eBay won't block its overseas websites


Online retail giant eBay says it will not be following Amazon's move to block shoppers from using its overseas websites in response to changes in the way Australia taxes online imports.

Amazon announced on Thursday that Australia-based users of its US and other overseas sites will be redirected to Amazon.com.au from July 1 - the time when the goods and services tax will be expanded to apply to all online imports.

Currently, GST is only charged on items bought from overseas sites and shipped to Australia if they're worth more than $1000.

eBay Australia managing director Tim MacKinnon said eBay has a solution that will allow Aussies to continue to shop from all eBay sites while capturing the required GST.

"We know how Australians value the global as well as the local selection and we are not going to turn off the global selection as a way of complying with the tax," Mr MacKinnon told AAP.

"We have worked really hard to have a solution in place by July 1."

He said eBay has developed a system that will collect the 10 per cent tax on items from sellers and remit that to the Australian tax office.

"We have millions of sellers globally," he said.

"To get them to collect the tax and then send it to the Australian tax office would be a very difficult thing to do."

Amazon has previously said extending the tax to all items would mean they would have to cut already-thin margins or pass on the charge to customers.

The online behemoth has also rejected the notion that the platforms that facilitate the sale should have to collect the tax.

It has argued that it should be the responsibility of Australia Post and other parties that deliver the goods.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said it is disappointing that Amazon has "taken this out on consumers in Australia."

Amazon said it has launched a global store on the Australian site where Aussies can have access to its US and UK sellers.

The global store has more than four million items, however Amazon US has 480 million products.

© AAP 2018 Image credit: AAP Image/Julian Smith