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Australian Government Export Grants

Newsletter | September 2020

Please note – There have been many changes and updates to these programs over the past few years. We love legacy content, it shows a history, it shows that we have always cared about these programs and notifying our client base. For more up to date information, please check our News or get in contact with us.

In this TCF Services newsletter we cover the latest news on a number of Australian Government export grants, including coverage of the Export Marketing Development Grant; provide you with information on the readily available NSW Export Assistance Grant and also promote a live address by Andrew Liveris, who will deliver insights into the government’s growth plans for the local manufacturing sector.

Export Market Development Grant (EMDG)

Up-front grants proposed from 1/7/2021 in latest review

The Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, has released a review of the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme undertaken by Mrs Anna Fisher to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of the EMDG scheme.

The Review reaffirmed the broad principles behind government assistance for export businesses and acknowledged that EMDG is valued by SMEs and helps offset the high cost of export promotion, accelerates internationalisation and encourages exporters to diversify. However, the Review found that the administration was too complex and in need of simplification.

The Review proposed, and the Government has accepted the recommendation in principle, that the EMDG program should be reorientated, retaining features valued by SME exporters, while making it simpler for eligible SME exporters to access.

Under the proposed new EMDG, eligible SMEs will be able to get upfront funding certainty over multiple years for eligible marketing and promotional activities, prior to undertaking any of their agreed export marketing or promotion activities.

Grants will target eligible export-ready SMEs with an annual turnover of less than $20 million at three stages of their export journey:

  1. Eligible SMEs who are new to export – grants up to $80,000 over two years
  2. Eligible exporters who plan to expand their presence in export markets – grants up to $240,000 over three years
  3. Eligible exporters who continue to expand into new markets – grants up to $450,000 over three years

The new EMDG will not be a clean slate for exporters. EMDG entitlements received in the past will be counted in the grant history, so exporters who have received the maximum eight grants will not be eligible for the proposed new EMDG.

The Government is proposing the commencement of the new EMDG from 1 July 2021, subject to legislation passing through Parliament.

Current EMDG arrangements remain in place for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years. As such, there will need to be transitional arrangements in place for 2021-22 during which applicants may be reimbursed for incurred expenses in 2020-21 under the current EMDG and seeking pre-approval for future expenses in 2021-22.

The Review and the Government’s immediate response address only the high-level considerations of a new EMDG. The details are to be determined during a period of consultation over the coming months. These details include critical issues such as the eligibility criteria for each grant stage, what expenses will be eligible, and whether there will there be an export performance test.

The nominal benefit of the new pre-approval EMDG is to provide certainty of finance to exporters as well as faster access to EMDG funds. The intention is for applicants to submit marketing plans for up to three years to enable them to formalise Funding Agreements with Austrade, identifying which of their proposed export marketing expenses will be supported, with payments to be made by Austrade on a milestone basis. This is not dissimilar to the Accelerated Commercialisation model which involves an extensive pre-approval process.

Changing EMDG from a reimbursement scheme to an eligibility-based grants program may be counter to the very objective of the change – simplifying and streamlining access to the program.

Export Consultants Association Inc (ECAI) has voiced its concern that a core strength of the current EMDG program (open access whereby any applicant satisfying the eligibility criteria would receive a grant) would be undermined by the changes in making grant payments subjective, discretionary and competitive. Furthermore, the pre-approval for up to three years may limit flexibility in responding and adapting to changing market conditions, something which the Covid pandemic has reinforced as a necessity for all SME exporters.

Export Assistance Grants

NSW Export Assistance Grants of up to $10,000 available NOW

If you are an exporting business, or if you were exporting goods or services before the impacts of COVID-19, bush-fires or drought, you may be eligible for an export assistance grant of up to $10,000. This grant helps eligible export businesses in NSW access global markets.

Funds can be used for:

  • marketing materials
  • website internationalisation
  • pivoting to online delivery (for example, converting face-to-face training content to online content for international audiences)
  • e-commerce development
  • market research
  • international tradeshow and trade missions
  • inbound business support
  • costs to support compliance/localisation of products for export
  • costs to protect business in international markets.

This grant will be provided as reimbursement of 50% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $10,000 per eligible business, for expenses already paid since 1 January 2020.

You can submit either one application up to the maximum of $10,000 or multiple applications of a minimum of $2000 per application each, totalling a maximum of $10,000.


To be eligible for this grant, you must:

  • be based in NSW
  • be registered with an ABN and be registered for GST as at 1 August 2019
  • be currently exporting, or were exporting prior to the impacts of COVID-19, bushfires or drought
  • employ a minimum of 3 full-time equivalent workers at the time of application
  • own the goods/services to be exported, or be able to provide documented evidence that you are the agreed export supplier
  • produce the goods/services to be exported in Australia, or be able to provide documented evidence that the business provides substantial value to NSW
  • be an exporting business with an annual turnover of:
    • up to $100 million, or
    • greater than $100 million that can demonstrate export turnover has declined by more than 30% in the 2019–2020 financial year and have an intention to re-establish your export business in your established markets and/or diversify into new markets.

Note: If you have applied for the Australian Government’s Export Market Development Grant (EMDG), you may still be eligible for the export assistance grant. Conditions apply, see the guidelines for more information.

How to apply

  1. Gather all your documentation and evidence and have it ready for uploading. You cannot save and resume your application once you have started.
  2. Check the eligibility criteria.
  3. Select the ‘Apply online’ button.
  4. Log in or create your MyServiceNSW Account.
  5. Select and verify your identity documents.
  6. When your identity is verified, select ‘Continue with application’.
  7. Enter the required information and upload any supporting documents.
  8. Enter your bank details.
  9. Review your application.
  10. Check the Declaration boxes.
  11. You’ll be sent a confirmation email.
  12. If additional information to support your claim is required, you’ll be notified.

After your application is received it will be reviewed. If your application is approved, payment will be transferred within 5–10 business days from the date of approval.



Revitalising Australia’s Manufacturing Industry

Andrew Liveris delivers growth plans for local manufacturing sector

Andrew Liveris, former chairman and CEO of DOW Chemical Company, presents his address: Leadership in the 21st Century – How to Respond to Increasing Volatility and the New Tectonic Trends Defining Our World

Andrew was the Special Advisor to the Australian National COVID-19 Co-ordination Commission. He is the Co-Chair of the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission, advising on how to accelerate the Territory’s economic rebound and growth. He is an Independent Member of the Australian government’s Industry Growth Centres Advisory Committee providing advice on the Industry Growth Centres initiative.

You can watch Mr Liveris address live, airing on the ABC Wednesday 16th September at 12:30 pm

– Australian Government Export Grants available now-

Ryan can assist with services such as:

  • Scope your potential to claim various grant programs
  • Assist with the preparation and lodgement of grant applications
  • Review or provide a health check on your internally prepared grant applications
  • Establish record-keeping practices as required under various grant programs
  • Provide prepayment loans against future cash refunds under the R&D Tax Incentive
  • Keeping industry informed on all new Government policy and grant initiatives

Don’t hesitate to give us a call.