Online shoppers could be slugged up to $7 more per package when buying products from overseas, under a Federal Government proposal.
- Packages worth more than $1,000 already attract the levy, but this plan would apply it to all overseas purchases
- The ABC understands a tax of between $2 and $7 is being considered
- The Government says this will help recover the costs of screening items at the border
The Home Affairs Department is considering whether every package imported into Australia should be hit with a new levy, to help cover the costs of screening items at the border.
The tax already applies for packages worth more than $1,000, but the Government’s plan would see shoppers have to shell out the extra charge for all overseas purchases.
The ABC understands a tax of between $2 and $7 has been considered.
Nearly 40 million of the “low value” parcels arrived in Australia last financial year — roughly two per person.
A discussion paper on the proposed tax argued the levy was needed to recover costs associated with biosecurity, cargo and trade border activities.
“Existing cost recovery arrangements are no longer sustainable and will not support Australia’s future trading environment,” it stated.
Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm said the tax was unnecessary.
“This Government seems to have an endless capacity to come up with new taxes and increase existing taxes,” he said.
“We’re already extremely highly taxed and I despair at the idea that we’ll ever end up with any of our own money in our own pockets.
“It’s just terrible.”
The levy would come on top of a new GST charge, which will be added to imported products from July 1, 2018.
The 10 per cent goods and services tax will also apply to purchases under $1,000.