Australian government reportedly mulling $5 tax on incoming overseas parcels
The Australian federal government is reportedly considering plans to impose a $5 tax on overseas parcels coming into Australia, to cover the costs border security and screening checks.
According to reports in today’s (22 March) Sydney Morning Herald and other sources, the tax would apply to parcels containing e-commerce goods worth less than $1000. The SMH article said that “industry sources have calculated the cost at between $2 and $6 per parcel, with the most likely figure being a flat rate of $5”.
A spokesperson for eBay was quoted as saying that the online marketplace had “serious concerns over any proposed levy”, arguing that it “will hit consumers hard and is not in the spirit of free trade”.
Meanwhile, Global Trade Professionals Alliance chief executive Lisa McAuley has warned that this could spark a retaliatory move from other countries, including China (one of the primary sources of the e-commerce parcels coming into Australia).
McAuley was quoted as saying: “There is a real threat that if Australia introduces this measure domestically, other countries will reciprocate and that could be very damaging for many small to medium enterprises that have been able to expand into international markets.”