Export Market Development Grant

Applications for the year ending on 30 June are required to be lodged in the period from 1 July to 30 November, or via an approved EMDG Consultant until 28 February. Final lodgement dates falling on a weekend are extended to the following business day. Late applications are not allowed.*

* 2018-19 dates for self-lodged or Consultant-lodged applications are extended to 2 December 2019 and 3 March 2020 respectively.

Applications are made online.

Export Market Development Grant – Fast Facts

What is the EMDG?

The Export Market Development Grants scheme is a Federal Australian Government financial assistance program aimed at encouraging by small to medium Australian business exporters.

The grant reimburses up to 50% of eligible export promotion expenses above $5,000 (to a maximum of $150,000) provided that the total expenses are at least $15,000.

Up to 8 grants may be claimed per eligible applicant.

The scheme is administered by the department of Austrade under the Export Market Development Grants Act 1997

Who can claim EMDG?

Any Australian individual, partnership, company, association, co-operative, statutory corporation or trust, and certain Approved Bodies and Joint Ventures which have carried on export promotion activities.

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 export expenses under the scheme (first-time applicants can combine 2 years expenses)
  • principal status for the export business (some exceptions apply, eg. non-profit export focused industry bodies)

The business also must have promoted one of the following:

  • the export of goods and most services
  • inbound tourism
  • the export of intellectual property and know-how
  • conferences and events held in Australia

An eligible product is one of the following:

  • a good made in Australia
  • a good made outside Australia where Australia will derive a significant net benefit from its sale overseas
  • all services except those specified as ineligible in the EMDG Regulations
  • a tourism service (including accommodation, passenger transport or tours)
  • a conference or event held in Australia
  • an intellectual property right that mainly resulted from work done in Australia
  • a trademark that was owned, assigned or first used in Australia
  • know-how that mainly resulted from work done in Australia

Further information: See Who can apply for EMDG?

How much is the EMDG?

There are nine categories of promotional activities which can be claimed. Where there is eligible expenditure in excess of category limits, applicants are encouraged to include all expenditure to ensure each element of claim and the claim overall claim is maximised.

The maximum grant is $150,000, subject to funds available in the scheme.

Grants are payable in two tranches according to differing formulae based on the number of grants the applicant has previously received.

Applicants who have received less than 3 grants are paid on the following basis:

First two grants

  • First tranche: Provisional grant entitlement – 50% of (total eligible expenses – $5,000 non-reimbursable threshold amount) – limited to the initial payment ceiling amount which is announced around June/July each year. (Entitlements below the ceiling amount are paid in full).
  • Second tranche: the amount of the provisional grant entitlement above the initial payment ceiling amount (if any), subject to an available balance of scheme funding, paid at the end of the financial year

Additional threshold application conditions attach to applicants seeking their third or more grant, with an irreversible selection of one of two options required as the basis of payment.

Third or more grant

For the third or more grants an EMDG performance measure must be met.

Option selections cannot be changed after assessment, and the specified application documents are mandatory for a valid application.

  • Option A – Austrade calculates the provisional grant entitlement as the lesser of:
    • (a) 50% of (total eligible expenses less $5,000) and
    • (b) the relevant % of export earnings depending on how many grants you have received. These percentages are as follows:
Grant Year% of export
  • Option B – elect to supply detailed financial data which meet the Australian Net Benefit requirements, for a grant calculated as 50% x (total eligible expenses less $5,000). The net benefit requirements include criteria which qualify the adequacy of commercial returns, financial sustainability and economic benefits to Australia.

Detailed information – See Export Grants Publications

EMDG Claims expenditure limits

In addition to the overall grant claim limit, categories of eligible expense have the following ceilings as noted:

Category of
Max. Claim
per Application
Overseas representation$200,000
Marketing consultants$50,000
Marketing visitsTravel cost (with limit of 65%
of 1st class airfares) excluding ground transport costs from 1 July 2017
plus $300 (2016-17 $350) living & entertainment (max 21 days)
Free samplesCost, capped at $15,000 after 2015-16
Trade fairs, seminars,
in-store promotions
Promotional literature
& advertising
Overseas buyer visits$7,500 per buyer per visit up to $45,000
Registration and/or
insurance of
intellectual property

Claim categories:

  • reasonable costs for overseas representation to market or promote your product – up to $200,000 per application
  • cost of an arms length consultant for export market research or marketing activities – up to $50,000 per application
  • marketing visit travel costs (including a limit of 65% of 1st class airfares) plus an allowance of $300 (2016-17 $350) per day for accommodation, entertainment and living expenses up to 21 days.  In-country travel other than air fares has been removed from 1 July 2016.
  • the cost of providing free samples of the product you are promoting for export up to $15,000 (no limit for first year applicants combining 2 years including 2015-16)
  • the cost of participating in an international trade fair, seminar, in-store promotion, international forum, private exhibition, or similar activity
  • external costs of promotional material, such as brochures, videos, DVDs, advertising and website development
  • the cost of bringing potential buyers who are non-residents to Australia for an approved export promotion purpose – up to $7,500 per buyer visit and $45,000 per application
  • Registration and/or insurance of eligible intellectual property – up to $50,000 per application

As you might expect, there are documentary evidence and the substantiation of bona fide exporter status requirements associated with the eligibility and approval of claims, and costs generally must be incurred through arms-length external providers. For further detailed guidance, please consult the “Further information” links below.

What you can’t claim for EMDG

To be eligible for an EMDG claim, expenditure must meet definitional and evidentiary requirements.

Not eligible are expenses which:

  • are not substantiated
  • were incurred by a related business entity
  • relate to business with the DPRK (North Korea), New Zealand and Iran before 18 January 2016 (for first-time applicants combining two years of expenses)
  • are not promotional
  • were incurred by you when you were not a resident of Australia
  • relate to after-sales activities
  • are subject to reimbursement by a third party (other than EMDG)
  • relate to an illegal or unlawful activity
  • are a commission or discount
  • are in payment of an Australian tax, levy or charge (except Australian departure tax)
  • relate to any form of pornographic material with a classification equivalent to the X-rating for films
  • are cash payments exceeding $10,000 per application

(See further guidance here)


Source: EMDG Checklist (pdf)

Further information

See also

Export Finance – Small Business Export Loan – EFIC

Government-funded unsecured export loans from $20,000 to $350,000 secured by director guarantees are offered to exporting businesses for whom bank finance is unavailable.

EFIC Small Business Export Loan
Key Eligibility Criteria
RevenueAnnual revenue A$250,000 to A$10 million last financial year.
Age of businessEstablished for at least 2 years.
Nationality of businessMust be an Australian registered company, with an ACN.
Export contract requirementThe loan must be used to finance Australian export purchase order or contract
Australian contentMust be for Australian goods and services
Market gapBank finance must be unavailable
Environmental social policyMust agree to EFIC’s Environmental Social Policy
Credit information policyMust agree to EFIC’s Credit Information Policy
See more: Who is eligible

In addition to small business finance, EFIC provides a range of export finance and insurance services to businesses within an Australian export supply chain.



This page was last modified 2019-11-07