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Amazon launches new app feature targeting international shoppers

FILE PHOTO: Amazon boxes are seen stacked for delivery in the Manhattan borough of New York City, January 29, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo - RC1FF7A72B20

(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc announced a new feature within its Amazon shopping app to cater to international customers shopping for U.S. goods, targeting Brazil, China, Germany and Spanish-speaking markets.

International shipping is already an option on many orders from Amazon's U.S. website but the new services are aimed at easing the process. The feature, which was announced late on Tuesday, will display pricing, shipping costs and import duty estimates, with Amazon managing courier services and customs clearance.

In a statement, Amazon said customers using the new function will be able to shop in five languages - English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, German, and Brazilian Portuguese - and will be able to make purchases in 25 currencies.

That task may be easier said that done in Brazil, Latin America's largest economy, where Amazon has shown signs in recent months of expanding its local operations significantly.

While the country of more than 200 million people is seen as an emerging battleground for the e-commerce industry, its customs system and import taxes are notoriously costly and bureaucratic.

Amazon rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has faced a number of issues trying to streamline imports into Brazil in recent years, which have limited its ambitions there.


(Reporting by Shalini Nagarajan in Bengaluru and Gram Slattery in Sao Paulo; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Bill Trott)