General

Proposed parcel tax for goods from overseas

Online shoppers could pay up to $7 more per package under a new Federal Government proposal to tax orders from overseas.

The levy, which currently applies to purchases over $1000, would see all consumers pay a fee to cover screening costs at the border.

A tax of between $2 and $7 is being considered as part of a discussion paper on ways to recover the cost of border security measures.

Freight and Trade Alliance director Paul Zalai told the ABC the initiative was needed.

“A levy is necessary. The border and biosecurity agencies provide an important role in protecting the community and our farmers from biosecurity risks … that role does need to have costs recovered,” he said.

“The nuts and bolts of how that will work are yet to be determined and [will be] based on an individual commercial basis.”

The proposal has caused an uproar from big foreign online retailers, with eBay declaring consumers will ultimately suffer.

“We have serious concerns over any proposed levy,” an eBay spokesperson told the ABC.

“This will hit consumers hard and is not in the spirit of free trade.”

Many consumers believe they already pay too much on shipping, but would continue to buy online for the sake of convenience.

“It’s kind of annoying because we already pay so much for shipping and I feel Australians already pay more for a lot of things,” said Danika Fernandes of Embelton.

“I would probably continue to shop online because it’s convenient and they have cool things online you can’t find in stores throughout Australia.”

Daniel Parker from Byford agreed, noting shipping costs were high enough.

Watch some other points of view here:

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