Amazon blocks Australian shoppers from international sites and redirects to local site

Amazon will block Australian customers from accessing global sites / Amazon

Australian consumers will be blocked from accessing Amazon’s international sites from July 1 and redirected to the e-commerce giant’s local site.

The move is the result of changes to the Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST) law, which requires retailers to add the 10% GST to products sold on international sites that are shipped to Australia.

While Australian consumers pay GST on all domestic products they were previously only required to pay the tax on overseas goods worth more than $1,000.

From July 1, Australian consumers will be redirected to amazon.com.au which launched last year and features 60 million products including books, fashion, toys, and electronics. The site will also feature a new Amazon Global Store, which will sell more than four million products sold by Amazon US.

In an email to customers, Amazon said: “As a result of changes to Australian GST law, on 1 July 2018 Amazon’s international shopping options for Australian customers will change.

"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.”

In a bid to curry favour with Australian customers, the US e-commerce giant also offered customers $20 vouchers for the local site.

It comes as the Australian Government moves to crack down on global digital companies to ensure they pay taxes and follow the same rules as local companies.

Treasurer Scott Morrison told The Sydney Morning Herald, “The second biggest company in the world, run by the richest man in the world (Jeff Bezos) shouldn’t get a leave pass from paying tax in Australia.

“If multinationals aren’t forced to pay their fair share of tax, they will have a competitive advantage over retailers here in Australia.”

The Australian Government is also currently floating the idea of a digital levy for companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook.

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