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  • Agricultural Land Register

    The Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land (Agricultural Land Register) was established to provide greater transparency about the level of foreign ownership of Australia’s agricultural land.

    If you’re a foreign person and plan to invest in Australian agricultural land:

    On this page:

    See also:

    Before you invest

    You may have to apply to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) for approval depending on:

    • the value of the investment
    • whether you are an investor from one of our trade agreement partners
    • whether you are a foreign government investor
    • whether you have a close connection to Australia.

    See also:

    How to apply

    If you need FIRB approval to invest in Australian agricultural land, apply using the FIRB Application PortalExternal Link.

    Refer to ApplicationsExternal Link for details on how to apply.

    Registration after you invest

    After you have invested, you need to register your interests on the Agricultural Land Register.

    Find out about:

    Who must register

    If you are or become a foreign person and you have invested in Australian agricultural land, you must notify us about your investment by registering on the ATO Land and Water Register unless an exemption applies. There is no cost involved in registering.

    Register if you:

    • are the owner, or
    • have a right to occupy agricultural land under a lease or licence whose remaining term (including any extension or renewal) was (at the start of 1 July 2015) reasonably likely to exceed five years, or
    • have a right to occupy the agricultural land under a lease or licence that started after the 1 July 2015 and that is likely to exceed five years (including possible extensions or renewals).

    Generally, the person with the direct legal interest is required to register their holding with us. Where there are multiple foreign persons with a legal interest in agricultural land, each foreign person has an obligation to register with us.

    You also need to register if you are a foreign person and hold land which becomes agricultural land while you are holding it.

    Registration is required regardless of the value and date of acquisition.

    When to register

    A foreign person or their agent must register their agricultural land interest within 30 days of the date of an event occurring.

    Land and water register and instructions

    How to register

    To register you will need to complete the Land and Water Registration Form.

    You will need to provide the following information to register:

    • entity details
    • Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval number (if obtained)
    • land location, size and usage details
    • land title information
    • percentages of the interest held in the land by the registering entities
    • date of the event (for example, settlement)
    • the land value
    • the current types and percentage of land use of the property.

    Multiple properties

    You can use the registration form to register up to 20 properties if it is for the same registration reason. If you need to register more than 20 properties, or one property with more than 20 titles, you will need to enter the remaining properties or title information on a new registration form.

    Note: You must enter the same contact and owner details as before for the additional forms to be linked to the first registration form. If there is more than one owner, make sure you enter the owners in the same order as your first registration.

    If you have more than 100 property titles to register, contact us at landregister@ato.gov.au

    If your situation changes

    You will need to update your existing registration by completing a Land and Water Registration Form if:

    • you are no longer a foreign person
    • you no longer hold agricultural land
    • the land becomes agricultural land while you are holding it
    • the land ceases to be agricultural land while you are holding it.

    Penalties and reporting breaches

    If you avoid your obligations to register or fail to keep your details up to date you may face administrative penalties under the Taxation Administration Act 1953.

    Application of the failure to lodge penalty under the Act is outlined in PS LA 2011/19 Administration of the penalty for failure to lodge.

    If you have information about someone you think may be deliberately breaking our foreign investment rules, you can report it confidentially using the online form on the Making a tip-off page.

    Statistics and reporting

    The Commissioner of Taxation reports annually to the Treasurer on the operation of the Register of Foreign Ownership of Water or Agricultural Land Act 2015 and is required to publish aggregate statistics of foreign ownership each year.

    The latest Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land – Report of Registrations is available on the FIRB – PublicationsExternal Link page.

    The reported statistics include:

    • the proportion of Australian agricultural land held by foreign persons
    • the level of foreign interests in agricultural land by state or territory
    • the level of foreign interests in agricultural land by country of incorporation or ultimate owner (if possible)
    • how agricultural land is used.

    We only include aggregated statistics in the report – privacy restrictions prevent us from publishing information which may identify an individual or entity.

    Contact us

    If you are unable to resolve an issue, phone or email us:

    If you require language assistance, contact the Translating and Interpreting Service:

    • 13 14 50 (within Australia)
    • +61 3 9268 8332 (from outside Australia).
    Last modified: 07 Sep 2020QC 52588