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  • GST on low value imported goods – if you sell through an online marketplace

    If you are a merchant selling low value goods to consumers in Australia through an online marketplace, new goods and services tax (GST) rules apply to you as of 1 July 2018. These rules are explained below.

    We refer to an online marketplace as an electronic distribution platform (EDP) in this fact sheet. You will need to speak with your EDP operator about how the new GST rules may impact your sales to consumers in Australia.

    What are low value goods?

    Low value goods are physical goods (excluding tobacco products or alcoholic beverages) valued at A$1,000 or less. The A$1,000 threshold is based on the customs value of the goods. This means transport and insurance costs are excluded when determining if GST needs to be charged on the goods you sell.

    What is an EDP?

    An electronic distribution platform (EDP) is:

    • a service which allows you to make sales of low value goods available to consumers, and
    • the service is delivered through electronic communication (such as a website, online marketplace or an app).

    The operators of the EDP service are responsible for collecting the GST on your sales to consumers in Australia. If your customers are Australian GST-registered businesses then GST will not generally apply to those sales.

    A service is not an EDP if it only provides advertising to make consumers aware of products and links them to your website to make a purchase. You will be responsible for the GST on these sales.

    Talk to your EDP operator

    EDP operators (instead of you) will generally be responsible for GST.

    However, you need to talk with your EDP operator about how this will affect you, including:

    • changes to their policies or terms of sale
    • how this may affect your pricing, receipts or business systems
    • how they will differentiate between consumer and business sales
    • how this will affect returned goods and refunds processes
    • how you will need to assist the EDP operator to provide GST information to transporters or customs brokers.

    What about my direct sales?

    If you make more than A$75,000 of sales to consumers in Australia directly through your website (not through an EDP) you may be required to register for Australian GST. More information is available on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

    Sales made through an EDP do not count towards your GST turnover when determining whether you need to register.

    How much GST is charged on sales?

    The Australian GST rate is 10%. This means the GST is 1/11th of the amount the consumer pays, including amounts paid by the consumer for transport and insurance.

    Your checklist

    To prepare for the new GST rules:

    • talk to your EDP operator about what you need to do (see 'Talk to your EDP operator')
    • check the value of sales you make directly (not through an EDP) to see if you need to register for Australian GST in your own right.

    More information

    Further guidance on GST on low value imported goods and GST registration is available ato.gov.au/AusGST, or you can email us at AustraliaGST@ato.gov.auThis link opens in a new window.

      Last modified: 14 May 2018QC 55425