Australia considers a fee for Internet shopping

The Australian government has proposed a fee of 2-7 Australian dollars on the import of overseas packages, which would help cover the costs of screening the packages at the border. While this fee already applies to shipments of more than 1,000 Australian dollars, the new rules would make it possible to apply the fee to any imported package. eBay has criticised the proposal, claiming that it will ‘hit consumers hard and is not in the spirit of free trade.’ Yet, according to the proposal, existing arrangements to recover border and biosecurity costs ‘are no longer sustainable and will not support Australia’s future trading environment.’