Register of Foreign Ownership of Australian Assets
The Foreign Investment Committee of the Business Law Section (Committee) provided a submission in response to the Exposure Draft Treasury Laws Amendment (Measures for Future Instruments) Instrument 2023: Register of Foreign Ownership of Australian Assets (Cth) (Draft Regulation).
The Committee supports the broad thrust and intent of the amendments to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Regulation 2015 (Cth) (Regulation) proposed by the Draft Regulation as a part of the establishment of the Register of Foreign Ownership of Australian Assets (Register) under Part 7A of the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth) (FATA).
The key concern that the Committee wishes to raise is that the introduction of the Register, and its interaction with the remainder of the FATA, creates a complex reporting environment for investors.
While the Committee appreciates that there are attempts to reduce duplication of reporting, there are many nuances and differences in whether a circumstance will be:
(a) an action that must be notified under section 81 of the FATA;
(b) notifiable under sections 98C, 98D or 98E of the FATA because proposed section 58K will not apply on the basis of the exemption from register notice notification under proposed section 58L of the Register;
(c) reportable under a condition to a no objection notification or exemption certificate; and/or
(d) something that a register notice will satisfy wholly.