EMDG gains $49.8 million boost to help exporters fight COVID-19

The Morrison Government will inject an extra $49.8 million into the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) program in the 2019–20 financial year, allowing exporters and tourism businesses to get additional reimbursements for costs incurred in marketing their products and services around the world.

Federal Trade and Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said today’s funding boost would provide much needed relief and a timely cash flow injection for exporters and tourism businesses within the scheme who were doing it tough.

‘We recognise the current COVID-19 crisis is placing immense pressure on Australian exporters and tourism businesses, many of whom felt the earliest and deepest aspects of the economic downturn,’ Minister Birmingham said.

‘This extra $49.8 million to supplement the additional $60 million already committed by the Morrison Government will bring EMDG funding to its highest level in more than 20 years at $207.7 million for the 2019–20 financial year.’

Following the boost to EMDG funding, Austrade advises that for applications lodged in 2019–20, the payout factor for the second tranche will be 100%. The balance distribution date for the 2019–20 financial year has been brought forward to 31 March. This enables funding to start flowing for exporters whose EMDG applications have been assessed as eligible for more than $40,000 in the week beginning Monday 6 April. All claimants are expected to receive full reimbursement for all eligible expenses.


Can you claim promotional expenses impacted by COVID-19?

Have you incurred EMDG-eligible expenses for promotional activities in 2019–20 and 2020–21? If these activities have now been impacted by COVID-19 (such as trade show cancellations), Austrade will treat these activities as having taken place. Therefore, any incurred expenses will be eligible for EMDG reimbursement in 2019–20 and 2020–21.

If you have been paid for incurred expenses [by a third party such as an event organiser], or are entitled to be paid (such as refunds or insurance), these expenses are not eligible for EMDG.

Example: ABC Pty Ltd incurred trade fair expenses of $10,000. The trade fair was cancelled in March 2020 due to COVID-19. The trade fair operator reimbursed $3,000 to the EMDG applicant in April 2020. Therefore, the applicant is eligible to receive $7,000 in promotional expenses. Note that trade fairs are an example only and this treatment is not limited to trade fair expenses.


Removal of the export performance requirements

The Government has also waived the export performance test for those applying for a grant for the 2019–20 grant year, from July 1 2020. Any business which has incurred eligible EMDG expenses for promotional activities in 2019–20 will be able to seek reimbursement for 50% of these expenses without the Export Performance Test applying.

This is in recognition that many exporters would have spent more on marketing expenses with the expectation they would see export income high enough to meet the export performance test.


The latest information on COVID-19 for exporters

Austrade’s global network is monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and will provide Australian exporters with the latest information and insights to help manage the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on business.

In an increasingly uncertain global market, the need for support is greater than ever.


Need additional finance due to COVID-19 disruptions?

Export Finance Australia is the government’s export credit agency. It provides commercial finance solutions, including loans, bonds and guarantees, to support Australian SME exporters.

To find out how Export Finance Australia could help your business, please call 1800 093 724 or visit their website for more information.


Close of lodgement summary and assistance to bushfire and COVID-19 affected businesses

The extended lodgement period for 2019–20 closed on 3 March 2020. For the grant year 2019, we received 4,192 applications claiming $209.7 million in grants. This is 4.3% more than last year. Austrade has already assessed 60% of applications and plans to expedite those that remain.

At this stage, we do not expect significant disruption to the assessment processes as a result of the COVID-19 containment measures, other than a reduction in face-to-face meetings to assess applications. If you have been severely affected by bushfires or the COVID-19 outbreak, contact us so we can help you as best we can.


AUSkey retiring

AUSkey has been replaced with myGovID

AUSkey was decommissioned on 27 March 2020. You will no longer be able to use AUSkey to log into any government online services including the EMDG application form. If you need any information from existing applications, please contact us on

The replacement for AUSkey is myGovID. This is your digital identify which makes it easier to prove who you are online. It is different from myGov.

You will need to set up myGovID and accesses for your business to lodge EMDG applications from 1 July 2020.


Coming soon: A new EMDG application form

Austrade has developed a new EMDG application form which was tested and used successfully to submit a small number of applications in February 2020. We are continuing to make improvements so the form can go “live” for all users in June 2020 for pre-lodgement.

The form has a number of new features including:

  • MyGovID authentication
  • The applicant's grant history based on ABN from when it was introduced in 2000
  • Enhanced in form validation including business entity details
  • Improved navigation through the form, and
  • Improved sequencing of questions

Over the next few months, you will find more information on the new application form on our website.


EMDG BridgeClimb

EMDG BridgeClimb

Todd Coates, CEO of BridgeClimb Sydney, talks about the benefits of EMDG.



Simon Phin, CEO of Beyond the Break, talks about the benefits of EMDG.



Peter Freedman, Managing Director of RODE Microphones, talks about the benefits of EMDG.

EMDG AussieBum

EMDG AussieBum

Sean Ashby, Managing Director of AussieBum, talks about the benefits of EMDG.