EMDG Grants

2021 Update!

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To get help with the export grant

What is the EMDG?

The EMDG stands for the ‘Export Market Development Grant’ and reimburses up to 50% of eligible export promotion expenses above $5,000.



EMDG is a key Australian Government export financial assistance program. Each year it helps some 4,000 Australian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to start or expand their export business.

The EMDG program is designed to bring benefits to Australia by encouraging the creation, development and expansion of foreign markets for Australian products. This is done by providing targeted financial assistance, for marketing and promotional activities and development of marketing skills, to SMEs and their representative organisations.

From 1 July 2021, the EMDG reimbursement scheme will become a grant program. The new EMDG grant program begins on 1 July 2021. During the 2021-22 financial year, both the EMDG reimbursement scheme and grant program will run concurrently in the transition year.


How much can you get?

You will be able to apply for EMDG grants up to $770,000 per applicant over 8 financial years. The 8 years do not need to be consecutive.

EMDG grants will be available in 3 tiers, designed to provide different levels of support to you as you grow your export markets at the different stages of your export journey:

  • Tier 1: for eligible SMEs who are ready to begin exporting – grants of up to $40,000 per financial year for 2 years.
  • Tier 2: for eligible exporters who plan to expand their exporting – grants of up to $80,000 per financial year for 3 years.
  • Tier 3: for eligible exporters who plan to make a strategic shift in their exporting business – grants of up to $150,000 per financial year for 3 years.
  • Representative body: Assistance for industry bodies and alliances (representative bodies) extends to helping members who are new to export to become export ready –  grants of up to $150,000 per year.



What EMDG Tier do I choose?

You can apply for any EMDG tier level that suits your organisation:

  • Tier 1: you will need to be ready to start exporting.
  • Tier 2: you will have already exported
  • Tier 3: you will have already exported
  • Representative body: you will need to be ready to start exporting.

You do not have to progress through each Tier.


What do I need to spend?

You must match, at a minimum, the dollar value of the EMG grant you receive, noting:

  • Spend more –  If you spend more, you will not receive more grant money. The amount in your grant agreement is the maximum you will receive.
  • Spend less – If you spend less, you will only receive an amount equal to the amount you contributed.


What is the eligibility Criteria for EMDG?

To be eligible for the EMDG, some of the conditions are:

  • Not rich – have a turnover of less than $20 million.
  • Aussie – be an Australian person
  • Ex-Con – not have any outstanding disqualifying convictions
  • Broke – not be under insolvency administration

See Austrade guidelines for the full list.



What are the conditions for each Tier?

Some of the conditions for each EMDG tier are:

  • Tier 1: You must be ready to export. You have not previously exported eligible products, and have appropriate skills in marketing eligible products in a foreign country, demonstrated by either a declaration by you that you have used Austrade’s export readiness tool or you have completed export readiness training
  • Tier 2 : You must be expanding your marketing activities
  • Tier 3: You must be making a strategic shift in your marketing activities – a change in direction in order to access a new market or market segment driven by your business goals.
  • Representative body: You must be a representative body helping members who are new to export to become export ready.


Are you export ready?

Take this short quiz to assess how export ready you are.

  1. Do you have a clear and compelling selling proposition?
  2. Is your product or service selling well in the Australian market?
  3. Do you have the capacity and resources to scale up operations to meet increased demand?
  4. Do you have resources to modify your product or service to suit overseas customers and standards?
  5. Do you have the cash flow to manage longer payment terms from overseas buyers?
  6. Do you know the laws and regulations to get your product or service into an overseas market?
  7. Can someone in your business take time to build the exporting side of your business?
  8. Is your company willing to dedicate staff, time and resources to exporting in the long term (3 to 5 years)?
  9. Do you have people in your network you can contact for advice and support?
  10. Does your business have a website or professional online presence to attract international customers?


How do I apply?

