Expanding your business overseas? Want 50% of your marketing expenses covered by the Australian Government? Yes Please...

Export Market Development Grant

The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme is a key Australian Government financial assistance programme for small to medium aspiring and growing export-ready businesses. It encourages businesses to increase international marketing and promotion expenditure to achieve more sustainable international sales. Local organisations of all sizes and industries can apply for the grant and receive 50 cents on the dollar back on all expenses relating to developing overseas markets. Both businesses with already-established presences abroad and companies looking to expand in the near future are invited to apply.

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Who Can Apply?

An Australian individual, partnership, company, association, cooperative or statutory corporation that has:

  • Carried on business in Australia
  • Promoted the export of goods
  • Promoted the delivery of services outside Australia
  • Promoted certain services in Australia to non-residents
  • Promoted inbound tourism
  • Promoted the export of intellectual property and know-how outside Australia
  • An income of less than $50 million for the year
  • Spent at least $15,000 on eligible export promotional activities.

A trustee may also apply on behalf of a trust.

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What Can Be Claimed?

  • Overseas representation expenses
  • Marketing consultant expenses
  • Marketing visits expenses
  • Free samples expenses
  • Trade fairs, seminars, in-store promotions expenses
  • Promotional literature and advertising expenses
  • Overseas buyers expenses
  • Registration and/or insurance of eligible intellectual property expenses.
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What Do You Get?

  • Up to 50 per cent reimbursement of eligible expenses, less the first $5,000
  • Each applicant may receive a grant of up to $150,000 per application, to a maximum of eight annual grants
  • Grants are regarded as assessable for income tax purposes
  • The Australian Taxation Office has confirmed that GST will not apply to EMDG grants.
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Admin & Management

You must complete and submit your online application, including the required documents, between 1 July and close of business 30 November, or you can use an approved EMDG Consultant who can lodge a claim on your behalf until 28 February.

What Cannot Be Claimed?

  • Expenses that:Relate to trade with New Zealand or North Korea, or with Iran up to and including 17 January 2016
  • Are of a capital nature
  • Relate to sales or product development
  • Are fraudulent, unsubstantiated or related to an illegal activity.

The GST component of incurred expenses cannot be claimed under EMDG.

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Special Approval Applicants

Industry associations and joint ventures are able to seek ‘special approval’ status from Austrade to enable them to apply for a grant.


To be eligible, the business must have:

  • Income of not more than $50 million in the grant year
  • Incurred at least $15,000 of eligible expenses under the scheme (first-time applicants can combine two years expenses) 
  • Principal status for the export business

The business also must have promoted one of the following:

  • The export of goods or most services
  • Inbound tourism
  • The export of intellectual property and know-how
  • Conferences and events held in Australia

Upon meeting the above criteria, any Australian individual, partnership, company, association, co-operative, statutory corporation or trust may seek the export grant.

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Key Facts About EMDG

The annual EMDG budget is $137.9 million. In the 2016-17 financial year grants worth $131.4 million were paid to 3,166 businesses.

For the 2015-16 grant year:

  • The average grant was $40,921
  • 891 businesses entered the scheme for the first time
  • Businesses that received grants reported generating $3.8 billion in exports.
  • 485 recipient were from rural and regional Australia
  • Three quarters of recipients were small businesses, reporting annual income of less than $5 million.
  • By broad industry classification, 65 per cent of EMDG recipients were from the services industries, with a further 30 per cent in manufacturing and five per cent in the primary sector.
  • The principal market targeting by EMDG recipients is the United States, followed by the United Kingdom.
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