The Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Amendment Act 2020 ("Urgent Measures Act") received Royal assent yesterday, after being passed under urgency last week. The majority of the Urgent Measures Act comes into force on 16 June 2020, including the new national interest test and a new temporary notification power which will require notification of many transactions that do not currently require consent under the Overseas Investment Act 2005.
A summary of the Urgent Measures Act can be found here, and the changes made by the Select Committee here. Only minor and technical amendments to the Urgent Measures Act were made by way of Supplementary Order Paper as it passed through the House.
The Urgent Measures Act is not intended to apply retrospectively. The temporary notification measures will not apply to transactions entered into before 16 June 2020. However:
- For transactions that require consent, changes, including the national interest test, will apply to transactions entered into before 16 June 2020 if the application for consent is made after that date.
- Some beneficial changes under the Urgent Measures Act will apply retrospectively to transactions entered into before 16 June 2020. In brief, a transaction entered into before 16 June 2020, which would have required consent under the old Act but not under the Urgent Measure Act, will have the benefit of the Urgent Measures Act changes and consent will not be required.
The Overseas Investment Amendment Bill (No 3) ("No 3 Bill") has also been introduced, and contains those measures originally in the No 2 Bill which the Government considers do not need to be enacted urgently to mitigate the effects of COVID-19. The Finance and Expenditure Committee is currently inviting submissions on the No 3 Bill by 31 August 2020. Importantly, the Government has indicated that the Committee will also scrutinise the changes made by the Urgent Measures Act, giving submitters an opportunity to comment on their experience with the urgent changes over the next few weeks.
Further details on the changes in the No 3 Bill can be found in our Overseas Investment Amendment Bill series
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