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Enhancing foreign investment compliance

Treasury is enhancing its compliance arrangements for foreign investment. These arrangements are designed to provide strengthened assurance that foreign investors are meeting their obligations while minimising the regulatory burden.

Recent years have seen a significant change in the foreign investment environment, including the size of investments being undertaken and the sectors in which investments are focussed. This has led to a higher proportion of applications being subject to conditions to ensure they are able to proceed without being contrary to the national interest.

Ensuring there is strong compliance with Australia’s foreign investment laws is a priority for the Government. Treasury will be placing additional resources into foreign investment compliance, and will develop a revised compliance framework, undertake a rolling annual compliance audit program, and establish a clearer enforcement policy. This is separate to the Australian Taxation Office’s delegated responsibilities for foreign investment, which focus largely on residential real estate.

While wanting to ensure there is strong compliance with the foreign investment laws, Treasury also recognises that the bulk of foreign investors are good corporate citizens and meet their obligations under foreign investment and other laws. We are always happy to discuss any compliance issues that investors may be experiencing. We also want to keep the burden on affected businesses to the minimum necessary.

Any enquiries can be directed to the FIRB compliance hotline – 1800 050 377 – or email address – firbcompliance@treasury.gov.au – between 8am-5pm Monday to Friday.