The new EMDG has been streamlined and does not require detailed expenditure schedules to be provided with your application (as was the case with the EMDG reimbursement scheme).

The application process is simple with 3 key steps:

  1. Ensure you meet the eligibility requirements, see sections 4, 5 and 6 of the 2021-22 EMDG Guidelines.
  2. Prepare the necessary documentation to attach to your application, see section 7.2 of the EMDG Guidelines and How to apply page on the website. Note: A plan to market can be a 1–2-page document outlining a strategic roadmap for marketing your eligible products. You can use this template or provide your own internal planning document.
  3. Log onto the EMDG portal using your MyGovID to complete the online application form, upload the relevant attachments when prompted by the form and submit your application by 5pm, 30 November 2021.

Will I get the full amount?

Your EMDG grant agreement may be for less than the amount you applied for.

  • Limited Pool – Each year the Government allocates a set amount of money for EMDG (the appropriation).
  • Not Competitive – EMDG is an eligibility-based program, which means that all applicants who apply and are eligible will receive funding.
  • Too many applications – Where applications total more than the amount provided in the appropriation. Once all applications have been received, Austrade will calculate the distribution of available funds for all eligible applications.


When will I receive a grant payment?

EMDG will endeavour to issue grant agreements to eligible applicants within 10 weeks of applications closing.

You will enter into a grant agreement with Austrade and receive milestone payments in accordance with your grant agreement.

Austrade will make milestone payments on an annual basis. For example, in this grant round, Tier 1 and Representative Body grantees will receive their 2021-22 milestone payments before 30 June 2022. Tier 2 and Tier 3 grantees will receive their 2021-22 milestone payments in early 2022-23 financial year.




What is an EMDG Plan to Market?

An EMDG Plan to Market will demonstrate how you intend to do to market your product overseas in the next 2 or 3 years and why. All EMDG applications from will require a plan to market.

Your EMDG Plan to Market could be a:

  • one-page statement
  • copy of your strategic planning roadmap for marketing
  • internal planning document

Your EMDG Plan to Market should include:

  1. Strategy – Why are you undertaking the proposed marketing? In other words, what business goals are you seeking to address through your marketing?
  2. Measurement – How will you measure success?
  3. Budget – What is your overall budget for each financial year (2 financial years for Tier 1; 3 financial years for Tier 2 & Tier 3)
  4. Customer Analysis Where and what customers or demographic will your marketing be targeted towards?
  5. Activities – What marketing activities will you undertake? This can be as detailed or as strategic as you like.

Your EMDG Plan to Market should emphasize:

  • Tier 1:  Describe the next 2 years of marketing activities.
  • Tier 2: Describe how you are expanding your marketing activities over the next 3 years.
  • Tier 3: Describe how you are expanding your marketing activities and making a strategic shift over the next 3 years.
  • Representative body: Describe your promotional activities on behalf of your members.


What is a strategic shift?

A strategic shift could cover a number of different changes to your marketing activities driven by longer-term business goals such as:

  • New market – targeting a new market for your existing products or services (a new market could be a new country but could also include a different market in a large country, such as in the United States, starting to market in the East Coast versus West Coast)
  • New customer – targeting a different type of customer or demographic for your product or service
  • New product – launching a new product or service
  • New channel – using a new way to target your market, such as starting to engage with your market through e-commerce.
    Your plan to market should provide an explanation that outlines how you will support your new strategy.


Is your product eligible?

To be an EMDG eligible product or service, your product must be of substantially Australian origin.

To be of substantially of Australian origin, goods must be:

  • Primary Produce – or mainly made from primary produce (that is mined, harvested, raised or fished) within Australia
  • Made in Australia – manufactured or assembled in Australia partly or wholly from imported materials or components that, in Australia, undergo or are part of a process or operation that does one of:
    1. New – results in the manufacture of a new product
    2. Transforms – substantially transforms the nature of the materials or components
    3. Significant – is an important stage in the manufacture of a product to be produced outside Australia using those goods
  • Made Outside Australia – and at least 3 of:
    1. Assets – the assets used to make the goods ready for sale are mainly or substantially based in Australia
    2. Activities – the activities resulting in the goods being made ready for sale are mainly or substantially carried on in Australia
    3. Value Add – a significant proportion of the value of the goods is added in Australia
    4. Employment – the making of the goods directly generates significant employment in Australia.



