Amazon to restrict Australian customers to local site in July

"We have taken this step to provide our customers with continued access to global selection and allow us to remain compliant with the law which requires us to collect and remit GST on products sold on Amazon sites that are shipped from overseas", the email read. A loophole in tax regulations, however, means that the GST is now applied only to items purchased from overseas retailers if they are worth $1,000 AUD or more, which many local companies argued gave Amazon, eBay and other overseas competitors an unfair advantage.

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

"We have had to assess the workability of the legislation as a global business with multiple worldwide sites", a spokeswoman is reported as saying.

The online retail giant will direct Australian shoppers away from its U.S. and United Kingdom stores to its smaller local site from July 1 when the goods and service tax is extended to all imported e-commerce items.

Amazon will block Australians from buying from its global 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 has decided that rather than try to collect Australia's Goods and Services Tax (GST), it's going to force locals to shop only at its Australian store.

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The government would not back down on the new tax rules, which would raise AU$300 million a year, Morrison said.

Australian users weren't happy with their government's decision, and are calling the GST as the "Amazon tax".

But even with the changes, the number of products available will be a fraction of what's on sale globally.

We have taken this step to provide our customers with continued access to global selection and allow us to remain compliant with the law which requires us to collect and remit GST on products sold on Amazon sites that are shipped from overseas.

According to the The Sydney Morning Herald, Amazon's United States site provides access to roughly 500 million items, as opposed to the Aussie version, which features around 60 million products.

A spokesperson for Treasurer Scott Morrison said the new GST regulations "level the playing field" for Australian businesses. "That tax revenue is used to fund essential services".

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