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.
SMEs will be able to apply for grants up to $770,000 per applicant, and over up to 8 years (not necessarily consecutively) for eligible promotional activities.
Grants will be available in 3 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 2 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 are currently being finalised, with some small changes being made to address concerns raised during stakeholder consultation during December 2020 and January 2021. See the Exposure Draft (PDF 330KB).
The mechanics of how the grant will operate, and how EMDG will transition from the existing reimbursement model to a grant payment model, are also currently under development.
Work has also begun on drafting of the guidelines and developing the application platform. Additional stakeholder input will be invited in the near future.
How do I stay up to date with changes to EMDG?
Austrade will be in regular communication on these changes. The best way to stay up to date is by subscribing to Austrade’s EMDG Update.
If you have questions about the proposed EMDG reforms which are not covered here – these can 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: