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.

Compliance approach

Ensuring strong compliance with foreign investment legislation is a priority for the Australian Government, to ensure that foreign investment is not contrary to the national interest.

Treasury undertakes a number of compliance activities which can be categorised into four key areas:

  • compliance assurance – compliance assurance activities, including audits;
  • enforcement – undertaking enforcement activities under the legislative provisions;
  • stakeholder engagement – educating foreign investors and their advisers on compliance obligations; and
  • market intelligence – using data and information to better understand and address non-compliance.

Treasury’s compliance efforts are focused on areas of risk to the national interest and aim to achieve a balance between providing assurance, detecting and remedying non-compliance while limiting the impact and supporting foreign investors to do the right thing.

Treasury also provides support and education to foreign investors to assist them to meet their compliance obligations in the first instance.

Treasury’s compliance approach is set out in the Compliance Framework Policy Statement.