Export Market Development Grant

What is EMDG?​

The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) scheme is an Australian Government program that provides cash rebates for overseas marketing and promotion expenditure. Each year it supports around 4,000 small to medium enterprises (SMEs). It is designed to encourage Australian exporters to establish and develop overseas markets for their goods and/or services and eligible SME exporters can apply for grants up to $770,000 (per applicant) over 8 financial years. Please note the 8 years, will include EMDG applications made under previous programs, and need not be consecutive. 

To be eligible for a grant, you must be Australian and be ready to export (Tier 1), or already exporting (Tiers 2 or 3) eligible products of substantially Australian origin or be a representative body.

The new EMDG scheme is divided into 3 Tiers: 

  • Tier 1: For eligible SME exporters who are ready to export in the grant year.
  • Tier 2: For eligible SME exporters who are exporting eligible products and seeking to expand export promotion activity for eligible products. 
  • Tier 3: For eligible SME exporters who are exporting eligible products and seeking to expand export promotion activity and make a strategic shift in the marketing of eligible products in a foreign country.

As part of your application, you will be required to provide a plan to market, detailing what promotional activities you plan to undertake, as well as your planned expenditure for each financial year which you are applying for. 

Eligible Goods & Services.

EMDG grant funds must be used for promotional activities to market eligible products in foreign countries, or for training activities to develop skills in such marketing activities. 

To be an eligible product, your product(s) must be of substantially Australian origin and be one of the following: 

  • goods 
  • services 
  • events 
  • intellectual property or know-how 
  • software

Eligible Expenses

Expenses must relate to promotional activities to market eligible products in foreign countries, or training activities to develop skills in such marketing. Please note that expenses with respect to trade with the following nations (New Zealand, North Korea, Russia and Belarus) are not eligible expenses under this program. 

Maintaining a Representative in a Foreign Country

Maintaining a representative in a foreign country for more than 6 months in a financial year is eligible when the representative:

  • Is either conducting market research in that country for your eligible products or
  • Is undertaking promotional activities to market your eligible products.

Short Trips to a Foreign Country 

Up to 21 days’ continuous travel for you or your representative, between Australia and a foreign country. This includes expenses such as airfares, accommodation expenses, incidentals, ground transport and food. 

Short Trips Within Australia 

Up to 21 days’ continuous travel for you or your representative to undertake activities relating to marketing your eligible product to potential foreign buyers. This could include expenses such as food and accommodation, transport, and participation in trade shows. It does not include ordinary remuneration for you or your representative.

Marketing Consultants 

Engaging a consultant to undertake either: 

  • Research into the market in a foreign country for your eligible product; and/or
  • Promotional activities to market your eligible product in that country. 

This could include expenses such as export planning, export pricing strategies and designing marketing materials. 

​Foreign Buyer Visits

Up to 21 days’ continuous travel between Australia and a foreign country and within Australia of a prospective foreign buyer of your eligible product so you can undertake promotional activities to market your product to that buyer. This includes airfares, accommodation and meals for the buyer. 

Soliciting for Businesses in Foreign Countries 

​Expenses for activities undertaken by you or your representative to solicit for businesses in a foreign country for your eligible products, where undertaken in a foreign country. This could include expenses associated with registering patents and trademarks.​ ​

Free Samples 

The cost of providing free samples of the product you are promoting to a person in a foreign country and if your eligible product is in tourism services, then in Australia to a person from a foreign country. This includes delivery costs to the recipient, as well as directly related costs of producing and providing the product samples free of charge. 

Promotional and Advertising Materials

External costs of promotional material, such as design and printing of brochures, videos, advertising, virtual events and website development. 

Intellectual Property Rights

The cost of registering or extending rights under foreign laws in relation to eligible intellectual property. If the rights have been obtained under the law of a foreign country. This includes expenses such as payments to patent and trademark attorneys and to relevant government trademark and patent offices. 

Training Activities – Representative Bodies

If you are a representative body, delivering (or arranging to be delivered) training to members of the represented group so they can better market their eligible products in foreign countries. 

Training Activities – Tier 1 Applicants Only

If you are a Tier 1 applicant, obtaining training so that you or your staff can better market your eligible products in foreign countries. Your training expenses are not eligible if that training is being funded under a grant agreement with a representative body. 

Plan to Market

All applications from SMEs looking to claim expenses under the new EMDG program will require a Plan to Market to be lodged with Austrade with their applications. 

A plan to market will explain to Austrade what promotional activities you have planned and details as to how you intend to do to market your product overseas in the next 2 or 3 years and why. 

It could be: 

  • A one-page statement 
  • A copy of your strategic roadmap for promotions 
  • Any otherwise internal planning document

For Tier 3 Applicants Only.
Strategic shift in marketing 

Your plan to market should provide a detailed explanation of your strategic shift that also outlines how you will support your new strategy. 

Examples of a strategic shift in marketing:

  • Targeting a new market such as a new country for your existing products or services. 
  • Developing a new way to target your market, such as starting to engage through e-commerce.
  • Targeting a different customer demographic for your existing products or services. 
  • Launching a new product or service which is not a slight variation of your current product or service​​​

For more info and to get in touch with the team, please visit the Gild R&D Incentives & Grants page.