Export Grants (EMDG) – New rules 2021/22


The new EMDG rules apply to marketing spend from July 2021 onwards. The grant is approximately 50% of eligible marketing expenses with the maximum grant being between $40,000 and $150,000 per annum depending on the Tier you qualify for (and subject to scheme demand). Grant approvals will be for 2 or 3 years of planned spend, with grants being paid after milestones are achieved.

If you have expenses to claim that you paid in the past 2 financial years (ending 30 June 2021) you may be eligible under the last year of the Cash Rebate rule.

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 marketing activities.

Grants up to


Over 3 years

For exporters who are making a strategic shift.

Am I eligible for a grant?

The first step is to determine whether your business is eligible – below are the key requirements (without the legalistic language and detail – we can talk that through with you).

Exporting or intending to export

Have an ABN

Have not previously received 8 EMDG rebates 

Annual income (turnover) of less than A$20 million

Annual revenue (turnover) of less than $20 million

Have not previously received the maximum funding cap of $770,000 (since July 1990).

Seeking to sell or licence one of the following

  • Products made or designed in Australia
    (even if they’re manufactured overseas)
  • Licensing of intellectual property and know-how
  • Provision of most services
  • Inbound tourism, conferences, education
Find out if you are eligible

What expenses are eligible for EMDG?

There are 9 categories of expenses to claim.

Social media, website, advertising etc

Online marketing including Facebook, Instagram, Google, your website and more. Also brochures, magazine adverts, videos, store posters.

TIP: Using geographic targeting and good statistical monitoring can result in a higher claim.

Overseas representatives

Long-term engagement of a person or company overseas to market your products or services.

TIP: One of your team (including a director) can relocate overseas and be your overseas representative.

Travel overseas and within Australia

Travel to meet international clients for a marketing purpose. Airfares, ground travel, accommodation, food and incidentals are eligible. Capped at 21 days per trip.

TIP: Documents are best collected before and during the trip, so speak to us for advice early.

Free samples

Manufacturing and sending free product samples to potential overseas buyers. For tourism applicants this includes famils.

TIP: You need to be able to prove that the samples were given away for free and for a promotional purpose.

Trade Fairs

Participating in an international trade fair, forums and conferences, to promote your product or service.

TIP: This can include private promotional events you run and in store promotions.

Overseas Buyers

Bringing overseas buyers to Australia to evaluate your goods, services or IP.

TIP: Keep the documents inviting the buyer to Australia and records of activities.

Marketing Consultants

Consultants engaged to undertake export market research or marketing activities.

TIP: They can be based in Australia or overseas.

Patents and trade marks

Registering and maintaining registration of IP in a foreign country (excluding NZ).

TIP: Often group structures give rise to multiple EMDG applications.


Training for your team to enhance your skills to market internationally.

TIP: Only eligible for Tier 1 applicants. 


Here’s an indicative timeline for the EMDG Up Front program.

Round 1 – marketing spend from July 2021.

  • 16 August – 30 November 2021: Prepare and lodge applications.
  • February – March 2022: Receive pre-approval and enter into a grant agreement.
  • July 2022: Lodge a milestone report for expenses paid in 2021/2022.
  • August – September 2022: Receive grant money after assessment.


Round 2 – marketing spend from July 2022.

  • Opening date not yet announced – likely May/June 2022.
  • Contact us now to pre-register.

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, including Tier selection.

Prepare and lodge

Identify the key documents needed and prepare a quality application.


Negotiate variations to the grant agreement.

Milestone reports
& Audit support

Prepare and lodge the milestone reports and 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 up-front. Grants will be for either 2 or 3 years of planned expenditure.

Grant monies will be paid after you reach “milestones” – having done the marketing activities and paid the expenses.

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?

Grant Approval this year will likely be in late February 2022.

Grant payments will be made after you have done marketing activity and lodged Milestone reports, and satisfied assessment requests.

Initially grants will be an annual payment – after milestones are assessed.

So for marketing spend during 21/22 financial year you could receive the grant monies in about August 2022.

It is likely that this timeline will improve in future years.

How much is the grant?

That depends on 3 main things;

Firstly, on which “tier” you qualify for. These range from $40,000 pa to $150,000 pa.

Secondly, it depends on how much you spend on eligible marketing – the grant program covers 50% of expenses.

Thirdly, grant offers may be reduced to match demand with the government funding pool.

What are these 'Tiers'?

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

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

Tier 3 – exporters making a strategic shift – up to $450,000 over 3 years.

Can I get grants under all 3 Tiers?

Yes. You can apply for whichever Tier that suits your plan to market.

You could start at Tier 1 (if you have never exported) for your first 2 year grant, and then move to Tier 2 or straight to Tier 3 for your next grant.

Or, if you have exported before then you may enter at T2 or even T3, and re apply again in the same Tier or a different one.

Tier selection is important.

How early can I claim?

Applications open 16 August 2021, for grants for 2 or 3 years planned marketing spend.

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
  • Training to enhance your marketing (Tier 1 only)

Is there a limit to how much I can claim?

There are no caps on any of the 9 expenditure categories.

However, your grant will be limited to the amount approved for each year covered by the grant agreement.

The grant covers 50% of your eligible marketing spend – so your marketing spend needs to be double the grant amount to get that maximum grant.

Can I skip a year?

Yes you can. Grants do not have to be consecutive.

Also, if your plans change midway through, say a 3 year grant agreement, we can seek a Variation to your grant agreement.

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?

The program does allow for requests for early instalments of the grant monies, but at this stage we understand you will have to pay first, then lodge that request, along with a milestone report.

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.

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 previous 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 is 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.