Amazon to block Australians from accessing its overseas websites

AmazonAmazon has made the decision to block Australian online shoppers from accessing its US and other foreign sites in response to laws that would force the company to pay tax on imported goods.

The new goods and services tax (GST) regulations, dubbed the ‘Amazon tax’, will come into force on 1 July. At this point, Amazon would have to pay 10 per cent tax on any goods purchased on international sites and then shipped to Australia.

Currently, the GST only applies to items bought overseas that cost more than Aus$1000. However, come July, it will apply to all items, regardless of price.

To avoid paying the tax, as first reported by ABC News in Australia, Amazon will redirect anybody in Australia trying to access foreign Amazon sites back to the Amazon Australia site.

“While we regret any inconvenience this may cause customers, we have had to assess the workability of the legislation as a global business with multiple international sites,” an Amazon spokesperson said.

Though Amazon has decided it is unwilling to stump the extra cash, auction site eBay has said it will make changes to its systems so Australians can still buy items from anywhere in the world.