Changes coming to overseas investment regime

  • Bill English
  • Louise Upston
Finance Land Information

Changes to the overseas investment regime mean the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) will be able to assess applications faster and shore up investor certainty, Ministers Bill English and Louise Upston say.

The changes, which are the result of a review that has been underway since last year, are expected to take place in mid-2016 and will see OIO fees restructured and increased by between 8.7 and 166 per cent for different application fee types.

Changes will also be made to the policy that underpins the overseas investment regime before the end of the year, once the regulatory process has been completed.

Finance Minister Bill English says the Government welcomes beneficial overseas investment and is committed to ensuring the efficient operation – and continual improvement – of the system.

“We’ve heard concerns from investors that the rationale for screening certain investment types is unclear and decisions by the OIO are taking too long.

“The introduction of targeted exemptions will not only clarify guidelines, but will also reduce costs for affected investors, and allow the OIO to focus its efforts on the most sensitive applications, as well as ensuring applicants are meeting their on-going obligations,” he says.

Minister for Land Information Louise Upston says increased fees will enable the OIO to hire up to 25 per cent more staff to reduce the time it takes to assess applications and improve monitoring and reporting.

“The OIO will improve its processes and communication with applicants to provide them with greater certainty as their application is assessed.

“Fee increases will also allow the OIO to undertake more responsive monitoring and enforcement, with site inspections of some high risk land investments,” she says.