The Australian Government announced that as at 1 July 2017, low value imports will be levied with GST. The move to tax currently GST free low value imports is based on the desire to achieve competitive neutrality between imports and similar low value goods sold by domestic retailers. The Australian Government has also flagged its intention to treat low value and high value imports similarly, which would see low value levy imports being levied with import processing charges.
The CIE was asked to review the proposed model for levying low value imports with GST and import processing charges. This saw the CIE:
- testing and verifying key assumptions about the proposed GST collection model with a broad section of stakeholders, including consumer groups, business groups, intermediaries, and international online retailers as to the merits of the idea and what can be done in practice
- undertaking economic analysis of the implications of levying GST on low value imports
- considering the options for recovering import related border processing and biosecurity charges from low value imports
- reporting on findings as to the impacts of proposed changes to the treatment of low value imports and the extent to which these changes have positive or negative impacts for Australian households and the wider economy.
View report here.