Jersey's Consumer Council says the government is not doing enough to make shoppers aware of new tax rules which come into force next week.
From Saturday 1 July, online retailers like Amazon, eBay and Very which turnover more than £300,000 will have to start charging the local 5% Goods and Services Tax on all products, regardless of their value.
The so-called "de minimus" level - the maximum value items can cost before they are stopped at the border and GST has to be paid - is also being reduced from £135 to just £60, meaning items bought online will have to be cleared through customs unless GST has already been applied by the retailer.
Although announced as part of the government's 2022 budget, the consumer group says many people believed the tax would only be levied on imported goods worth more than £60.
Carl Walker, who chairs the Consumer Council, says: "Islanders have been made aware that the de minimus level or online threshold is coming down from £135 to £60 on 1 July, but what consumers and islanders don't seem to have been made aware of is that on some of these larger online retailers, they're going to be paying GST on items that cost less than that."
Carl Walker says many shoppers aren't aware of some of the changes to import tax rules
Many people in Jersey shop for bargains online to try and get the best deals, reducing demand for high street retailers.
The island's Chief Minister says the changes will level the playing field: "We understand that the cost of living is a major issue for islanders, but also there has been criticism from retailers who have felt that the current situation is making their position in terms of competition and pricing really difficult."
The Government of Jersey says it has made the public aware of the new import tax rules - the impact of which will be felt for the first time next week.
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