Amazon will block Australians from accessing its US online store, directly blaming recent changes to taxation laws that will come into effect a month from now.
Beginning 1 July, Australian customers trying to access Amazon's international websites will be redirected to amazon.com.au, the Australian version of the online marketplace that launched in December last year.
"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," the company said in a statement.
The ban comes thanks to the federal government's taxation on "low-value goods" purchased from overseas, which comes into effect on 1 July. The new law, which at the time was nicknamed the 'Amazon Bill', imposes a 10 percent goods and services tax on products valued at less than $1000 from overseas, and on merchants with an annual turnover of more than $75,000.
The government expects to recoup $300 million in revenue over the next four years as a result of the GST.
Amazon broadly supported the tax when it was first introduced in 2015, but was concerned about the logistics of how GST would actually be collected on online sales, proposing that it be collected on parcel deliveries instead.
At the time, rival eBay criticised the bill, threatening to also block Australians from buying products from overseas instead of trying to collect GST.
To compensate from blocking international sites, Amazon said that Australians would be able to purchase goods from the company's new global store starting today. Amazon said Australians could now purchase more than four million items that weren't previously available here, in addition to the more than 60 million products already available on the Australian marketplace.
"This will allow us to provide our customers with continued access to international selection and remain compliant with the law which requires us to collect and remit GST on products sold on Amazon sites that are shipped from overseas."