Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) 2021/22 new rules


For the 2021/22 year onwards, the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme will be reoriented from a scheme providing assistance through reimbursement after expenditure to an upfront grant agreement. This will give eligible exporters funding certainty before they embark on their marketing and promotion activities.


How it will work

Eligible SME’s will be able to apply and get approval up front, giving certainty of funding and confidence to commit to marketing activities. The new rules commence 1 July 2021, although it is likely we can lodge applications ahead of that date.

Importantly this is for planned expenditure AFTER 1 July 2021. If you have expenses to claim for EMDG for 19/20 or the current 20/21 year then you should still apply under the existing EMDG rules – view the current program information or contact us to discuss.

Three stages of funding under the new rules

Grants up to


Over 2 years

For eligible businesses who are
new to export.

Grants up to


Over 3 years

For eligible exporters who plan to expand
their presence in current markets or enter
new markets.

Grants up to


Over 3 years

For exporters who continue to expand
into new markets.

Am I eligible for a grant?

The Rules are not yet announced, but it is likely that:

There will be a test of export readiness 

Grant will be based around your planned spending on eligible overseas marketing activities – likely similar to existing categories

Grant will be a percentage of your planned spend

Most industries and services will receive support

Promotion to almost all export markets likely
to be eligible (not NZ)

Annual revenue (turnover) of less than $20 million

Exporting / intending to export

Not previously received 8 EMDG rebates

Find out if you are eligible

What expenses are eligible?

The Rules for 2021/22 have not yet been announced but it is likely that the types of eligible expenses will be similar to the existing program, including;

  • Social Media, advertising, website etc
  • Travel to overseas markets
  • Trade fairs
  • Marketing Consultants
  • Overseas representatives
  • Free samples
  • Overseas buyers
  • Patents and trade marks

How we can help

We provide a full service for the entire process to maximise your grant.

Strategic advice

On the best approach for your business to access EMDG.

Prepare and lodge

Identify the key documents needed and prepare a quality application.

Negotiate through to approval

Stand alongside you, with strong technical knowledge, to get acceptance of items claimed.

Maximise the outcome

For your current and future grants.

A team across Australia

Our experienced team is located across Australia, contact us to find out whether you are eligible and how much you may be entitled to. Contact us directly or let us know a day and time to call you.


Note that the information is all subject to change as the legislation and Rules emerge.
Contact us to receive updates as they come to hand.

How will EMDG work for the 2021/22 year onwards?

For the 2021/22 year onwards you will submit your proposed marketing spend and supporting information, and you will have your grant approved before you spend. This gives you confidence and certainty of the grant you will receive. Grant monies will likely be paid on a milestone basis.

Is EMDG a competitive grant?

EMDG is an entitlement program – if you meet the eligibility criteria you will receive a grant.

Am I eligible for this grant?

This is not something we can answer in a quick paragraph or by getting you to answer a list of set questions because every business is different. EMDG does apply to most industries so if you are promoting anything at all overseas then it is definitely worth finding out. The quickest way to do this is to give us a call or arrange for us to call you at a convenient time. There is no obligation or cost involved – we are happy to provide up front advice so that businesses can proceed with confidence, and know what documents to prepare and keep.

How long will I have to wait to receive my money?

We don’t have the detail yet – but the word is that applications will be processed promptly. A complete, comprehensive and well structured application will likely proceed to approval faster.

Payment of the grant will likely be on negotiated milestones.

Will I get it all back?

The detail is yet to be announced, but we expect you will receive up to 50% of the eligible marketing expenses you plan to spend – subject to caps on various categories, and the cap on the maximum grant depending on which “stage” that applies.

What are these 'stages'?

Stage 1 – for businesses new to export – grants of up to $80,000 over 2 years

Stage 2 – exporters planning to expand – grants of up to $240,000 over 3 years

Stage 3 – exporters expanding into new markets – up to $450,000 over 3 years

Can I get grants under all 3 stages?

Yes you will be able to progress through the stages. There might be opportunity to enter at a higher stage.

How early can I claim?

Details not yet available but likely you can apply throughout the year, probably from June 2021 or maybe a little earlier. Remember this is for marketing expenses from July 2021 onwards – the existing scheme remains in place for spend up to that date.

Do I have to pay the money back?

The money provided through the EMDG program is a grant not a loan. It does not need to be repaid to the Government.

What expenses can I include in my application?

Details not yet available but likely similar categories as the existing EMDG program expenses across categories of marketing activities, to the extent they are for promotion to overseas buyers:

  • Social media, website, advertising, videos endorsements and more
  • Travel to overseas markets (airfares and an allowance)
  • Trade Fairs
  • Marketing consultants
  • Overseas Representatives
  • Free samples
  • Overseas buyers travel
  • Patents and trade marks

Is there a limit to how much I can claim?

Yes, some categories will likely be “capped”.

What if some of my marketing costs are for both the Australian and overseas markets?

This is often the case – so we apportion the costs on a fair and reasonable basis. The basis and calculations can have a significant effect on your grant amount, so it is worth talking this through at an early stage so you can keep the key information to support and maximise your claim.

What if I manufacture overseas?

You may still be eligible. The existing scheme recognises that Australian businesses may have their goods manufactured overseas. There is provision for a submission to the government showing the significant economic benefit Australia receives through your Australian designed goods, through revenue employment, tax paid and more. This aspect is likely to continue.

Can I get some money before I travel or pay for a trade fair?

This will be in the scheme rules that are not yet announced – but it seems possible that milestone payments might be available.

Can I claim my own wages and my Australian staff’s time/wage?

Generally no under the existing scheme – however there is an exception where that person is based overseas and qualifies as an overseas representative. It is likely that these principles will be retained.

Can I include costs for marketing to New Zealand

No – marketing costs to NZ are not eligible.

What are your qualifications/ why should we use you as my consultant?

All of our EMDG team have worked with EMDG for between 4 and 22 years, and have strong financial and business backgrounds, including in many cases qualifications in accounting, international business or a range of other studies from agriculture to foreign languages.

We share our EMDG knowledge amongst the team, we have strong technical knowledge, lots of experience on all aspects of the program, including the legislation and enforceable guidelines, and we have a very high success record.

We are not afraid to argue your case, to negotiate the maximum grant for you. EMDG is what we do, and have done for many years.

Where are you based? 

We work nationally and our advisors are based in NSW, Victoria, WA and ACT. We travel to other cities and regions, and are equally happy to consult by phone, video and email – we have been doing so for years.

Someone told me I am not eligible for EMDG…so it’s not worth trying is it?

We hear this several times a year – sometimes it is true as not all business models fit the scheme. But often it is just that they didn’t get the right advice, or, didn’t get asked the right questions. Give us a call – 10 minutes is all it might take to determine whether you are eligible.

My business only sells on-line, can we get a grant.

Yes, normally online businesses advertise using google adwords, facebook, Instagram, website, bloggers, influencers etc and all of these are eligible expenses.

I think we applied for EMDG years ago but am not sure. Can you find out?

Yes, we can help find out if you have any prior EMDG grants history. If your business has had less than 8 claims then you may be eligible for more.

Can I re-enter the EMDG scheme?

Grants history will follow applicants from the current scheme to the new scheme – so if you have received 8 grants under the old scheme you will not be eligible for more.

If you have had less than 8 grants before, then there will be a transition arrangement.

I provide marketing services to some Australian businesses that sell internationally, am I eligible?

Generally no, you would not be eligible as you are providing services to an Australian business rather than exporting your own goods or services. The businesses you work for may be able to claim your fees in their own EMDG applications so you should make them aware of this.