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 2018-19 Annual Report is now available.
The Foreign Investment Review Board has today published Guidance Note 53: Temporary measures in response to the coronavirus. This new Guidance Note addresses the effects of the temporary changes to the foreign investment regime announced by the Treasurer on 29 March 2020. FIRB guidance on the effect of the temporary changes will from now be provided through Guidance Note 53 rather than the previously published Q&A.
It is three weeks since the Treasurer announced temporary changes to our foreign investment regime. In this note, I want to thank the Foreign Investment Review Board’s (FIRB) stakeholders for their support and understanding during this period, and provide an update on our progress in implementing these measures.
Consistent with the Treasurer’s announcement on 29 March 2020 of temporary changes to Australia’s foreign investment framework, the Government has introduced amendments to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Regulation 2015. The Regulation amends the monetary value thresholds which apply in determining whether particular foreign investments made on or after 10:30 pm (AEDT) Sunday, 29 March 2020 are subject to Australia’s foreign investment framework to nil.
If you are experiencing issues contacting our staff via the FIRB phone line +61 2 6263 3795, please be aware that you can also contact our staff using the following email: FIRBEnquiries@treasury.gov.au.
Two additional questions regarding existing exemption certificates and residential real estate approvals have been added to Q&A – Temporary changes to foreign investment framework.
The Treasurer has today announced temporary changes to the foreign investment review framework. The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) was consulted upon and fully supports the changes.
These temporary measures have been necessitated by extraordinary economic circumstances. Foreign investment is and will continue to be critical to Australia’s prosperity. These temporary measures are necessary to protect the national interest during an historically challenging time for the economy, businesses and the broader community.
Following the Treasurer’s announcement of Sunday, 29 March 2020, the threshold amounts which apply in determining whether particular foreign investments made on or after 10:30 pm (AEDT) Sunday, 29 March 2020 are subject to Australia’s foreign investment framework are now $0.
The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) recognises that measures being implemented globally, and in Australia by governments, businesses and individuals, in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic are affecting the ability of some investors to progress investment decisions.
We are currently experiencing an increase in processing times for foreign investment applications reflecting the high volume of applications recently submitted through the FIRB portal. Applicants should expect that case processing times will often be extended beyond the 30 days outlined in the FATA. Our case officers will contact applicants to discuss the expected time frame for processing their applications, taking account of any commercial deadlines related to those proposed investments. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Treasury's Foreign Investment Division is currently advertising for case officers to perform foreign investment case processing roles across our offices in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne.
Please visit the Treasury website to see all the details about the advertised positions. Applications close: 29 Mar 2020 11:30 PM AUS Eastern Daylight Time.
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 overall 2018-19 assessment for FIRB agencies (Treasury and ATO) was that the KPIs were met.
Due to system maintenance, users who submit an application through the FIRB portal between 12 noon (AEDT) Thursday 24 December 2019 and 12 noon (AEDT) Thursday 2 January 2020 will not be able to pay application fees until 12 noon (AEDT) Thursday 2 January.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Please note that applications received after 12 noon AEDT Wednesday 20 November 2019 are likely to face significant delays in processing. A case officer will contact you to discuss the time frame for your application.