Amazon partly reverses block on Australians using global store

Amazon.com has opened 'eligible items' from its global store to Australians following changes to the GST regime and pressure from shoppers and the government.

Australians will now be able to shop from an increased selection of Amazon's global website in addition to the local online store.

The giant online retailer gave in to pressure from local shoppers and the government, and will open up access to half a billion products from its global store today.

"As a result of customer feedback, from November 22, Amazon customers will be able to ship eligible items from amazon.com to Australian delivery addresses," a company spokesperson said in a statement.

It follows GST changes introduced by the government on July 1 that levy a 10 percent tax on all low-value overseas purchases and businesses with a turnover of more than AU$75,000 from sales within Australia.

Amazon brought in the block on shipping to Australians from its global store in July.

"While we regret any inconvenience this may cause, from 1 July we will be redirecting Australian customers from our international Amazon sites to amazon.com.au where you can shop for products sold by Amazon US on the new Amazon Global Store, available today," the company said at the time.

See: Amazon leaks users' email addresses due to 'technical error'

"We have taken this step to provide our customers with continued access to international selection and allow us to remain compliant with the law, which requires us to collect and remit GST on products sold on Amazon sites that are shipped from overseas."

At the time, Prime Minister Scott Morrison -- formerly Treasurer -- said the decision taken was a commercial one.

"If you are selling things in Australia, it's subject to tax," Morrison said in June.

"You don't get a special deal because you are a big company or a multinational -- we're certainly not going to let that wash with this government.

"I think it is disappointing that Amazon would take this out of consumers in Australia, but that's their commercial decision, and if they want to take their bat and ball and go home then I think Australians will form the same view about that as they do about others who do that sort of thing in our community."

The extension of GST on low-value goods is expected to raise AU$300 million over three years, with vendors having to voluntarily register with the Australian Taxation Office.

Also: Canberra unrepentant on Amazon: If you sell into Australia, you have to pay tax

Amazon said on Thursday that its decision to unblock certain products was a response to customer feedback.

Overnight, Amazon emailed some of its customers, blaming a technical error for a data leak that exposed the names and email addresses associated with accounts.

"We're contacting you to let you know that our website inadvertently disclosed your email address due to a technical error. The issue has been fixed. This is not a result of anything you have done, and there is no need for you to change your password or take any other action," Amazon said in its email.

With AAP

Related Coverage

Best Amazon Black Friday 2018 deals: See early sales on Echo, Fire HD, and more

Amazon has announced a bunch of deep discounts on its devices headed into Black Friday.

First look: Here's every Alexa-enabled device that Amazon revealed today

"We have a little under an hour today and maybe seventy new things to talk about." They weren't kidding!

Amazon Echo: Cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

Amazon's smart speaker dominance may be facing a challenge from Google, but the Echo line is still on top. Find out all you need to know about Amazon Echo IoT devices.

Why AI-powered, cashier-free stores are the unavoidable future of retail (TechRepublic)

Microsoft is going head to head with Amazon, developing checkout-free retail technology of its own.

Australia now has Amazon Prime

The online retail giant has geared up for its Australian domination, launching its Amazon Prime service that offers two-day delivery and access to streaming, gaming, and reading services.

Amazon goes live in Australia

After months of speculation, the online retail giant has officially graced Australian shores.