Export Market Development Grants

The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) scheme was established in 1974 and is the Australian federal government’s primary export assistance program for small to medium enterprises.

Administered by Austrade, the scheme encourages Australian businesses to develop export markets for their products and services by providing a partial reimbursement of the promotional expenses they incur each year up to a maximum of $150,000.

EMDG is a non-discretionary scheme – if you meet the eligibility criteria, you are entitled to a grant.

A person can apply for and receive no more than 8 EMDG Applications. These Applications do not need to be made in consecutive years.

Applications for EMDG can be lodged between 1 July and 30 November. 

Export Finance Assistance Consultancy Services is an Approved EMDG Consultant under Austrade’s Quality Incentive Program and can arrange for the lodgement of EMDG Applications up to 28 February, 3 months after the statutory lodgement deadline.

Qualifying for EMDG

To be eligible to claim EMDG, you must:

  • be an Australian individual, company, association or co-operative, partnership, joint venture, trust or a statutory body established for a public purpose
  • have annual income of less than $50 Million
  • incur a minimum of $15,000 in eligible expenses during a financial year. Expenses incurred over two financial years can be claimed when first applying for EMDG
  • promote the sale of eligible products such as goods, services (with some exceptions), intellectual property and/or know-how, inbound tourism services, and events and conferences conducted in Australia
  • be the principal in an export transaction
  • be a fit and proper person
  • not be under external administration or insolvent

The EMDG Scheme also allows membership based organisations or groups that do not meet some of the above eligibility criteria to apply for a grant via a special approvals process. The benefits of the EMDG Scheme can be realised by these organisations and their members if the entity is able to obtain Approved Body status.

Eligible products

The EMDG Scheme supports businesses that promote and sell the following products:

  • goods made in Australia
  • goods made outside Australia, subject to Austrade deeming these goods eligible
  • services that are not specifically excluded under the EMDG legislation
  • tourism services
  • a conference or events conducted in Australia
  • trademarks first used in Australia
  • intellectual property rights and know-how that has been developed substantially from research or work conducted in Australia

A review of business activities can confirm the eligibility of products, services, intellectual property and/or know-how.
If products are made overseas, a separate product eligibility submission is required seeking Austrade’s discretion to deem products eligible.

Expenses that can be claimed on EMDG

There are nine categories of expenditure that are claimable under the EMDG Scheme. You can claim the expenses you incur during a financial year as long as they fall within any of these nine expenditure categories.

1. Overseas representatives

The costs associated with maintaining an overseas representative on a long terms basis to promote your products and/or services in a foreign country. For example, a relocated Australian employee, locally engaged person or overseas office would qualify as an overseas representative.

The expenses that are claimable include labour costs, office costs, travel and accommodation costs.

Expenses are capped at $200,000 per application.

2. Marketing Consultants

Fees paid to independent marketing consultants for providing marketing or market research services in relation to promoting your product in a foreign market.

Marketing consultants can be based either in Australia or overseas.

Expenses are capped at $50,000 per application.

3. Marketing visits

The cost of airfares as well as a $350 per day visits allowance deemed in lieu of actual accommodation, meals and entertainment expenses incurred during a period of overseas travel.

4. Free Samples

The actual cost of production, freight and insurance of products that are provided free of charge to a prospective overseas buyer.

Tourism service providers are able to claim a percentage of the tour cost associated with providing free tourism services or familiarisation tours to prospective overseas buyers eg: travel wholesalers.

5. Trade fairs and promotional events

The cost of participating in a trade fair, conference, international forum, or seminar.

The costs associated with conducting in-store promotions or private exhibitions.

6. Promotional literature and advertising

The cost of producing promotional literature, advertising and other marketing material, such as brochures, internet advertising, social media engagement and website expenses, that you use to promote your products and services to overseas buyers.

7. Overseas buyers visiting Australia

The transport, accommodation and meals expenses associated with bringing overseas buyers to Australia.

8. Registration and/or insurance of rights associated with eligible intellectual property

The cost of registering patents and trademarks in overseas countries or regions.
The cost of insurance premiums associated with protecting your intellectual property against infringement in another country.

Expenses are capped at $50,000 per application.

All EMDG Application are subject to assessment by Austrade prior to grants being paid. The expenses claimed on an EMDG Application must be capable of being substantiated.

Export Finance Assistance Consultancy Services has extensive experience in representing the interests of clients during the assessment and audit process. We can advise on appropriate record keeping processes to ensure compliance with the EMDG legislation and meeting Austrade’s audit requirements.

How are EMDG entitlements calculated?

A person’s EMDG entitlement will be 50% of their total eligible expenditure that exceeds the $5,000 threshold.

For example, if you incur $100,000 of eligible expenditure in a financial year, your EMDG entitlement will be $47,500 ie: ($100,000 – $5,000) x 50%.

Third and subsequent EMDG entitlements may be determined by a percentage of export earnings.

How can we help?

We provide a full service to assist our clients in accessing their current and future EMDG entitlements. These services include:

  • reviewing your business activities to confirm eligibility for EMDG and identify expenses that qualify for partial reimbursement
  • prepare and lodge EMDG Applications
  • prepare submissions on technical issues that may impact on EMDG entitlements or eligibility
  • review internal processes with a view to providing guidance on EMDG compliance procedures
  • representation at EMDG audits that are initiated by Austrade
  • provide strategic advisory services to ensure you realise your maximum EMDG entitlement, including planning around your future international promotional activities

We will also arrange for the payment of EMDG entitlements directly to a client’s nominated bank account.

We have access to an extended lodgement period. If you miss the 30 November lodgement deadline, we can arrange to lodge your EMDG Application on or before 28 February.