Commercial Information Circulars
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Ref: EIC 891/1/4
6 August 2020
Commercial Information Circular No. 600/2020
Textiles Trader Registration Circular No. 8/2020
Australia : Reform of Foreign Investment Framework –
Release of Exposure Draft Legislation
Further to Commercial Information Circular No. 457/2020 cum Textiles Trader Registration Circular No.6/2020 of 11 June 2020, the Australian Government released on 31 July 2020 the exposure draft legislation to amend its Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975, with a view to implementing reforms to its foreign investment framework. The Australian Government welcomes public submissions of views and feedback by 31 August 2020.
2.The exposure draft legislation consists of two parts. Firstly, the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia's National Security) Bill 2020 includes provisions for the new national security powers – including the "call-in power" and the "last resort power", integrity and technical amendments, and provisions to improve compliance and enforcement. Secondly, the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia's National Security) (National Security Business) Regulations 2020 further sets out the definitions of "national security" and "national security business". The exposure draft legislation is available at the following link (English version only) –https://treasury.gov.au/consultation/c2020-99761.
3.The proposed reform and exposure draft legislation does not immediately affect the temporary changes to foreign investment screening thresholds announced by the Australian Government on 29 March 2020, which will remain in place for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Details of the said temporary changes are set out in Commercial Information Circular No. 282/2020 cum Textiles Trader Registration Circular No.4/2020 of 3 April 2020.
4.The Australian Government is inviting public views and feedback on the exposure draft legislation by 31 August 2020 (5 pm, Australian time). Submissions can be made to the Australian Government direct (Email: FIRBStakeholders@treasury.gov.au). If traders would like to provide their views and feedback to the Trade and Industry Department instead, please submit to email@example.com by 24 August 2020 for our consolidation to the Australian Government.
5.Some further details of the exposure draft legislation, including the time limit for the "call-in power", "last resort power", streamlining measures and other technical amendments, will be released for consultation separately in September 2020.
6.The Australian Government will host two online public information sessions on 26 and 27 August 2020. Interested traders can register vide the following link (English version only) – https://consult.treasury.gov.au/foreign-investment-division/b967c1e7/.
7.For enquiries concerning the content of this circular, please contact us at 2398 5594.
(Miss Carmen Chan)
for Director-General of Trade and Industry
Note: While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the above information, the Department cannot guarantee this to be so and will not be held liable for any reliance placed on the same.