Australians will no longer be able to order from Amazon’s American site

USA internet giant Amazon will block Australian shoppers from its global websites to counter new tax laws on online purchases, it announced Thursday. 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.

'Amazon Global Store will allow Australian customers to shop on Amazon.com.au for over four million items that were previously only accessible on Amazon.com'.

It was the move we all dreaded was coming: Australian shoppers will no longer be able to shop on Amazon's U.S. site as the company shifts focus to its local offering.

While Australians will be blocked from Amazon's global websites, they will be able to buy from the retailer's Australian website.

Shoppers visiting the US store Amazon.com will be redirected to the Australian version, Amazon.com.au, from July 1 when Australia starts applying new tax rules, Amazon said in a statement on Friday.

New Zealand had also already applied GST to digital services from offshore, such as Netflix in 2016.

Retail stocks on the ASX rose following Amazon's announcement.

In a statement about the change, Amazon said it regretted "any inconvenience this may cause customers".

Morrison doubted Amazon had difficulty with Australian taxes when it had the technology to cope with different tax regimes in Britain and Canada.

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

A spokesperson for Treasurer Scott Morrison said the new GST regulations "level the playing field" for Australian businesses.

"The government doesn't apologise for ensuring multinationals pay a fair amount of tax here in Australia", he said.

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.

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.

  • Wendy Palmer