Amazon is getting a bit of flack this afternoon over its intentions to re-direct Australian visitors to their global site to their Australian arm thanks to upcoming changes to GST on imported goods.

We’ve been following the intent of the Australian government to add a charge to imported parcels whose value falls beneath the previous $1,000 threshold for some time. The change will be put into effect to charge GST on ‘low value imported goods’ as of July 1st according to the ATO, and it seems Amazon is not keen to fall afoul of the Australian government.

The change to Amazon’s website traffic, is being communicated to Amazon’s international customers with the company stating that from the 1st of July Aussie visitors to Amazon’s global .com site will be redirected to the Australian .com.au site instead.

According to ZDNet who have sourced the email, the company said


While we regret any inconvenience this may cause, from 1 July we will be redirecting Australian customers from our international Amazon sites to amazon.com.au where you can shop for products sold by Amazon US on the new Amazon Global Store, available today.

We have taken this step to provide our customers with continued access to international 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 new legislation requires any business which generates more than $75,000 in sales will be required to register with the ATO – a category that Amazon would clearly fall into.

Amazon has put a good deal of effort into launching locally here in Australia with fulfillment centres first in Victoria and more recently in Sydney’s south western suburbs. The launch hasn’t exactly been a winner with online customers, most of whom have found it’s often cheaper to purchase through the US site and pay shipping to Australia.

Long story short, if you’re wanting to purchase anything from Amazon you’d better get onto it before the 1st of July or start planning your trip to the US.

Via: ZDNet.
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    NewcastleGardia
    2 years ago

    The Tax cover is “BS”. The Amazon Australia site has been an unmitigated “Flop” with people in Australia more often than not buying from the US site with the huge selection of goods (most not available in Australia or via Amazon Aus.), better prices and more often than not faster delivery.
    It’s Simply Blackmail by Amazon to try and salvage already a failed Australian business model.
    Other companies handle imposts of GST successfully, Amazon could and should too.

    ShazFree90
    ShazFree90
    2 years ago

    Will shipping forwarders still work? If Amazon ships to a shipping forwarder with US address, who then on-ships to Australia? Will there be a tax waiting to be paid at customs?

    Amazon AU is expensive and has only a fraction of what’s available on the Amazon US store.

    Quasar_
    Reply to  ShazFree90
    2 years ago

    The forwarders would I assume have to pay GST. At least if they are large enough to be noticed by the ATO.

    NFG
    NFG
    2 years ago

    Got the Amazon email today, “from July no more purchases from the USA, you can only only Amazon Australia” – yeah at 2.5 x the price.

    Amazon – They NOW charge $104 US (~$150Au) (with delivery) for a Unicomp keyboard from the USA, and $370 from Australia….

    https://www.amazon.com/Unicomp-Classic-Buckling-Spring-Keyboard/dp/B01MSAR2TX/

    https://www.amazon.com.au/Unicomp-Classic-Buckling-Spring-Keyboard/dp/B01MSAR2TX/

    Quasar_
    2 years ago

    Can’t say I’m surprised. Now I wonder how many other international retailers will follow suit. I also wonder what it means for digital content from amazon companies. Hope it doesn’t mean I need to use a VPN to access content I already own.

    Jeni Skunk
    Reply to  Quasar_
    2 years ago

    With what is being reported in Fairfax as to what Amazon are doing, it won’t matter that you use a VPN to bypass Amazon shopping geoblocking. Amazon won’t ship to Australia. So I would not be surprised to see Amazon also apply that to digital content.

    https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/companies/amazon-to-block-its-us-website-for-aussie-shoppers-over-new-gst-rules-20180531-p4zikr.html
    “Amazon’s decision to not even ship products to Australia regardless of where they are purchased will scupper any plans tech-savvy shoppers might have to use geo-blocking software to get around the ban.”

    chris
    chris
    2 years ago

    What you didn’t write was this. “Amazon is launching a global store accessible to Australian customers, where products from its retail site will be available. In an email to customers today, the company said from July 1 it would redirect Australian shoppers from its international sites to au where products sold by Amazon US will be available on the new global store. “We have taken this step to provide our customers with continued access to international selection and allow us to remain compliant with the law, which requires us to collect and remit GST on products sold on Amazon sites… Read more »

    Andrew
    Andrew
    2 years ago

    It would be way easier for the Government to track sellers accounts where purchases are made, and require banks to take an extra 10% on behalf of the seller.

    Quasar_
    Reply to  Andrew
    2 years ago

    They should have just done what happens elsewhere. Have the post office collect it on delivery. AustPost whinged about that idea though.

    Glenn
    2 years ago

    Considering I only use Amazon to buy items in the USA that I cannot get here I have to always use a third party for shipping anyway, such as HopShopGo. So I have a better chance of not paying any extra tax now.

    dbareis
    dbareis
    2 years ago

    Well that sucks

    Jeni Skunk
    2 years ago

    If Amazon wants to drive the Australian consumer uptake of anti-geoblocking practices, they are definitely going the correct way about it.

    Charles Selrahc
    Charles Selrahc
    2 years ago

    VPN?

    Brad H
    Brad H
    Reply to  Charles Selrahc
    2 years ago

    Even if they still allowed shipping to Australian addresses (which I’m sure they’ll also block), Australian government will still hold your parcel until you pay them the 10% GST that will now be required by law.