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.

Administrative change to screening arrangements

The screening of non-sensitive commercial real estate and internal reorganisation (restructure) foreign investment applications will be undertaken by the ATO from 1 April 2017. This is an internal administrative change by Government and will not require any action by Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) applicants.

A number of factors will be taken into consideration when assessing potential sensitivities and the national interest considerations outlined in the policy provide some guidance. For example, proposals that involve sensitive assets or operate in a sensitive industry, such as critical or public infrastructure may be considered to be sensitive. Also, where a sensitivity is identified through the screening process such as proximity to Defence property, the application may be considered to be sensitive.