Secret Plans For Extra Parcel Levy

According to a report first published by Fairfax Media this week, a discussion paper in circulation by the Department of Home Affairs proposes a levy of up to $7 on every parcel inbound to Australia, ostensibly for cost recovery at customs and border control. This will be on all parcels, according to the paper, and in addition to the GST that will supposedly be applied to the approximately 38 million parcels that come in to Australia annually falling under the current $1000 GST threshold.

After a seven year push by Australian retailers to lower the GST threshold, new legislation finally comes into effect from July 1 this year removing the $1000 threshold – though nobody has any real clue yet how to collect the tax, and who it will be collected by.

Now, though it is still only a discussion paper, additional charges could apply to all overseas parcels, making it much more expensive for consumers to purchase from overseas retailers. That would be good news, you’d think, for the local Australian retail community. Ebay, however, has already come out swinging against the proposal, declaring that, “We have serious concerns over any proposed levy. This will hit consumers hard and is not in the spirit of free trade.”

It’s important to note that the proposed levy forms part of a discussion paper at this juncture, but what are your thoughts around the idea of a flat levy on top of the GST on imported products?

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