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Understanding the Export Marketing Development Grant (EMDG)

Updated: Sep 4, 2022

The Export Marketing Development Grant is a great Australian government grant administered by Austrade that facilitates exporting businesses to grow their markets. These can be businesses with a turnover of under $20 million, seeking to develop an export market for products, services, intellectual property or know-how.

EMDG is a financial grant designed to meet 50% of your overseas marketing costs, subject to certain conditions and limits.

The EMDG program is transitioning from a reimbursement scheme to a grant program from 1 July 2021. Businesses require government ‘approval’ up front of their spending on eligible marketing activities.

How does it work?

The scheme is for any Australian individual, partnership, company, association, co-operative, statutory corporation or trust (up to $20m turn over) that is carrying on export promotion or is export ready. All directors and owners must be reputable and in good standing with the Australian Government. That is, no outstanding issues such as unpaid debts, insolvency or criminality.

The entity applying must be the principal (own the product or service or IP) and not merely an agent and if part of an International entity, the claim can only be for amounts paid by the Australian entity to non-related parties.  The business must promote 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

The scheme does not prioritise particular industries and/or export markets however, exports to New Zealand and to Nth Korea are not included and for very different reasons.

The level of support varies in 3 tiers based on the business growth stage in export markets:

Tier 1: Ready to export

Funding of up to $40,000 per year for 2 years, available to business who are first time exporters

Tier 2: Expanding

Funding of up to $80,000 per year for 3 years, available to businesses who are expanding their export promotion activities.

Tier 3: Expanding and strategic shift

Funding of up to $150,000 per year for 3 years, available to businesses who are further expanding their export promotion activities and making a strategic shift, such as targeting a new market or type of customer.

What Marketing Costs Are Eligible?

There are seven categories for claimable export marketing expenses and each expense must be applied for and approved before it is eligible for the grant:

  • Overseas representation – the cost for engaging or employing a long-term overseas representative to act of your behalf and generate export sales (max. claim $200,000)

  • Marketing consultants and their expenses – the costs for engaging specialists for market research and or for developing you export marketing plans (max claim $50,000)

  • Travel for marketing visits – the cost for fares plus an accommodation/meal allowance of $350 per day (up to 21 days per visit)

  • Free samples – the costs to provide free samples of your export product (max. claim $15,000)

  • Trade shows and fairs – the costs of participating in International trade fairs including in Australia (if proof of overseas participation is clear e.g. Tourism expo’s) Promotional literature and advertising – the costs for brochures, flyers, software, website and overseas advertising including google, facebook and sponsorships

  • Patents and trademarks – the costs associated with securing patents and trademarks in overseas markets (max. claim $50,000)

The EMDG can be a great incentive for businesses looking to grow their brand awareness in international markets. However it can be challenging to navigate the application process, assessment & payment of claims and dealing with any assessment review process initiated by Austrade. Businesses will greatly benefit from outsourcing this task to specialists who have assisted hundreds of businesses to date.

For further information on EMDGs on whether you can qualify, please contact us.

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