A plan for an export market development grant to improve global export opportunities.
February 10, 2021 By Tony Madden

The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) closes on 1 March 2021


The EMDG program aims to reimburse SME’s up to 50% of the eligible costs associated with the development of export opportunities.

But was does that mean exactly? It means that for eligible businesses, the government will pay for almost half of your marketing and promotion function. Specifically:

  • MARKETING CONSULTANTS -  The costs of a marketing consultant who would provide advice in regards to an overseas market or markets, including details of potential buyers, market size, competitors, etc can be claimed. A cap of $50,000 applies.
  • ADVERTISING AND PROMOTIONAL EXPENSES - Any advertising expenses relating to overseas markets can be claimed. This includes traditional advertising such as brochures and translation services, also some website costs, as well as Google ads, Facebook ads, Instagram influencer payments, and the like.
  • OVERSEAS REPRESENTATION - If you have an agent based overseas who promotes and represents your business to prospective buyers, you can claim the cost of their salary and expenses. Your business needs to employ them for at least 12 months and they must be based overseas. A cap of $200,000 applies. Commission is not able to be claimed.
  • MARKETING VISIT EXPENSES (OVERSEAS) - Overseas trips involving meetings with prospective buyers, or attendance at trade shows may have occurred. The flight costs involving these trips can be claimed, along with a $350 a day allowance to cover food, hotels, and taxis.
  • TRADE FAIRS - All costs of attending a trade fair, or having a booth at a trade fair can be claimed.
  • FREE SAMPLES - For businesses manufacturing a product, and where these products are provided to potential buyers or advertisers as a free sample, the freight and manufacturing cost can be claimed. A cap of $15,000 applies.
  • IP SAMPLES - The cost of overseas patents and trademarks, including attorney fees, can be claimed. A cap of $50,000 applies.
  • OVERSEAS BUYERS - If your business brings a potential overseas buyer or buyers to Australia, you can claim the cost of their travel and entertainment concerning the trip. Caps do exist on the amount you can claim per buyer, with a total cap of $45,000 applying.

What’s more, first-time applicants can include expenses from the two financial years immediately before the application.


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.


Expenses that:

  • relate to trade with New Zealand and North Korea
  • 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.


Industry associations and joint ventures can seek ‘special approval’ status from Austrade to enable them to apply for a grant. Special approval status is effective for five years from the approval date. If you would like further information about how to apply for these special status categories please contact Austrade.


  1. Review the attached “EMDG Eligibility Checklist” from Austrade. You can contact us or Austrade directly on 13 28 78 at any time to clarify your eligibility.
  2. Ensure you have a myGovId
  3. Complete the online application form, available here.

You must complete and submit your online application, including the required documents, between 1 July to midnight Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) 30 November 2020 or you can use an approved EMDG Consultant who can lodge a claim on your behalf until (AEDT) 2 March 2021.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly if you have any questions regarding the EMDG Grant.


About Author

Tony Madden

Tony is a director of Trekk and based in our Brisbane office. He works heavily in the advisory space for his clients, focusing on strategic management consulting, mentoring, and resource planning with a driver of making a difference in their businesses and lifestyle. Tony has key strengths in building teams and is an active listener in working to address the pain points in clients' businesses. He had a passion for small business from a young age due to being brought up with a family of business owners. He's worked with larger corporations and not-for-profits, but he's always drawn back to helping and supporting small to medium (SME) businesses. That's why he's a Director of Trekk, because supporting SME is something we are all passionate about here. Outside of work, Tony has an active family with three sons that love sports, music and socialising. He enjoys having a drink and some laughs with mates and working on restoring his old EH Holden. He’s a passionate Eels NRL and Reds Rugby supporter with a love of vintage and muscle cars, 80’s Rock and keen runner (for the mind & body), Tony also has a laugh by 'acting the goat' at any event where he can embarrass his kids.

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