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.

Monetary thresholds

On 29 March 2020, the Treasurer announced that due to the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak, all monetary thresholds will be temporarily reduced to $0, and that the FIRB will work with applicants to extend the timeframes for decision making to up to six months. Further information on these temporary changes can be found in 'Guidance Note 53: Temporary measures in response to the coronavirus', available on the FIRB website at www.firb.gov.au.

All other guidance material, including this webpage on monetary thresholds, should be read in light of those temporary changes. On this page, the temporary changes may have particular impact on matters related to, but not exclusively including:

  • the monetary thresholds for determining if the threshold test is met.

Where there is any inconsistency between this webpage and Guidance Note 53, the information in Guidance Note 53 takes precedence.

One of the tests in determining whether an action is a significant action under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 is whether the monetary screening threshold test is met.

Monetary screening thresholds are met when either the amount paid for an interest or the value of an entity or asset exceeds the threshold amount, depending on the type of action. The exception is for agricultural land, where the test is cumulative (except in relation to certain free trade agreement (FTA) partners' investors, as set out below).

Monetary screening thresholds are indexed annually on 1 January using the GDP implicit price deflator (except for the $15 million agricultural land threshold and the $50 million land threshold for investors from Thailand, which are not indexed).

Non-land proposals

Investor Action Threshold – more than:
From FTA partner countries that have the higher threshold1 Acquisitions in non-sensitive businesses $1,192 million
Acquisitions in sensitive businesses2 $275 million
Australian media business3 $0
Agribusinesses For Chile, New Zealand and United States of America, $1,192 million.
Others, $60 million (based on the value of the consideration for the acquisition and the total value of other interests held by the foreign person (with associates) in the entity)
Other investors Business acquisitions (all sectors) $275 million
Australian media business $0
Agribusinesses $60 million (based on the value of the consideration for the acquisition and the total value of other interests held by the foreign person [with associates] in the entity)
Foreign government investors All direct interests in an Australian entity or Australian business $0
Starting a new Australian business $0

Land proposals

Investor Action Threshold – more than:
All investors Residential land $0
Vacant commercial land $0
Privately owned investors from FTA partner countries or regions that have a higher threshold1 Agricultural land For Chile, New Zealand and United States of America, $1,192 million
Others, $15 million (cumulative)
Developed commercial land $1,192 million
Low threshold land4, $60 million
Mining and production tenements For Chile, New Zealand and United States of America, $1,192 million
Others, $0
Privately owned investors from non-FTA countries or regions, and FTA countries or regions that do not have the higher threshold Agricultural land For Thailand, where land is used wholly and exclusively for a primary production business $50 million (otherwise the land is not agricultural land)
Others $15 million (cumulative)
Developed commercial land $275 million
Low threshold land5, $60 million
Mining and production tenements $0
Foreign government investors Any interest in land $0

1 Agreement country or region investors are those from: the United States of America, New Zealand, Chile, Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, Singapore, Peru, a country (other than Australia) for which the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership, done at Santiago on 8 March 2018, is in force (CPTPP) (as at 1 January 2020, the CPTPP is in force for: Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam), and the region of Hong Kong, China.

2 Sensitive businesses include media; telecommunications; transport; defence and military related industries and activities; encryption and securities technologies and communications systems; and the extraction of uranium or plutonium; or the operation of nuclear facilities.

3 For investment into an Australian media business, a holding of at least five per cent requires notification and prior approval regardless of the value of investment.

4 For Hong Kong and Peruvian investors, where developed commercial land is also sensitive land (see section 52(6) of the FATR), the threshold of $60 million will apply. Low threshold land includes mines and public infrastructure (for example, an airport or port).

5 Low threshold land (see section 52(6) of the FATR), includes mines and critical infrastructure (for example, an airport or port).