The Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) has expressed concern over plans by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to begin measuring online sales.The retailer body said the ABS would probably fail to fully capture the magnitude of overseas purchases.
The ABS has said it will begin collecting online sales data as part of its monthly retail survey from November 2013.
Data for online purchases from foreign retailers – currently exempt from the GST on items valued at less than $1000 – will be reported annually, based on Customs and Australia Post figures.
The Retail Association said it is concerned that the use of Customs or APO data would miss transactions where offshore retailers had doctored receipts to mark costly items below the GST threshold.
“We already know some overseas sites produce fake receipts for goods and this may place limitations on some of the data collected,” said ANRA CEO Margy Osmond.