Eligibility Guidelines

Applications for the 57th Australian Export Awards Program are invited from firms and organisations that meet the following criteria:

  • Earn foreign exchange;
  • Have an ABN;
  • There must be substantial (i.e. at least 50%) Australian ‘value add’ in the product or service the applicant seeks to export or deliver overseas, e.g. a product or service that contains significant Australian content; a product produced manufactured or designed in Australia; a service or education program delivered from Australia or via Australia to an overseas location; or a product or service that contains a high-level Australian intellectual property or know how;
  • Deliver net foreign returns to the Australian economy. The applicant must demonstrate ‘net return’ to Australia in terms of profit repatriation and creation of employment in Australia.
  • Operate as a separate business if part of a larger organisation;
  • Organisations must apply in the state/territory where their head office/most operations are established and may only apply in one state/territory Export Awards program;
  • Organisations can enter in more than one category, but only win in one category;
  • Organisations with a non-metropolitan head office may also enter the Regional Exporter Award;
  • Organisations with three years or less of export sales are eligible to enter the Emerging Exporter Award;
  • Winners from previous years are eligible to apply; (with the exception of any inductees to the national Australian Export Awards Hall of Fame Award).  WA, ACT and NT also have a state/territory Hall of Fame – please check with the Awards Coordinator in these states regarding eligibility if your organisation is a Hall of Fame member.
  • Government agencies and government owned agencies are not eligible. However, businesses that receive funding from the Government are eligible to apply;
  • State, Territory and National Export Awards sponsors are ineligible to apply;
  • Applications containing inadequate financial details will not be accepted;
  • The applicant must maintain appropriate business ethics and demonstrate a commitment to legal obligations including anti-bribery laws, both in Australia and overseas markets;
  • Entry is through the State and Territory Export Awards programs, there will be no separate applications for the national Australian Export Awards. Winners of the State and Territory Export Awards programs automatically progress to become Finalists in the national Australian Export Awards;
  • Entries are through the online Export Awards website www.exportawards.gov.au/Apply

If you have any questions on eligibility, please contact the Export Awards Coordinator in your state/territory.

Export Awards Judging Criteria

The State, Territory and National judging panels are drawn from the private and public sectors comprising persons with international business experience.  All information will be treated as strictly commercial-in-confidence.

Areas of focus include:

  • The degree of innovation in the marketing strategy
  • Export growth achieved and the ability to sustain that growth
  • Evidence of sustainable competitive advantage
  • Value and contribution of exporting to business expansion
  • The overall company commitment to international business


  • Market your organisation in your application by highlighting your strengths, illustrating how innovative and distinctive your achievements have been.
  • Identify the key factors that you consider made your organisation a successful exporter.
  • If you have been exporting for several years, make sure your application demonstrates what you have done differently to consolidate and grow your position in the past year (e.g. new markets, new technologies, focused marketing strategy etc.)

The judging criteria are as follows:

About the Buinsess and its products/services  [Score weighting 25%]

  • The judges will assess the viability of your business, its product/service and how successful your company’s exports/international business activities have been this year.
  • Make sure you clearly state what your export/international successes have been for the current year.
  • Indicate what the competitive edge of your product/service is in the marketplace.
  • For applicants of the e-Commerce category, judges will be looking for innovations in tools used, online marketing strategy, customer engagement and fulfillment.

Quality of your international marketing strategy – How do you stand out from the crowd?  [Score weighting 40%]

  • The judges will be looking at the quality of your international marketing strategy and how you maximise your international competitive advantage.
    • In your key markets, what did you do to secure international contracts and market acceptance? What actions did you take? – e.g. product adaptation to meet customer preferences, building relationships with distributors and buyers, addressing cultural issues in marketing materials and products, attending trade events, techniques to overcoming buyer resistance.
    • Explain your company’s strategy in gaining a secure foothold in any new markets or how you enhanced brand in established markets.
    • Clearly state your key results.
  • The judges are also looking for demonstration of innovative techniques and use of technology.
  • The judges will assess the level and sustainability of international sales considering
    • As a proportion of total sales revenue
    • In terms of value, and year-to-year percentage change in value, over the last three years or since the applicant commenced exporting
    • Total export earnings from major overseas markets

Business Management  [Score weighting 25%]

  • The judges will be looking at the structure of your export/international operations and systems to effectively respond to export/international sales as well as whether your company is appropriately resourced for export expansion.
  • The judges will be looking for evidence of sustainable business practices.
  • Judges will be looking for clear statements that indicate the soundness of your company’s financial strategy for international business.
  • Judges will be looking for examples of a sound capital base (substantial net profit) and sufficient capital (cash & resources) to support export activity.

International Business Planning and Direction [Score weighting 10%]

  • The judges will be looking for evidence of your company’s commitment to international business. What are your export plans for the coming year (e.g. new markets, additional staff, different marketing strategies).

*If a business has been successful in the Australian Export Awards previously, it is important that they clearly detail what has been achieved since their most recent success in the Awards, i.e. new marketing strategies, entering new markets, introduction of new technology, new products etc.