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.

Fact Sheet 6 - OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

The Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises encourage multinational enterprises operating in Australia and overseas to be good corporate citizens. The OECD Guidelines provide voluntary principles and standards consistent with the laws applying in the respective host country. The Australian Government encourages Australian enterprises to observe the Guidelines wherever they operate, while taking into account the particular circumstances of each host country.

The OECD Guidelines provide recommendations on a broad range of issues including:

  • human rights;
  • employment and industrial relations;
  • environment;
  • combating bribery, bribe solicitation and extortion;
  • consumer interests;
  • science and technology;
  • competition; and
  • taxation.

The Australian Government has established a National Contact Point to implement and promote the OECD Guidelines to Australian businesses and other interested parties. Australia’s National Contact Point is a Senior Executive of the Foreign Investment and Trade Policy Division of the Treasury.

The OECD Guidelines contain a formal review mechanism, which provides for an examination of a multinational enterprise’s conduct where that conduct is claimed to be contrary to the Guidelines. Such an examination is termed a ‘specific instance’ and it is conducted by the Australian National Contact Point.

Further information on the OECD Guidelines, the Australian National Contact Point or the specific instance process can be obtained from the AUSNCP website.