The Treasurer has announced changes to Australia’s foreign investment review framework, effective from 10.30pm AEDT on Sunday 29 March 2020, relating to monetary thresholds and timeframes for reviewing applications. Details are available in our Guidance Note number 53, which addresses the effects of the changes. All material on this website should be read in light of the Treasurer’s announcement.
The first two Insights reports based on the Register of Foreign Ownership of Residential Land are now available on the FIRB website.
Please be advised that Treasury has updated the FIRB Application Checklist to provide greater clarity to applicants on information requirements when submitting a (non-residential) application. It is recommended that all applicants review the Application Checklist. This will ensure applications are consistent with the updated information requirements prior to submission to avoid significant delays in processing.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced the appointment of Mr Steven Skala AO as a part-time member to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) for a five-year period.
The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has updated Guidance Note 47: Tax Guidance to provide more information on the possible ‘additional’ tax conditions that may be imposed on an investment, and to provide greater clarity on the process for when an investor seeks to discuss their conditions with the Treasury and/or ATO. The updated Guidance Note 47 also revises the timeframe for investors to notify the FIRB of certain actions to 30 days.
On 18 September 2020 Treasury released the exposure drafts of the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Regulations 2020 and the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Fees Imposition Regulations 2020 for public consultation. The Exposure Draft Regulations and an Explanatory Statement can be found on the Treasury consultation website.
The Government has introduced amendments to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Regulation 2015. The amendments, which take effect from 4 September 2020, have the effect of reinstating normal monetary thresholds in relation to the renewal or material variation of existing non-sensitive leasehold interests in developed commercial land, where the same acquirer held a substantially similar interest under a lease on 29 March 2020. Further information is provided in Guidance Note 53.
The FIRB Application Portal will now be unavailable from 7pm Tuesday 1 September 2020 until 8am Wednesday 2 September 2020 AEST. Updates will be made to the Applicant Details page of the Portal.
On Friday 31 July the Treasurer announced the release of the exposure draft of the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Bill 2020 for public consultation. The exposure draft Bill amends the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 to implement the reforms to Australia’s foreign investment framework announced on 5 June 2020.
The Foreign Investment Review Board has updated Guidance Note 53: Temporary measures in response to the coronavirus to advise that in addition to applying for a standard exemption certificate, investors can now apply for three new types of streamlined exemption certificates. These streamlined exemptions certificates will be available to investors during the period the temporary changes to Australia’s foreign investment review framework are in place.
Foreign investment application fees have been indexed for the 2020-21 year. Revised fees will apply to applications made and notices given as of 1 July 2020. The fee schedule and further information on the application of fees is provided in Guidance Note 29 (residential land) and Guidance Note 30 (business).
A fee estimator is available to provide estimates of fees for different types of foreign investment applications.
The FIRB Application Portal will be unavailable due to updates on Tuesday 30 June 2020 from 6pm to midnight AEST.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
The Foreign Investment Review Board has today updated Guidance Note 53: Temporary measures in response to the coronavirus to advise on a revised fee process for certain investments in non-vacant commercial land.
On Friday 5 June the Treasurer announced comprehensive reforms to the foreign investment review framework. The reform package includes measures to strengthen the existing framework with: enhanced national security review of sensitive acquisitions; extra powers and resources to ensure foreign investors comply with the terms of their approval; and amendments to streamline investment in non-sensitive areas.
The Foreign Investment Review Board has today published an update to Guidance Note 53: Temporary measures in response to the coronavirus. The update provides further guidance on a number of matters, including binding agreements, agreements for lease, establishment of trusts and schemes of arrangement.