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Big year ahead for producer offset

In 2017, the Producer Offset turns 10 years old.

Screen Australia will acknowledge this significant milestone by surveying and reporting on the impact of 10 years of the producer offset. This ‘health check’ will be a companion to the five year report on the Producer Offset called Getting Down to Business.

There will also be changes in Producer Offset processes in 2017.

  • Projects seeking production investment from most Screen Australia funding streams no longer have to submit a provisional certificate application at the time of application. In most cases producers will be able to wait to see whether or not their project has been successful for funding before applying for a certificate, saving time and application fees.  A provisional certificate will be a requirement of contracting.

  • After consulting with offset lenders, completion guarantors, SPA and State agencies, Screen Australia intends to stop providing a QAPE figure in its provisional certificates from 1 April 2017. Screen Australia’s assessment of QAPE at provisional stage has always been optional. It has been based on a projected top-level budget only and has not involved any interrogation of important expenditure such as whether interested party expenditure is at ‘arms length’ rates. Financiers and guarantors have largely indicated that they do not rely on the Screen Australia QAPE figure, preferring independent QAPE assessments or their own analysis. As a result, it is not expected that this change will have any impact on offset loans for Australian productions. The provisional certificate will continue to play an important role in relation to Significant Australian Content, eligible formats and theatrical distribution.

  • In the second half of 2017, Screen Australia will be introducing online application forms. Online forms will make it easier for applicants to submit projects for provisional and final certification. It will also remove administrative delays due to chasing missing application materials, with the goal of faster processing of certificates.