Export Market Development Grant (EMDG)


How does the EMDG cash rebate work?

The incentive is that eligible businesses will receive funding based on their level of overseas marketing spend. The program is non-competitive, and if you are eligible and have the right documents you will receive a grant.

The pool of funds is currently $157.9 million per annum, and most industries and services are eligible. Currently it provides a cash rebate of approximately 50% of eligible marketing expenses with the maximum grant being $150,000 (subject to available funding).

For the future (from July 2021 onwards) the program will change, bringing forward the application process, and approving funding before you spend.

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$50 million

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

Have spent at least $15,000 in the past 2 years promoting your goods, services or IP to potential overseas customers

Find out if you are eligible

What expenses are eligible for EMDG?

There are 8 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.
Capped at $200,000.

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

Travel to overseas markets

Travel undertaken to meet international clients for a marketing purpose. This includes airfares and a daily allowance towards ground travel, accomodation and food.

TIP: We only need a few documents, but some 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. Capped at $15,000.

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. Capped at $7,500 per buyer per visit; to a maximum of $45,000.

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. Capped at $50,000.

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). Capped at $50,000.

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

Calculate your potential funding

Use the calculator below to see an estimate of your grant.
This is just a guide, contact us for a detailed analysis of your eligibility.


Here’s an indicative timeline for the EMDG Cash Rebate program.

  •  Applications open 1 July 2021
  •  After assessment, grants approved up to $30,000 will be paid in full.
  •  For larger grants ($30,000 – $150,000) these will be paid in 2 tranches;
    – The 1st tranche will be $30,000 – paid on approval.
    – The 2nd tranche to be paid late June 22 – subject to scale back to match total grant demand with available Federal Budget funding.

How we can help

The legislation and enforceable guidelines have evolved over 41 years, and are complex, so it is worth seeking professional advice. We provide a full service for the entire process to maximise your cash rebate.

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.

Audit support

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

Maximise the outcome

For this and your future 7 grants.

No grant, no fee

We work on a pure success fee. No hourly rates, no charge for advice. 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.



How does EMDG work?

EMDG is a rebate program rather than a grant (despite the name). It works over financial years and at the end of the financial year you can lodge an EMDG application for expenses paid in that previous year. There is no requirement to register for EMDG prior to incurring expenses.

Am I eligible for EMDG?

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 keep.

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

Grants are generally assessed by Austrade on a “first in” basis so it depends on when your application is lodged. If you lodge your application in July then funds are usually received within 6 weeks. If the application is lodged in November it can be as late as May/June the following year before your claim is assessed and paid.

Will I get it all back?

No. The amount you get back is 50% of eligible marketing expenses over the first $5,000 with the maximum grant being $150,000 (subject to availability of funds) in any one application.

EMDG is paid out of a fixed funding pool. In some years there has not been enough money to pay applications in full, so the government uses a split payment system. Currently this system guarantees that grants of up to $30,000 (the initial payment ceiling) will be paid in full. Grant amounts in excess of this figure will be scaled back so that the EMDG scheme is kept within the allocated budget.

How early can I claim EMDG?

EMDG applications open on 1st of July each year.

Is there a deadline?

Yes, the standard EMDG deadline is 30 November, but why wait till then…it will only delay the time it takes to get your cash rebate. An extended late lodgement is possible but comes with conditions…but again…why wait….the best time to lodge is as soon as you can after 1 July each year.

Do I have to pay the government back?

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

What costs can I claim with EMDG?

Expenses you have paid across 8 categories of marketing activities, to the extent they were 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

Click here to read more on these.

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.

Is there a minimum I must have spent to qualify for EMDG?

Yes, you must have spent $15,000 in total on eligible expenses in the previous financial year, unless it is your first claim in which case you can combine 2 years of spend to meet that minimum $15,000.

What if I haven’t spent $15,000?

Talk to us – you might be surprised how much you have spent – for example the OVA (Overseas Visit allowance ) which applies to travel might add up to more than you think.

What if I manufacture overseas?

You may still be eligible for EMDG. The 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.

Can I get some money before I travel?

No, EMDG is a rebate program – you need to spend the money first, then, at the end of the financial year, lodge the rebate application. However it is a very good idea to get advice early – even before you start spending – so you know what records to keep and determine that you will be eligible.

What is the process if we want you to prepare our EMDG application?

1) Determine if you are eligible

2) If Yes then identify which expenses are eligible – if you use MYOB cloud or Xero and provide us guest access it is often a big help.

3) We will advise what supporting documents are required for the expenses identified.

4) Your job is to get us those supporting documents.

5) ES prepare the claim and get back to you with any queries or requests for further documents

6) Once we are both happy with the application it gets lodged electronically, much like a tax return.

7) Then we wait for the government to undertake its assessment which is generally a site or phone audit. ES will be your representative through this process.

8) Once the assessment is complete (normally about two weeks after the audit) the government issues an official Notice of Determination.

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, and Appeal to a Review if necessary.

EMDG is what we do, and have done for many years.

What fees do you charge?

Export Solutions work on a success fee basis – No Win – No fee. There is no initial consultation fee and no obligation – you can call us and be confident you will receive professional advice without being charged a fee.

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.

I wish I had of found out about EMDG earlier.

If you have spent money on international marketing in the past 2 years it is not too late – and you have another potential 8 grants for future 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 EMDG 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.

I am in a band and we have played some shows overseas – can we get EMDG?

Possibly. Bands that are going on tours that make very little money are sometimes eligible for EMDG.

My business only sells online, can we get a grant?

Yes, normally online businesses advertise using Google Ads, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, 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.

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.

What is changing from July 2021?

For the future (from July 2021 onwards) it has been announced that the program will change, bringing forward the application process, and approving funding before you spend. Read more about the proposed EMDG changes.