Export Market Development Grant (EMDG)

EMDG Key Features

Some key features of EMDG are:

  • It is an entitlement program (i.e. not a competitive process).
  • It is available to most industries and industry bodies, and applies to businesses selling goods, services, and Intellectual Property.
  • The pool of funds assigned to EMDG is currently $157.9 million per annum.
  • Applications are submitted in advance of incurring the international marketing costs. (Note that the EMDG program was restructured effective 01/07/2021. The ability to apply for expenses retrospectively is no longer available.)
  • The government pre-approves each applicant to a certain level of funding. This provides the applicant certainty of funding prior to committing to the marketing costs.
  • Grant approvals will be for 2 or 3 financial years of planned spend.

Apply under one of three tiers

Maximum grants are between $40,000 and $150,000 per annum, depending on which “tier” you qualify for, and subject to scheme demand. High demand for the program could lead to significantly lower maximums.

Grants up to

$80,000

Over 2 years

For eligible businesses who are
new to export.

Grants up to

$240,000

Over 3 years

For eligible exporters who plan to expand
their marketing activities.

Grants up to

$450,000

Over 3 years

For exporters who are making a strategic shift.

The application process

Prepare and submit an application that includes:

  • Forecast of eligible international marketing expenses over a 2 or 3 year period.
  • A Plan to Market describing how you will promote.
  • A list of 4 quantifiable marketing or outcome goals.

Successful applicants will enter a grant agreement with the government that is a pre-approval of funding. It outlines the T’s and C’s and level of support the government is offering.

At the end of each financial year submit a milestone report that;

  • Details how the business has tracked against the goals set,
  • and provide details of the actual eligible marketing spend.

Austrade will pay the funds on favourable assessment of your milestone report.

Book a free consultation

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 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

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

TIP: Only eligible for Tier 1 applicants. 

Timeline

Grants for expenses in the 2021/22 year are now closed. Opening dates for the next round of EMDG grants have not yet been published by Austrade. It is likely that when the grant does re-open it will be for a short period of time only of +/- 6 weeks.

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.

Variations

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.

FAQs

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.

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?

Milestone reports must be lodged in July-August of each year outlining your achievements and eligible marketing spend in the prior financial year. Tier 2 and Tier 3 applicants will receive payments shortly after the milestone reports have been reviewed and approved by Austrade. In some cases Tier 1 applicants may receive funding slightly earlier.

How much is the grant?

Successful applicants will be offered a grant agreement by the government which will outline the level of funding you have been approved for.

The level of funding offered to your business will depend on 3 main factors:

  • The “tier” you qualify for. The upper cap on the tiers range from $40,000 pa to $150,000 pa.
  • How much you anticipate spending on eligible marketing – the grant program covers no more than 50% of expenses.
  • Demand on the EMDG program and the level of funding in the EMDG pool.  High demand on the program can lead to significantly lower grants than the maximums.   

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.

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?

Expenses that relate to international marketing in the following categories:

  • 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?

Yes, there are a number of limits.

  • Funding limits for each year are: Tier-1 $40,000, Tier-2 $80,000, Tier-3 $150,000
  • Each business is limited to a total of $770,000 of grant support of the 8 year period.
  • You can receive no more than 50% of your eligible marketing spend.
  • The grant agreement will outline the maximum amount you will receive for each year. This may be less than 50% of the eligible spend in the forecast you submitted in your application as EMDG is dictated by a fixed amount of annual government funding.

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?

Your eligibility will depend on the level of Australian inputs into the product or service that you are promoting. Factors to consider include; Australian inputs into design, Australian employment created, export revenue earned. Export Solutions can give you guidance as to the likely eligibility of your business.

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

Advance payments are not available to Tier-2 and Tier-3 applicants. Future rounds of the grant may allow some upfront payments to Tier-1 applicants in the first year of the 2 year grant term.

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.

Can I still claim my eligible expenses retrospectively?

No, the EMDG program was restructured effective 01/07/2021 and the ability to apply for expenses retrospectively is no longer available. The only option is to apply for future expenses.

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.