Government Updates

Government Updates

New and extended IFAM supported flights

As part of phase 2, the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) has announced the following new and extended flights. Also, all flights are now open 72 hours prior to departure for all freight forwarders to access.

New IFAM Outbound supported flights:

  • Sydney to Shanghai with Qantas

Extended IFAM Outbound supported flights:

  • Adelaide to Singapore with Singapore Airlines
  • Brisbane to Singapore with Qantas 
  • Brisbane to Narita with Qantas 
  • Brisbane to Auckland with Qantas 
  • Brisbane to Hong Kong via Cairns with Qantas 
  • Brisbane to Los Angeles with Virgin 
  • Darwin to Brisbane with Toll
  • Melbourne to Hong Kong with Qantas 
  • Melbourne to Singapore with Qantas 
  • Melbourne to Narita with Japan Airlines 
  • Sydney to Narita with Qantas 
  • Sydney to Narita with Japan Airlines 
  • Toowoomba to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific
  • Toowoomba to Singapore with Singapore Airlines

Extended IFAM Inbound supported flights:

  • Auckland to Brisbane with Qantas
  • Hong Kong to Brisbane with Qantas
  • Hong Kong to Melbourne with Qantas
  • Los Angeles to Brisbane with Virgin
  • Narita to Sydney with Qantas
  • Narita to Brisbane with Qantas
  • Narita to Melbourne with Japan Airlines
  • Singapore to Melbourne with Qantas
  • Singapore to Brisbane with Qantas

Full details of all available IFAM-supported flights can be found in the IFAM Flight Schedule Outbound and IFAM Flight Schedule Inbound



Freight update: IFAM extended

On 3 July, the Australian Government committed an additional $241.9 million to continue the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM), helping keep international freight routes and flights operating until the end of the year. The new funding will keep high-value, time-sensitive and perishable exports and vital imports flowing as we continue the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 on global supply chains. It will also re-establish domestic connections for producers and growers in regional and rural areas that rely on air freight to get their products to customers.

More information on the program’s extension will be provided at a Virtual Briefing Session:

IFAM Briefing:
Thursday, 9 July
11.30 am – 12.15 pm (AEST)
(Please dial in from 11.25 am for a prompt start at 11.30 am)
Please dial 02 9037 0069 and enter the meeting number (access code) if prompted:  166 786 1721#
If opening on a mobile, tap this number: +61-29037-0069 and enter 1667861721#

 You will be automatically muted on entry to this call.
There will be an opportunity to ask questions during the meeting. Please press *6 to unmute.



Freight update: New IFAM flights

New flights under the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) are now available from Los Angeles to Melbourne with Virgin Australia.

There will be a new flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne every Wednesday, commencing 01 July, for six weeks. The Los Angeles to Melbourne flight departing on Saturdays has also been extended for further six weeks, commencing 04 July.

There is capacity inbound (to Australia) on these flights and medical and health supplies will be prioritised.  


Virgin is applying the following rates for the freight. These rates may be subject to change and will be reviewed weekly.


AUD / kg



Please note: The above rates are for the air freight component only, they do not include freight forwarder fees or rates.

Other Available IFAM Supported Flights:

There is capacity on the following inbound IFAM routes:

  • Tokyo (Narita) to Melbourne
  • Tokyo (Narita) to Brisbane
  • Tokyo (Narita) to Sydney
  • Singapore to Brisbane
  • Singapore to Melbourne
  • Auckland to Brisbane
  • Auckland to Melbourne
  • Hong Kong to Brisbane
  • Hong Kong to Melbourne
  • Los Angeles to Brisbane
  • Los Angeles to Melbourne

Please see the IFAM inbound flight schedule for all the details, and the Austrade webpage for the latest IFAM information.


MTAA secures TGA fee relief for members

Following a sustained advocacy effort by MTAA, the Federal Government has agreed to significant fee relief for medical device companies, in recognition of the impact of elective surgery cancellations as a result of the impact of COVID-19.

A 50 per cent reduction in annual TGA listing fees for Class IIa, IIb, III or AIMD medical devices listed on the Prostheses List will apply for 2020-21.

