A provisional certificate states that, based on the information presented in the application, we consider that the proposed project would meet the eligibility requirements for the Producer Offset, if it is made in accordance with the information provided.
A provisional certificate does not guarantee that a project will qualify for the Producer Offset. An application must be made for a final certificate (and a final certificate must be issued) once the project is completed in order to claim the Producer Offset. If a provisional certificate is not issued for a project this does not prevent you applying for a final certificate in relation to that project.
You may apply for a provisional certificate at any time during development, financing or production. A provisional certificate can also give the producer an estimate of what their QAPE may be for the project. Producers holding a provisional certificate may seek to borrow funds against the Producer Offset and invest the funds into a project’s finance plan as producer equity in the project. See Loans and cashflow providers.
To apply for a provisional certificate, an applicant company must complete an application form and provide it, and all attachments, to the POCU. We aim to complete our assessment within six weeks of receipt of a complete application, including all relevant attachments and the specified statutory declaration. Incomplete applications will not be assessed.
Fees are payable for provisional certificate applications, which are scaled to the project’s budget in accordance with the Rules and are outlined in the application form.
It is important to note that for provisional certification, we will not:
- certify that interested party transactions are budgeted in accordance with the arm’s length principle, or
- audit the claims in your application form and associated documentation.
As a provisional certificate is based solely on information provided in the application, if any material changes to the film or its structure are made which decrease the level of significant Australian content, you must notify us of any proposed changes which may impact on the project’s eligibility within a reasonable time before implementation. A re-assessment fee will be payable if you require re-assessment of a provisional certificate.
Further, as both a project and the administration of the Producer Offset develop over time, if a project does not enter production within two years of the issue of a provisional certificate, the applicant must seek a re-assessment of the project.
It is the responsibility of the producer, and where involved, the financier, to assess and manage the risk that a project may not be eligible for a final certificate or not entitled to the claimed QAPE even where the project has been provisionally certified. This is because the final certificate must be based on a full assessment of the completed project, including information on distribution, evidence of incurred expenditure, audited cost reports and the completed film. Importantly:
- If there are changes to your project after provisional certification, these changes may affect your eligibility for the Producer Offset or QAPE claim.
- If the information you give us for a provisional application is incomplete or inconsistent with the information you give us at final certification, this may affect your Producer Offset or QAPE claim.
- You can manage this risk by ensuring that your project complies with all eligibility requirements for the Producer Offset and tracking incurred expenditure to ensure it is QAPE.