Maintaining strong compliance with Australia's foreign investment legislation is a priority for the Australian Government. I expect all foreign investors are aware of, understand and comply with their obligations under Australian law, including Australia's foreign investment laws.
We take a risk based, proportionate, and professional approach when assessing compliance with Australia's foreign investment laws and when responding to non‑compliance. I strongly encourage you to disclose any non‑compliance with your obligations.
Failure to comply with these laws is a serious matter, can result in imprisonment and/or significant monetary penalties and can be considered in your future interactions with Government.
The Hon Jim Chalmers MP
As a foreign investor, it is your responsibility to ensure that you understand and comply with your obligations regarding Australia’s foreign investment framework.
- notify your proposed investment to the Treasurer for screening under the Act where required
- subject to some limited exceptions, register your investment on the Register of Foreign Ownership of Australian Assets (Register)
- if you are not required to register your investment on the Register, notify the Treasurer when certain specified events occur in relation to your investment
- comply with conditions on your investment specified in a NON or EC
- keep records about your investment.
Failure to comply may result in severe penalties.
For a corporation, this may range from administrative action to penalties over $30 million, 10 years imprisonment, or both.
You should also understand and abide by any other laws or regulations, such as, consumer, business and employment laws that apply to your type of investment.
You can find more information on your compliance and reporting obligations in the ‘Your compliance obligations under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975’ factsheet
We recommend you seek independent legal advice if you have any doubts about how Australia’s foreign investment framework applies to you or your proposed investment. This information does not constitute legal advice.
Notify the Treasurer before you make your investment
As a foreign investor you must notify your proposed investment to the Treasurer for screening under the Act where required to do so.
Under the Act, we will then assess your proposed foreign investment using the national interest test or the national security test (as applicable).
Register your investment
As a foreign investor, you may need to register your investments.
From 1 July 2023, the Register of Foreign Ownership of Australian Assets is live.
You will need to amend your registration if you dispose of your investment or there are changes to your investment.
Notify the Treasurer after you make your investment
Investors who are not required to give notice for inclusion on the Register may have notification requirements under sections 98C, 98D and 98E, regardless of whether conditions have been imposed on their NON or EC.
For all other reports, such as reporting on compliance with conditions and other matters as prescribed in no objection notifications and exemption certificates, please submit your report by emailing Treasury at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comply with conditions and notices
Conditions imposed on your investment proposal are to manage the national interest or national security risks associated with your investment proposal.
Some conditions require you to report to the Treasurer on certain matters, including your compliance with conditions.
These reports should be submitted by the date and method specified in the conditions.
If the conditions do not specify a method, please email the compliance report to email@example.com.
You may also receive a notice that requires you to give information or documents to us. You must comply with this notice.
You must keep copies and records relating to your investment under law.
Records may include:
|Action, transaction, event or circumstance
|Length of time to keep records
|Any foreign investment action, significant action, notifiable action, notifiable national security action or reviewable national security action, to the extent that the records are relevant to an order or decision made by the Treasurer.
|5 years after the action is taken
|An action taken by the investor that is specified in an exemption certificate.
|5 years after the action is taken
|Whether the person is complying with a condition in a no objection notification, an exemption certificate, or a notice imposing conditions.
|2 years after the condition ceases to apply to the investor
|Certain disposals of interests in residential land.
|5 years after the interest is disposed of by the investor
|Any register notice that the investor is required to give to the Registrar.
|5 years after the register notice is given to the Registrar
Records must be kept in physical or electronic form and must be kept in English, or in a format that means they can be readily converted into English.
Approvals before 1 January 2021
Any reporting required by conditions in no objection notifications or exemption certificates issued before 1 January 2021 should continue to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org (unless the conditions specify otherwise).
This includes reporting to notify when actions have been taken or when termination events have occurred.
Variation on an investment proposal
We may vary any standard notice or notice imposing conditions if satisfied that the variation is not contrary to national interest.
You may apply to us for a variation of any notice or notice imposing conditions, including after the action specified in the notice has been taken.
If you are seeking an extension of a period specified in a notice, you must do so at least 2 months before the end of the period.
Audit proposals and reports
Documentation guidance checklist
This checklist outlines Treasury's expectations on content that should be included when submitting an audit proposal for consideration.
On approval of the audit proposal, the requirements for the assurance engagement and audit report are established.