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Expanding to international markets is appealing for future growth, however it often requires investment in promotional and marketing activities well in advance of reaping rewards. Australian business have access to government financial assistance in the form of the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) reimbursing up to 50% of eligible promotional expenses (limit of $150,000 per year).

Applications for expenses in the 2017 financial year open on the 1st of July 2017 and close on 30 November 2017 with potential to access an extension to 28 February 2018 for an additional fee.

Eligible expenses that can be included in your EMDG claim are categorised in nine categories:

  1. Overseas representatives – You can include in your EMDG claim the cost paid to overseas sales representatives for the purpose of promoting your product outside Australia.
  2. Marketing consultants – The cost paid to a consultant to conduct export market research and other marketing activities meets the EMDG eligibility criteria.
  3. Marketing visits – The cost of travel (airfares, taxi fares, visa fees) undertaken by you, your staff or associates for the purpose of seeking out new export markets or promoting your product for export can also be included in your EMDG claim. This category includes a daily claimable allowance of $300 to cover the costs of accommodation, meals and entertainment.
  4. Communications – The cost incurred for communications relating to the promotion of your product e.g. emails, phone and postage.
  5. Free samples – You can include in your EMDG claim the cost of giving away an exact specimen of the product you are promoting for export.
  6. IP registration and related insurance – The cost of registering IP under foreign laws including the cost of obtaining insurance to protect these rights.
  7. Trade fairs, seminars and instore promotions – You can include in your EMDG claim the cost paid for the participation in such or similar external promotional activities.
  8. Promotional literature and advertising – The cost paid for promotional material such as brochures, advertising, export market specific websites also meets the EMDG eligibility criteria.
  9. Overseas buyers - The cost of bringing a potential buyer into Australia to influence the purchase of your product.

You are eligible to claim the EMDG grant if:

  • Your income is not more than $50 million in the grant year
  • You incurred at least $15,000 of eligible export expenses under the scheme (noting first time applicants can combine two years of expenses)
  • Principal, as opposed to an agent in export business activity
  • Exporting to eligible jurisdictions (currently North Korea and New Zealand are not eligible and Iran is eligible only after 17 January 2016).

A successful Export Market Development Grant application involves an Austrade audit, which is a thorough review of your EMDG claim with a focus on business and expense eligibility. Appointing Hanrick Curran as your EMDG consultant supporting the process will ensure:

  • You have appropriately selected qualifying expenses;
  • You secure maximum grant entitlements, noting EMDG claims lodged by an EMDG consultant are on average higher in value than EMDG claims lodged by self-preparers
  • Carefully collated substantiating documentation so that Austrade queries are easily addressed
  • The audit process with Austrade can be outsourced to the EMDG consultant
  • Strong planning for future international marketing activities.

For further information on your eligibility to an Export Market Development Grant register for a complimentary grant eligibility assessment, speak with your usual Hanrick Curran adviser or new clients please call 07 3218 3900 and ask for Jamie Towers.

Please note that this publication is intended to provide a general summary and should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal advice.