Is software eligible?

To be an eligible product, software must be a work in which copyright subsists, and the work is the result, wholly or substantially, of research or work done in Australia.


Eligible EMDG Expenditure

You may claim for EMDG expenditure on specific export promotional activities undertaken during the financial year before the application period.

Nine categories of activities can be claimed in the EMDG Application.

  1. Overseas representatives –   all costs to have an overseas representative act on your behalf
  2. Marketing consultants – the cost of engaging a consultant to undertake export market research
  3. Marketing visits –   the cost of travel such as airfares plus a daily rate for accommodation.
  4. Free samples – the cost of providing free samples of the product you are promoting for export
  5. Trade fairs, seminars, in-store promotions –  the cost of participating in an international trade fair
  6. Promotional literature & advertising – the costs of promotional material, such as brochures and websites
  7. Overseas buyers – the cost of bringing potential buyers who are non-residents to Australia
  8. Registration and/or insurance of eligible intellectual property – payments made to patent and trademark attorneys


Want to know my EMDG tips?


Find out the tricks to maximise the EMDG


EMDG 2021-2022

The EMDG Applications for activities undertaken in the 2021-22 financial year open 16 August and close 30 November 2021.


EMDG Consultants

If you want professional assistance to submit your application, you may consider engaging an EMDG consultant.

Consultants play an important role in supporting Australia’s current and future exporters by promoting awareness of the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme, lodging applications on behalf of businesses and supporting the assessment process.

Do you need an EMDG consultant.

Contact us for assistance.

The average claim value of an EMDG consultant prepared claims has been significantly higher than that of self-prepared claims over the past 3 years, with consultant-prepared claims averaging $51,587 and self-prepared claims $47,229 this year.


How popular is the EMDG?

The number of EMDG claims received in the 2017 year increased 6.6 per cent above the previous year. Of the 3,771 applications, 1,444 were submitted by first-year applicants, an increase of 13.6 per cent from the number of first-year applicants last year, and approaching double the number recorded in 2013.

This popularity of the scheme among new applicants shows healthy levels of export activity among new exporters.

 Grant yearYears in scheme = 1Years in scheme = 2+Total claimsChange from previous year
 2013 859 1,856 2,715 N/A
 2014 985 2,210 3,195 17.7%
 2015 1,206 2,115 3,321 3.9%
 2016 1,271 2,268 3,539 6.6%
 2017 1,444 2,327 3,771 6.6%


Of the total value of EMDG claimants’ markets this year:

  • 41% – Asia
  • 37% – North America.
  • 6%  – Oceania, Africa and South America

There were 1452 EMDG claimants active in the US market this year, with a total of $780,218,933 claimed (35 per cent of total claims). China was the next largest market in dollar terms, with 514 businesses claiming $310,568,349 (14 per cent of total claims).


The proportion of claims from the services industries increased from 66.5 per cent last year to 67.5 per cent this year.

Manufacturing and primary industries both decreased slightly as a proportion of the claim population. Manufacturing now accounts for 28.2 per cent of claimants and primary industries account for 4.3 per cent.

Tourism accounted for 12.2 per cent of EMDG applications this year, while the education industry accounted for 5.4 per cent.


Is EMDG classified as income?

YES, the Export Market Development Grants are assessable income and need to be included in your company income tax return.

Government payments such as Grants are assessable income.


EMDG Recipients

Some of the recipients of the EMDG program are:


Freelancer offers a way for employers and freelancers to connect in a global digital space.

