Today Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, introduced the Trade Legislation Amendment Bill (No.1) 2016 into the House of Representatives.
The changes proposed in the Bill will give effect to several key recommendations resulting from the 2015 Review of the EMDG scheme.
The changes most relevant to EMDG Applicants are:
- Remove communications as an eligible expenditure category
- Place a limit of $15,000 on the free sample expenditure category
- Describe the promotional literature or other advertising expenditure category so that it mentions literature or material in electronic or any other form
- Repeal the provision allowing for the reimbursement of in-country travel (other than air fares)
- Change the amount of the daily allowance for overseas visits from $300 to $350
- Add to the list of excluded expenses those relating to eligible promotional activities, things or eligible products that the CEO of Austrade considers may have had a detrimental impact on Australia’s trade reputation.
The changes remain to be approved by both Houses of Parliament and given Royal Assent.
It is important to note that the changes are intended to come into effect for the 2016-17 grant year, and will not have any retrospective application to the current grant year (2015-16) for which grant applications will be lodged in 2016-17.
Austrade have also confirmed that as a result of the lifting of sanctions against Iran:
Eligible export promotion expenditure and export earnings that relate to exports to Iran, incurred on and/or after 18 January 2016, are thus now allowable expenses for the purposes of EMDG. Any such export promotion expenses incurred prior to 18 January 2016 remain subject to the previous EMDG Iran Sanctions Declaration 2008.