Amazon To Stop Shipping To Australia From Overseas Stores

The e-commerce giant will redirect customers to its Australian site from July 1.

What you need to know
  • Amazon to stop shipping to Australia from overseas stores
  • The change is in response to changes in GST rules
  • Australian customers will be able to access the Australian store only from July 1

Retail giant Amazon will block Australian customers from buying products from its international online stores from July 1, in response to changes to the GST.

Instead, customers will be redirected to the Australian Amazon store.

In a statement, Amazon apologised for the inconvenience to its shoppers and said it regrets the change, but has to "assess the workability of the legislation as a global business with multiple international sites."

The law change means online retailers will be forced to apply 10 percent GST to all items purchased from overseas websites and shipped to Australia -- previously, the tax only applied to items costing more than $1000.

The move was made in a bid to "level the playing field" for Australian retailers who were losing out to cheaper international competition.

The Australian Amazon site launched in December last year, but has limited stock compared with its U.S. counterpart.

However, the company said  that more than four million items previously only accessible from the U.S. store would now be available to Australian shoppers on the local site.

"This selection is in addition to the more than 60 million products already available on amazon.com.au across 23 categories, including books, fashion, toys and electronics," it said.

The change in GST law comes ahead of the January 1 'hybrid rules' aiming to stop multinational companies from claiming multiple deductions and dodging paying their fair share of tax.

Treasurer Scott Morrison responded to the move by Amazon, saying the government is determined to crack down on multinationals that do the wrong thing.

"The second biggest company in the world run by the richest man in the world shouldn't get a pass on paying tax in Australia, and they won't under these new laws," he said.

He said without change, multinationals have an unfair advantage over Australian retailers "on our own main streets, in our own shopping centres," adding, "It's important we level the playing field."

"We're determined to make sure that multinationals pay their fair share of tax, whether it's Amazon, whether it's Google, whether it's Facebook -- whoever it is, they have to pay their fair share of tax, and we're making sure that they do it," he said.