A simpler program, providing exporters with greater certainty

The reoriented EMDG will provide greater upfront funding certainty so exporters can plan their offshore promotional activities with confidence.

Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) will be able to apply for grants of up to $770,000 per applicant, and over up to eight years (not necessarily consecutively) for eligible promotional activities.

Grants will be available in three stages called tiers, designed to provide different levels of support to SMEs as they grow their export markets at the different stages of their export journey:

  • Tier 1: for eligible SMEs who are new to exporting, grants of up to $40,000 per year for two years.
  • Tier 2: for eligible exporters who plan to expand their presence in current markets, or enter new markets, grants of up to $80,000 per year for three years.
  • Tier 3: for eligible exporters who plan to make a strategic shift in their exporting business, grants of up to $150,000 per year for three years.

To be eligible, SMEs will need to be export-ready and have a turnover of less than $20 million.

How will EMDG work from 1 July 2021?

From 1 July 2021 the EMDG program will become an eligibility based grants program, and the process for receiving a grant will be as follows:

  • You apply for a grant before you spend money on promotional activities.
  • Once all applications have been assessed, Austrade offers a grant agreement to each eligible applicant.
  • You enter into a grant agreement with Austrade. You then undertake your promotional activities as agreed in the grant agreement.
  • You request milestone payments in accordance with your grant agreement.
  • Your grant agreement will set out when your milestone payments should be made and what you need to do in order to receive these payments.

Assistance for industry bodies and alliances

Assistance provided to industry bodies and alliances will be expanded to provide help for members who are new to export to become export-ready. Industry bodies and alliances will continue to have access to financial assistance to enable them to undertake promotional activities on behalf of their members in international markets, with grants of up to $150,000 per year.

Industry bodies and alliances will be known as Representative Bodies.

What are the rules for EMDG from 1 July 2021?

From 1 July 2021 EMDG will be governed by three key documents:

  • The Export Market Development Grants Act 1997 (the EMDG Act) remains in place until amendments already passed by Parliament come into force on 17 June 2021. All Commonwealth legislation is available at legislation.gov.au
  • The Export Market Development Grant Rules 2021 (the EMDG Rules)
  • The Export Market Development Grants Guidelines (the EMDG Guidelines) – a plain English description of the governing rules.

The EMDG Rules have now been finalised, incorporating feedback from stakeholder consultation sessions during December 2020 and January 2021 and from written submissions.

Development of the mechanics of how EMDG will operate is well underway, including the EMDG Online Application Portal. Grant guidelines are being drafted and will be released for public consultation. 

How do I stay up to date with changes to EMDG?

Austrade will be in regular communication on these changes. Stay up to date by subscribing to Austrade’s EMDG Update.

Feedback and questions can continue to be sent to Austrade’s dedicated mailbox: EMDGReform@austrade.gov.au

Review of financial assistance to SME exporters

For more information about the independent Review of financial assistance to SME exporters that informed these reforms, please visit: