Significant government funding is available to assist Australian manufacturers in export markets. Here's some advice on how to avoid missing out.
Each year the federal government supports Australian companies by providing substantial rebates for expenses incurred in developing their export market.
Surprisingly, many companies are still unaware of this assistance despite being available since the 1970s.
Those who have successfully accessed the program attribute their early success in the export market to the financial assistance that the program provided.
What are EMDGs and who is eligible?
Australian businesses who promote their products or services overseas may qualify for substantial rebates for the cost of this international marketing under the export market development grants (EMDG) scheme. Between 3000 and 5000 Australian companies successfully access this grant program each year.
If eligible you will receive a cash rebate of approximately 50 per cent of your marketing spend with maximum grants being $150,000 per year.
Most industries are eligible, including manufacturing businesses. Industry sectors include, but are not limited to: manufacturing, mining services, IT and software sales, other professional services, education and/or training services, food and beverage, and others.
The key is you must be promoting your goods and services internationally (excluding New Zealand). Companies must have spent $20,000 or more on overseas promotion in the financial year and must have a turnover of less than $50m to be eligible. Companies that manufacture goods overseas may also still be eligible for the EMDG scheme.
Expense categories eligible for rebate
Eligible expenses include travel, trade fairs, promotional material, internet or print advertising, web costs, overseas representatives, and patents and trademarks.
- Overseas representatives.
- The costs attributed to maintaining an overseas representative to market your business overseas. Eligible costs include salaries/fees, office expenses, travel and accommodation.
- Overseas marketing visits (travel)
- The cost of airfares and ground travel plus a daily allowance of $300 to assist with accommodation and meals.
- The communication costs, including international telecommunications, facsimile and email, all of which are necessary to access export markets.
- Product promotion (free samples)
- The actual cost of providing free product samples to potential overseas buyers including the cost of shipping.
- Trade Fairs
- The costs associated with participation in overseas trade fairs, conferences, in-store promotions, international forums, private exhibitions or similar promotional events.
- Promotional literature and advertising material
- The costs associated with brochures, promotional videos, CD-ROMs, advertising and other promotional materials are eligible. Reasonable external costs associated with the development of promotional websites and a percentage of website hosting costs are also claimable.
- Patents and trademarks
- The cost of registering patents and trademarks outside of Australia and NZ is eligible including patent attorney expenses.
- Overseas buyers visiting Australia
- Airfares, transport, accommodation and meal costs associated with bringing overseas buyers, or potential buyers, to Australia to evaluate goods, services or intellectual property are eligible.
How do I apply?
At the end of the financial year, applicants must list the eligible marketing costs incurred during that year and submit an application for rebate. There is no need to have pre-registered for the grant and you can apply retrospectively. In fact, when lodging your first application you can apply for expenses incurred over the previous two years so you may already be eligible and it is a matter of submitting an application.
Expenses considered in the first year's application period for 2013 will be from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2013. Applications for the EMDG close in November. Applications received in July and August can potentially be paid out in September/October.
For further information about EMDGs please click here