legislated model is the most feasible among the imperfect alternatives at this time".

The move, which attempts to level the playing field between local and global retailers, has posed issues to Amazon's worldwide selling scheme.

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

  • Ronnie Bowen