In accordance with section 4 of the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Act 2020, the Treasury is conducting an evaluation of the foreign investment reforms that commenced on 1 January 2021. The review is required to be completed by 10 December 2021.
Further information on the evaluation process, including a copy of the terms of reference and details on stakeholder consultation, is available on the Treasury website
The 2019-20 Foreign Investment Regulator Performance Framework Report is now available.
Under the Australian Government’s Regulator Performance Framework, regulators must undertake an annual self-assessment of their performance against six key outcome-based performance indicators (KPIs).
The fifth report of the Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land is now available.
The Register, which is maintained by the Australian Taxation Office, has been established to provide greater transparency about levels of foreign ownership of agricultural land in Australia.
On 9 December, the Treasurer announced that major reforms to Australia’s foreign investment framework had been passed by the Parliament. Further detail can be found on the Treasurer’s website.
Further to the update on Foreign Investment Review arrangements posted on 16 November 2020, Treasury is able to share the following information with foreign investors (subject to the passage of the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Bill 2020).
The Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Bill 2020 and Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Fees Imposition Amendment Bill 2020 was introduced into the Parliament on 28 October 2020.
Guidance material is being prepared to assist foreign investors to meet their obligations under the proposed reforms, including transitional arrangements from the existing framework.
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.
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.
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