Austria FDI control

The following Competition practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Austria FDI control
  • 1. What is the applicable legislation?
  • 2. Which government or other body (or bodies) reviews foreign investments?
  • 3. What is the scope of the foreign investment regime? Does it only apply to specific sectors or types of investors (eg foreign or non-EU / non-WTO)? Are there specific rules for certain types of investors (eg state-owned enterprises)?
  • 4. What are the triggers or thresholds for the regime to apply? What types of transactions are caught? Is there a minimum level of shareholding or a control test that applies?  Are there any other thresholds that need to be met (e.g. based on turnover or market shares)?
  • 5. Are there any exceptions that may apply?
  • 6. Is there any discretion to review transactions that do not meet any thresholds for review?
  • 7. What are the grounds for review, eg public or national security or other grounds?
  • 8. What level of discretion do the relevant authorities have to approve or reject transactions? Is there scope for any other body to intervene?
  • 9. Where a transaction is caught by the regime, is notification mandatory and must closing be suspended pending clearance?
  • More...

Austria FDI control

A conversation with Alexander Rakosi, partner, Florian Mayer, attorney-at-law, and Marco Selenic, associate, in the Vienna office of international law firm CMS on key issues on foreign direct investment (FDI) control in Austria.

1. What is the applicable legislation?

The main applicable legislation governing foreign investments into Austria includes:

  1. Investment Control Act (Investitonskontrollgesetz) (the ICA)

  2. the Foreign Trade Act (Außenwirtschaftsgesetz) 2011 (the FTA), together with the First, Second and Third Foreign Trade Regulations

  3. the Federal Act on Nuclear Material (Sicherheitskontrollgesetz) 2013, and

  4. the War Materials Act (Kriegsmaterialgesetz).

In addition, there are several bilateral investment treaties (BITs) which might apply, depending on the jurisdiction the relevant investor is associated with, and which Austria has entered into for the mutual protection of investments. Austria is currently a party to BITs with the following 60 countries: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iran, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Oman, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen.

For completeness, there are certain Austrian regulations which apply to all investments, and not only foreign investments, but which can sometimes particularly impact foreign

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