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EXPORT MARKET DEVELOPMENT GRANTS REGULATIONS (AMENDMENT) 1995 NO. 315EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
STATUTORY RULES 1995 No. 315
Issued by Authority of the Minister for Trade
Export Market Development Grants Act 1974
Export Market Development Grants Regulations (Amendment)
Subsection 43(1) of the Export Market Development Grants Act 1974 (the Act) provides that the GovernorGeneral may make Regulations, not inconsistent with the Act, prescribing all matters prescribed, or necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the Act.
The Act provides grants to Australian residents who have incurred expenditure promoting overseas Australian goods, services, industrial property rights, and know how. Access to grants is relatively free of limitations with respect to the overseas markets in which promotional activity may be undertaken. Exporters, however, are generally limited, inter alia, to eight.
Details of amendments to the Regulations under the Act are as follows.
Tourism, where provided as a package of three or more "amenities" for an all inclusive price, has been eligible under the Act since the 1990/91 grant year, and at the general grant rate of 50 cents in the dollar. Eligible "amenities" are prescribed in Regulations as empowered under subsection 43(3B) of the Act. The Export Market Development Grants Amendment Act 1995 (the Amendment Act) amended the Act to provide that single service tourism also is eligible for a grant but at a grant rate of 25 cents in the dollar. The current listing of tourism "amenities" eligible to be put together in packages of three or more "amenities" to attract the 50 percent grant rate are prescribed by Regulation 7B Schedule 2, and remain unaltered. These "amenities" cover passenger transport by air, land and water, accommodation, escorted tours, and "tourist attraction". The Amendment Act provides for the additional provision of single service tourism which is to be known as "designated tourism services". Item 22 of the Amendment Act provides that "The Regulations may declare that services of a specified kind are designated tourism services". To reduce the incidence of single service providers (25 percent grant rate) grouping their "amenities" simply to access the 50 percent grant rate, the Schedule of "amenities" eligible to be claimed under "designated tourism services" is separate from the package service Schedule. The "designated tourism services" Schedule, which covers the non packageable "amenities", includes all of the "amenities" eligible to package tourism (as it is intended that should an exporter so desire, these "amenities" may be provided singly), plus the three additional "amenities" of restaurant service, casino service and convention centre as defined by the Regulations (which are not in any circumstances available for packaging).
"Tourist attraction", as defined in the Regulations, has been and continues to be an eligible "amenity" for the purposes of the 50 percent package tourism grant rate. As indicated previously, "tourist attraction" is also eligible for the 25 percent "designated tourism service" grant rate. The Regulations provide a generic listing of "tourist attraction" including such facilities as parks, botanical gardens, wildlife sanctuaries, and museums.. These attractions automatically receive "tourist attraction" status. The Regulations provide also that, at the discretion of the Australian Trade Commission, particular tourist facilities, for example, theme parks, may be declared to be a "tourist attraction". Where undertakings are so declared, it is necessary to prevent those tourism services which may be provided within the confines of the attraction such as the attraction's internal transportation service, from becoming eligible as additional "amenities" in their own right, thereby allowing the attraction to access the 50 percent grant rate without there having occurred any external 'packaging'. To overcome this situation, where "tourist attraction" are declared by the Australian Trade Commission, they be mutually exclusive of all other tourist "amenities".
The Act contains provisions which allow exporters promoting to "new markets" to access the Export Market Development Grants Scheme beyond the general eight grant limit. A "new market" for a particular exporter is one where that exporter's earnings derived from a particular overseas market (independent sovereign state) did not exceed a specified dollar value within a specified past period of time in respect of the applicable category of 'product'. The wording of the provision which originally introduced "new markets" to the Scheme was such that there was a requirement for definitions in the Regulations to cover the 'product' eligible for "new markets". In 1993 the Act was amended to provided that the 'products' eligible for "new markets" consideration are exactly the same as those generally eligible under, and described in, the Act, thereby obviating the requirement for Regulations. The Regulations relevant to the previously existing legislation, therefore, are now unnecessary, and are revoked.
The proposed amendments have been agreed to by Government, and do not expand the categories of goods, services, industrial property rights and know how generally available under the Act, and the retrospectivity of the Regulations does not disadvantage any person in terms of subsection 48(2) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.