Gerry Harvey has won his big battle and GST will be applied on all imports from 1 July 2018 - with international retailers expected to collect tax on behalf of our government.
Amazon.com will stop shipping to Australia from 1 July 2018, as it does not want to have to collect tax on behalf of Australia (and every other country on Earth that might pass similar legislation).
And Gerry is still whining that Amazon should have been paying GST for the last ten years yada yada. This change doesn’t affect the ‘Australia tax’ that all of us have to pay when we go to an Australian retailer to buy something that’s half the price overseas! It does nothing to improve competition, and moves the country back a couple of decades.
I saw a computer monitor previewed online a few days ago. In the US, it will cost US$1,999 (AU$2,638). The cheapest Australian listing for this monitor was AU$3,400! Oh - better account for the GST… a straight conversion would make it $2,638 + 10% GST, or $2,902. The rest is profit for someone - today’s electronics need nothing more than a change of plug when they are sold in different countries!
And so Gerry has managed in his bid to shut down personal imports and keep his own prices stratospheric. I’ll have to use my US address in future, with its extra handling costs, in order to buy from Amazon - and in many cases that will still be cheaper than Hardly Normal!
This legislation should have required payment of GST by the import recipient - but Australia’s retailers figured that would still make imports too competitive, so they managed to get the government to place the burden on companies that have a tiny proportion of their sales in Australia. Of course Amazon doesn’t want this extra paperwork for a tiny market like ours, and we will have to put up with the local shadow of global retailers now Gerry and his cabal have had their way.