This will reduce the annual charges for those devices for 2020-21 by 50 per cent of the amount that would have been otherwise applied to them under the proposed 1.95% increase for 2020-21.

We would like to thank those member companies who have contributed their time and resources to assisting MTAA in delivering this important outcome for members.


Export Finance Australia - COVID-19 support

If your business has been affected by COVID-19 and you need finance, Export Finance Australia is there to help.

They provide a range of finance solutions for exporters or businesses in an export-related supply chain.

If you have encountered any shipment problems, payment difficulties or business interruptions and are unable to secure finance due to COVID-19, Export Finance Australia may be able to assist.

Finance solutions:

  • Working capital support: to finance against supplier invoices or international purchase orders
  • Capital investment: to purchase new equipment and expand your export operations
  • International expansion: to establish or grow your business operations overseas
  • Online growth: to invest in eCommerce and grow your sales to international customers.



Support for MedTech industry

MTAA wrote to Minister Hunt on 29 March outlining the very significant pressures facing the medical technology industry in the current environment and requesting a number of urgent measures to address the ongoing viability of Australia’s MedTech industry as the COVID-19 crisis continues.

The MTAA Board met with Health Minister Greg Hunt on Friday last week to discuss this and other matters, including a return to elective surgery and additional support measures for SMEs and Australian companies.

Following this meeting and a period of intense discussions between MTAA and Minister Hunt and his office, a number of measures have been confirmed by the Minister in relation to PL reform.

Click here to view members-only document.



The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has published a JobKeeper Payment Guide, along with a number of other employer resources, available for download here.

MTAA has been liaising with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) in order to seek clarity on the Jobkeeper provisions available to medtech companies, particular in relation to small companies where they are a local branch of a global company.

The ATO have clarified that, in determining whether a company must show a 30% or a 50% reduction in turnover, the global revenue of the global entity of which it is a part is included. If the global entity exceeds $1b, at least a 50% reduction must be demonstrated to qualify.

However, once the threshold is set, the turnover test itself is based on local GST revenue, not global revenue. Therefore, a small company which is a local branch of a global company exceeding $1b in revenue in total would still need to show that Australian turnover has fallen more than 50% to qualify for JobKeeper.

If global revenues were less than $1b, the fall in Australian turnover would only need to be 30% to qualify.



14 May 2020

Additional flights have been arranged through the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM)

There is capacity inbound from Auckland, Hong Kong, Tokyo (Narita) and Singapore in which medical supplies will be prioritised.

Please see the Qantas flight schedule and Singapore Airlines schedule for flight numbers, days of operation, departure and arrival times.

Members will need to work with their freight forwarders in order to access freight space. If members require additional assistance and suggestions of freight forwarders based with medical and market expertise, Austrade is able to provide this.

For any further assistance or questions, please feel free to contact or Austrade directly at


Freight group – call for EOIs
MTAA recently held the first meeting of a specialist freight group formed as part of MTAA’s COVID-19 Working Group structure.

The purpose of the group is to provide a summary of issues and freight route priorities to feed directly into Austrade’s weekly panel meetings.

Please contact Paul Dale at if you are interested in participating in this group.


Freight forwarding
The Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia Inc. (CBFCA) represents members interests in international trade logistics and supply chain management service provision. You can refer to this link to help you find a freight forwarder. The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) also has a member directory that can be searched through this link.


Australian Government’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism
For information on the Australian Government’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism to back Australia’s agriculture and seafood export sectors, visit:


If you are unable to identify air freight opportunities through these channels, Austrade,, have established a dedicated email address for international freight enquiries:


Elective Surgery

Elective Surgery – South Australia to resume
South Australia will become the first state to begin to fully restore elective surgery with the lifting of the Appropriate Surgery Direction under the Emergency Management Declaration. Read media release here.

Elective Surgery to resume after Anzac Day
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that elective surgery will begin to gradually re-start after the Anzac Day long weekend.

National Cabinet met on April 21 and agreed that category two surgeries and selected category three surgeries will start from April 27, with a review on May 11 to determine if and when more restrictions will be lifted.

Click here to read the Department of Health media release.