The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) program encourages small to medium businesses to increase their international marketing and promotion expenditure. If your business is planning to expand by exporting internationally, you might be eligible for the EMDG.

What is the EMDG?

The EMDG program is a financial assistance program provided by the Australian government to support aspiring and current export businesses increase their marketing and promotional activities in the international market.

EMDG is available for businesses exporting products or services overseas, and for promoting inbound tourism or events held in Australia. Businesses can claim eligible marketing expenses for trade shows and marketing events cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

EMDG is a maximum 50% of export promotion expenses. The business can claim for expenses in relation to specific export promotional activities during the grant year. For the first grant, the business can claim expenses for the prior two financial years.

How do I know if my business is eligible to receive an EMDG?

Broadly speaking, the following criteria must be satisfied to qualify for an EMDG:

  • Turnover of less than $20 million for the year ended 30 June 2021;
  • Be an Australian-resident business with an Australian Business Number (ABN); and
  • Have exported or promoted to overseas buyers:
    • Goods made in Australia;
    • Goods made outside Australia where Australia could derive a significant net benefit;
    • An Australian tourism service;
    • Intellectual property generated from work done in Australia;
    • A trademark owned, assigned or first used in Australia; or
    • Any event held in Australia.

Changes to the EMDG Program

The EMDG system being transformed from a reimbursement program to a pre-approval process from 1 July 2021, which allows eligible businesses to be notified in advance of their granted financial assistance. In addition to this, the new system has an updated cap of $770,000 per business over an eight-year period, whilst previously this was capped at $150,000 per year over the same eight-year period.

Note, that businesses can still claim under the reimbursement program for the year ended 30 June 2021, until 30 November 2021.

This means that businesses need to lodge their EMDG applications for the year ended 30 June 2021 as well as their pre-approval EMDG applications for the next 2-8 years (depending on the relevant tier) by 30 November 2021. Therefore, despite concerns over when the Australian borders will open, businesses should be lodging their EMDG applications by 30 November 2021.

How does the EMDG program work?

Eligible businesses can apply for three EMDGs over the period of eight years (not necessarily consecutively) for eligible activities.

EMDGs are available in three different stages:

Tier 1 Applicants: New to Exporting

  • Relevant for first time exporters.
  • Over two years, capped at $40,000 per financial year.

Tier 2 Applicants: Expanding Your Marketing

  • Eligible businesses must demonstrate that they are expanding their marketing activities.
  • Assistance over a three-year period, capped at $80,000 per financial year.

Tier 3 Applicants: Making a Strategic Shift in Your Marketing

  • To be eligible, businesses must develop a plan to market demonstrating that they are making a strategic shift in their marketing activities.
  • Assistance over a three-year period, capped at $150,000 per financial year.

When is the EMDG deadline and how do I lodge?

Eligible businesses have up until 17:00 AEDT on 30 November 2021 to lodge their EMDG application. Late applications will not be accepted.

Now is the time to lodge your EMDG application. Expanding your business overseas is a great way to access a larger variety of markets, increase your businesses profits and withstand fluctuations in the local economy.