Foreign investment review framework for national security regulations made

December 17, 2020

Regulations have been made to improve and update the operation of Australia’s foreign investment screening framework.

The Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Regulations 2020 (the regulations) complement the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Act 2020 and amend the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Regulation 2015 (principal regulation) to:

  • support the elements of the national security reforms by providing the definitions of “national security business” and “national security land”, establishing 2 new types of exemption certificates, and imposing a 10-year time limit on the availability of the Treasurer’s “call-in” power
  • streamline less sensitive investment by amending the definition of “foreign government investor” to classify investors currently classified as “foreign government investors” as private foreign investors so that they can access higher monetary thresholds
  • reinstate the monetary thresholds lowered to zero dollars in March 2020 due to COVID-19, and
  • make several amendments to the principal regulation to improve the integrity of the foreign investment screening regime and simplify the framework.

The regulations commence on 1 January 2021.