Sector Specific Rules
All foreign persons should be aware that separate legislation includes other requirements and/or imposes limits on foreign investment in the following instances:
- foreign ownership in the banking sector must be consistent with the Banking Act 1959 , the Financial Sector (Shareholdings) Act 1998 and banking policy;
- aggregate foreign ownership in an Australian international airline (including Qantas) is limited to 49 per cent;
- Individual holdings in Qantas are also limited to 25 per cent and aggregate ownership by foreign airlines is limited to 35 per cent.
- the Airports Act 1996 limits foreign ownership of some airports to 49 per cent, with a 5 per cent airline ownership limit; and cross-ownership limits between Sydney airport (together with Sydney West) and either Melbourne, Brisbane, or Perth airports;
- The cross-ownership provisions in the Airports Act 1996 apply when a foreign person has more than a 15 per cent stake in the Sydney airport (together with Sydney West) airport-operator company and one of the Perth, Brisbane, or Melbourne airport-operator companies. Also for stakes of 15 per cent or less, the Minister may declare practical control.
- the Shipping Registration Act 1981 requires a ship to be majority Australian-owned if it is to be registered in Australia, unless it is designated as chartered by an Australian operator; and
- aggregate foreign ownership of Telstra is limited to 35 per cent and individual foreign investors are only allowed to own up to 5 per cent.
For New Zealand investors and United States investors, the lower monetary threshold applies to proposals by them to invest in the prescribed sensitive sectors under Australia’s Foreign Investment Policy.
How to Apply
For information on how to apply for approval, please see the How To Apply section. In addition, please refer to the Statutory Notices section of the website for guidelines on when and which notice is applicable.