5 DECEMBER, 2016:The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) supports the broad intent of the Government’s legislation to apply GST to low value goods imported by consumers and calls upon Labor and the crossbench to urgently pass the legislation in the new year.

The Low Value Import Threshold (LVIT) currently allows consumers to purchase up to $1000 in goods and services overseas GST free, giving international retail businesses the upper hand in the Australian market, and costing State Government funds valuable money.

“The ARA and our members strongly support this reform as the threshold for goods purchased overseas is a huge concern for Australian retailers, and a taxation inequality,” ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman said.

The ARA represents around 5500 retailers across the nation and has led this initiative to reduce the low value threshold and provide a level playing field for Australian retailers operating both online and bricks and mortar stores.

“Our main concern is the speedy implementation of the policy with proposed registration and other measures needing time to be set up and enforced,” Mr Zimmerman said.

The GST will be collected via mandatory registration of overseas sellers and online platforms on 1 July 2017, under the Government’s current proposed timelines, with a review in two years to address any issues that may occur.

“We look forward to working with respective departments and agencies to get this initiative across the line. This reform is a longtime coming and the retail sector will look very poorly on any delay caused to the implementation,” Mr Zimmerman said.

To view ARA’s full submission please click here.

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For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman call: The ARA Media Line T: 0439 612 556 E:media@retail.org.au

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $300 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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