Foreign Investment

In Australia foreign investment is governed by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

Please visit the follow links for further information:

In October 2020, the Australian government announced foreign investment reforms, which included the introduction of a new Register of Foreign Ownership of Australian Assets. The aim of this register is to consolidate and expand the various registers that currently exist across different government bodies. This will make it easier to identify trends and emerging risks associated with foreign investment in Australia.

The new register will be administered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and is expected to begin on 1 July 2023, with support from online services for foreign investors. The ATO has been provided with $24.3 million over four years to build and maintain the register, with the Commissioner of Taxation appointed as Registrar.

The new register will require foreign persons to register their interests in agricultural land, water, residential land, media assets, and critical infrastructure assets. The existing Register of Foreign Ownership of Water or Agricultural Land Act 2015 will be repealed upon the commencement of the new register.

In addition to the new register, the foreign investment reforms impact other areas of the ATO’s (Australian Taxation Office) responsibilities. This includes changes to the infringement notice regime, which expands the contraventions that can be subject to an infringement notice and introduces an additional infringement notice tier. There are also changes to civil penalty amounts, with an additional civil penalty for providing false or misleading information or documentation in a foreign investment application. Furthermore, the fees payable for foreign investment applications and variation fees have increased.

Overall, these foreign investment reforms aim to improve the government’s ability to track and monitor foreign investment in Australia, while also promoting compliance with Australia’s foreign investment framework.

Regenerate response