On 20 February 2023, AST FIRB issued warning regarding investor compliance.
- AST FIRB reminded that since 1 January 2021, all foreign persons who are given a no objection notification or exemption certificate have been required to notify AST GVT.
- Specifically, required to notify the AST GVT no later than 30 days after taking each specified action; that requirement is under the Foreign acquisitions and takeovers act.
- Follows AST GVT December 2021 registered compiled foreign acquisitions act.
- Discussed AST GVT's series of campaigns from 2022 designed to remind foreign persons, who had not yet reported, of their statutory reporting obligations under the Foreign Acqusitions and Takeovers Act.
- AST GVT found that, out of those who responded to the three 2022 statutory reporting reminder campaigns, most had not provided their notification within required 30 days.
- AST FIRB said that failure to notify the taking of an action in the correct manner within 30 days may also result in a civil penalty of 250 penalty units for each occasion.
- Penalty unit is dollar amount used to calculate penalties under Australian law; it is set under Crimes act; for offences occurring from 1 January 2023, 1 penalty unit is AUD 275.
- Said that Australia welcomes foreign investment, but significant penalties, including infringement notices as well as civil penalties apply for contraventions of the law.
- There is a responsibility on foreign investors to ensure that they understand as well as comply with their obligations regarding Australia’s foreign investment framework.
- AST GVT will continue to work with foreign persons, remind them of their obligations.
- Takes non-compliance seriously; will be focusing on ensuring compliance re reporting.
- Also provided a link to more detailed information regarding the reporting of actions.