The Federal Government is pushing through a slew of new ecommerce law changes, including a requirement for online sellers to pay a fee of up to $100 for every sale.
Under the new regulations, online retailers must pay a flat fee of $100 to every customer.
Under current laws, sellers can sell for as little as $25 and can sell anywhere in Australia.
The changes will also allow sellers to set up a “contrato e commerce market” where they can sell their goods, and also set up an account and an ecommerce business.
However, the new rules don’t include an opt-out option for shoppers who opt-in.
As a result, some retailers could face a legal headache, with customers losing the ability to opt-outs.
The Government says the changes will allow the online retail sector to continue to grow and boost the Australian economy.
“There’s nothing wrong with a good business that sells things online,” Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said.
“However, I’m confident the changes we’re proposing will ensure we remain a thriving and thriving market for online retailers.”
Under the changes, ecommerce retailers will be required to set their own prices for goods and must make certain the fees are paid in full, regardless of the price of the product.
“For example, a shop could charge a flat $100 fee for every customer and have a website that would charge a different fee to that of the seller,” Mr Pyne explained.
“We’re also proposing that the online retailer should not be able to charge any fees for the service provided to the customer, which could include fees for shipping, insurance and support.”
Online retailers who want to sell their products in Australia must first register with the Department of Business, Innovation and Employment.
The new rules will be phased in over four years, but many online retailers say they will be hit hard by the changes.
“We have had to do a lot of soul searching, but it’s clear that the current regulations don’t allow us to continue growing our business,” ecommerce company Aussie ecommerce website ShopRunner.com.au owner and CEO Mark Poynton told the ABC.
Mr Poyton says his company will have to find other places to sell to as more Australian consumers opt out.
“I think that’s a huge issue for us and I think it’s a really big issue for the Australian consumer, and the Australian retail industry in general,” he said.