Unable to source a local contractor for a simple data entry task, Matt Barrie turned to the Internet and got 74 replies overnight from all over the world.

Barrie sensed an opportunity and, from this start in 2009, the founder of Freelancer.com has built a global online crowdsourcing and freelancing marketplace that enables potential employers to post jobs that freelancers can then bid to complete.


Australian firm HIVERY has solved business problems in the retail and FMCG sectors in Australia, the US, Japan and China using artificial intelligence (AI), helping customers generate ROI never seen before.

In 2014, HIVERY conducted an experiment with a fleet of 60 vending machines in Newcastle to test the ability of machine learning to optimise sales by recommending changes to the product assortment and space-to-sales ratio of available products.

Once the AI system was trained, it made recommendations that were implemented for those 60 machines and, a few months later, the changes had resulted in a 15 per cent increase in sales and an 18 per cent reduction in restocking visits.


When intern Ryan Griffen brought an idea for a children’s show to management at Goalpost Pictures, nobody could have imagined that the adult drama that grew from his concept would achieve one of the highest levels of export sales for a television series in recent Australian history.

First broadcast in June 2016, by the end of 2017 the first season of television show Cleverman had achieved total sales in excess of $4 million.


Tama Berkeljon was at the top of a ladder changing yet another blown light bulb while an entire film crew waited to continue work when he decided there had to be a better way to light a movie set.

So he designed and created a rig of 100 LED ring lights – one of the first high-power, large-scale LED installations to be used in a film industry environment.

The success of that lighting rig was the seed that grew into Outsight, a company that designs and manufactures high-power LED lighting systems for the film and television industry.

From inception, Outsight has focused on designing reliable and innovative equipment that solves problems in the film and television industry, where there is constant pressure to provide more and better content on a reduced budget.

Redback Boots

After nearly a century of boot making, EMDG recipient Redback Boots has a rich history of success in finding product needs in the marketplace and delivering quality solutions to meet those needs.

Started by three Greek immigrant brothers in 1927, the business that became Redback Boots remains a family-owned private company that spans five generations.

Redback has been exporting boots since the early 90s and has a solid footing overseas but is moving to take a more considered hand on the reins globally as part of the current refocusing on data-driven market analysis.

The company heard about the funding available through EMDG for companies expanding their presence in overseas markets and felt that it perfectly complemented its current plans.


Webinar: Can your business benefit from an Export Market Development Grant?

Join this free Austrade hosted webinar to find out more about these changes and how you can take advantage of EMDG to grow your export business.

From Atlassian to Zimmermann, close to 50,000 Australian businesses have benefited from the support of EMDG on their road to export success.


Latest News

04 February 2021 – ResApp Health receives $93,994

Mobile healthcare company ResApp Health (RAP) has received an Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) of $93,994.


10 September 2020 – Backing Australian exporters to go global

The Morrison Government is backing Australian businesses to grow their exports and create jobs through reforms to the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme, after an independent review of financial assistance for small and medium enterprise exporters.

The EMDG scheme is a key Government financial assistance program to help aspiring and current exporters increase their marketing and promotional activities in international markets. Last year alone over 4000 Small and Medium Enterprises accessed the EMDG scheme, employing almost 69,000 Australians and generating exports worth $3.7 billion.


27 August 2020 – Export grants helping SMEs find OS markets

EMDG has been in place for decades, and remains a key element of the government’s industry-support agenda.

It provides up to half of the eligible marketing expenses that companies have spent on export market growth, recognising – as Federal Trade and Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said in April while injecting an extra $49.8m into the program – that companies investing “in good faith to lift Australia’s exports… are unlikely to see immediate return on those investments.”


17 June 2020 – EMDG pre-lodgement period now open

Good news! You can now access the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) application form to start completing the 2020 grant year applications.

Please note that whilst the application form is open, you won’t be able to submit your application until 1 July 2020.

To use the form, you will need to have MyGovID set up and authorisation to act on behalf of the business.

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