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Amazon geoblocks Australia from USA site as tax change kicks in

01 June 2018
Amazon geoblocks Australia from USA site as tax change kicks in

Hundreds of thousands of customers will lose access to their ebooks on July 1st because Amazon does not allow customers to transfer Kindle purchases from one country to another.

This coincides with GST changes where online retailers will have to apply the 10 per cent GST to goods bought from overseas sites and shipped to Australia, where now the tax only applies to imports of goods above $1,000. It also said that in addition to the 60 million items available on the Australian site, "the global store will allow Australian customers to shop on amazon.com.au for over four million items that were previously only accessible from amazon.com".

The spokesman said customers will continue to have access to Amazon US and other overseas sites on the new global store.

The online giant offers up to 500 million products on it's primary site now, in contrast to the measly 60 million that the Australian site offers.

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

From 1 July, when Australia's new GST regulations kick in, Australian consumers shopping on Amazon worldwide sites will be redirected to the local Australian site.

Australian shoppers using Amazon's global site will be unable to place orders, with the retail giant stopping shipping due to new GST rules.

"It's been argued that this is like an import tariff, but for years in Australia we've had something of a reverse: Local retailers paying a tax that foreign retailers haven't", he added.

If you purchase 100 books from the Amazon.com website, and use a Kindle e-reader or the Kindle app for Android/IOS you will only be able to read those books and will not be able to buy new ones.

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

"If multinationals aren't forced to pay their fair share of tax, they will have a competitive advantage over retailers here in Australia, on our own main streets and in our shopping centers".