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Amazon re-opens its international sites to Australian shoppers after shutdown backlash

23 Nov 2018

E-commerce giant Amazon has reversed its decision to block shoppers in Australia from buying products on its main website, after new tax legislation in the country caused the retailer to exit the country.

Amazon debuted its Australia-only website in July in the wake of 10 per cent tax on goods and services on imported items worth less than AU$1,000 (£563). However consumers criticised the decision, complaining that it would leave them unable to buy many products and raise prices on others.

A spokesperson for Amazon said today that after listening to customer feedback, it had built the “complex infrastructure needed to enable exports of low-value goods to Australia and remain compliant with [Australian] laws”.

At least 32 states in the US have imposed similar legislation, however Australia was the first location to be shut out by Amazon in response. Research from National Bank Australia showed online sales growth in the region slowing over the 12 months to September, and comprising just under nine per cent of the wider retail market.

The move comes just in time for Black Friday, however it will only cover products sold by Amazon and not third-parties.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who was the country’s treasurer at the time of the exit, said in July: “You don’t get a special deal because you’re a big company or a multinational.”

“I think it is disappointing that Amazon has taken this out on consumers in Australia — but that is their commercial position.”

Source: City A.M.