Amazon is encouraging Australians to pirate ebooks

Australian customers will no longer be able to use the Amazon US website from July 1. File pic. Source Getty ImagesMore

It may also benefit Amazon's main rivals, from California-headquartered online market eBay to smaller Australian merchants which had campaigned to have the GST apply to all goods shipped from overseas.

The move is a response to the government's decision to slap the 10 per cent goods and services tax on all items bought from overseas sites and shipped to Australia, rather than just those worth more than $1,000 as at present.

Shoppers visiting the US store Amazon.com will be redirected to the Australian version, Amazon.com.au, from July 1 when Australia starts applying new tax rules, Amazon said in a statement on Friday.

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.

Australians will be able to access their new global store which has four million products.

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eBay also stated its case against the Bill which applied GST to overseas sales.

"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 worldwide sites", an Amazon spokesman said, adding that the firm was taking the measure to comply with the legislation and not to avoid paying tax.

Amazon's primary site, Amazon.com, will be inaccessible in Australia, with buyers diverted to the local store, which has been heavily criticised for its higher prices and lesser variety.

Amazon is launching a global store accessible to Australian customers, where products from its retail site will be available.

Amazon closing its global stores to Australians to avoid paying GST is disappointing but Treasurer Scott Morrison is promising there will be no exemptions.

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

The government would not back down on the new tax rules, which would raise AU$300 million a year, Morrison said. "That tax revenue is used to fund essential services".

"A number of other countries are taking a similar approach and adopting a vendor collection model to collect GST from low-value imported goods".

The "Global Store" will offer some 4 million items, in addition to the 60 million products previously offered at Amazon.com.au, the spokesperson said.

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