The texts reproduced in this section do not have the legal standing of the original documents which are entrusted and kept at the WTO Secretariat in Geneva.
On this page:
- Article Scope and Coverage
- Article II Valuation of Contracts
- Article III National Treatment and Non-discrimination
- Article IV Rules of Origin
- Article V Special and Differential Treatment for Developing Countries
- Article VI Technical Specifications
- Article VIITendering Procedures
- Article VIII Qualification of Suppliers
- Article IX Invitation to Participate Regarding Intended Procurement
- Article X Selection Procedures
- Article XI Time-limits for Tendering and Delivery
- Article XII Tender Documentation
- Article XIII Submission, Receipt and Opening of Tenders and Awarding of Contracts
- Article XIV Negotiation
- Article XV Limited Tendering
- Article XVI Offsets
- Article XVII Transparency
- Article XVIII Information and Review as Regards Obligations of Entities
- Article XIX Information and Review as Regards Obligations of Parties
- Article XX Challenge Procedures
- Article XXI Institutions
- Article XXIIConsultations and Dispute Settlement
- Article XXIII Exceptions to the Agreement
- Article XXIV Final Provisions
Parties to this Agreement (hereinafter referred to as “Parties”),
Recognizing the need for an effective multilateral framework of rights and obligations with respect to laws, regulations, procedures and practices regarding government procurement with a view to achieving greater liberalization and expansion of world trade and improving the international framework for the conduct of world trade;
Recognizing that laws, regulations, procedures and practices regarding government procurement should not be prepared, adopted or applied to foreign or domestic products and services and to foreign or domestic suppliers so as to afford protection to domestic products or services or domestic suppliers and should not discriminate among foreign products or services or among foreign suppliers;
Recognizing that it is desirable to provide transparency of laws, regulations, procedures and practices regarding government procurement;
Recognizing the need to establish international procedures on notification, consultation, surveillance and dispute settlement with a view to ensuring a fair, prompt and effective enforcement of the international provisions on government procurement and to maintain the balance of rights and obligations at the highest possible level;
Recognizing the need to take into account the development, financial and trade needs of developing countries, in particular the least-developed countries;
Desiring, in accordance with paragraph 6(b) of Article IX of the Agreement on Government Procurement done on 12 April 1979, as amended on 2 February 1987, to broaden and improve the Agreement on the basis of mutual reciprocity and to expand the coverage of the Agreement to include service contracts;
Desiring to encourage acceptance of and accession to this Agreement by governments not party to it;
Having undertaken further negotiations in pursuance of these objectives;
Hereby agree as follows:back to top
1. This Agreement applies to any law, regulation, procedure or practice regarding any procurement by entities covered by this Agreement, as specified in Appendix I.(1)
2. This Agreement applies to procurement by any contractual means, including through such methods as purchase or as lease, rental or hire purchase, with or without an option to buy, including any combination of products and services.
3. Where entities, in the context of procurement covered under this Agreement, require enterprises not included in Appendix I to award contracts in accordance with particular requirements, Article III shall apply mutatis mutandis to such requirements.back to top
1. The following provisions shall apply in determining the value of contracts(2) for purposes of implementing this Agreement.
(a) the actual value of similar recurring contracts concluded over
the previous fiscal year or 12 months adjusted, where possible, for
anticipated changes in quantity and value over the subsequent 12
(a) in the case of fixed-term contracts, where their term is 12
months or less, the total contract value for their duration, or, where
their term exceeds 12 months, their total value including the
estimated residual value;
If there is any doubt, the second basis for valuation, namely (b), is to be used.
6. In cases where an intended procurement specifies the need for option clauses, the basis for valuation shall be the total value of the maximum permissible procurement, inclusive of optional purchases.back to top
1. With respect to all laws, regulations, procedures and practices regarding government procurement covered by this Agreement, each Party shall provide immediately and unconditionally to the products, services and suppliers of other Parties offering products or services of the Parties, treatment no less favourable than:
(b) that its entities shall not discriminate against locally-established suppliers on the basis of the country of production of the good or service being supplied, provided that the country of production is a Party to the Agreement in accordance with the provisions of Article IV.
3. The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply to customs duties and charges of any kind imposed on or in connection with importation, the method of levying such duties and charges, other import regulations and formalities, and measures affecting trade in services other than laws, regulations, procedures and practices regarding government procurement covered by this Agreement.back to top
1. A Party shall not apply rules of origin to products or services imported or supplied for purposes of government procurement covered by this Agreement from other Parties, which are different from the rules of origin applied in the normal course of trade and at the time of the transaction in question to imports or supplies of the same products or services from the same Parties.
2. Following the conclusion of the work programme for the harmonization of rules of origin for goods to be undertaken under the Agreement on Rules of Origin in Annex 1A of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (hereinafter referred to as “WTO Agreement”) and negotiations regarding trade in services, Parties shall take the results of that work programme and those negotiations into account in amending paragraph 1 as appropriate.back to top
1. Parties shall, in the implementation and administration of this Agreement, through the provisions set out in this Article, duly take into account the development, financial and trade needs of developing countries, in particular least-developed countries, in their need to:
(b) promote the establishment or development of domestic industries
including the development of small-scale and cottage industries in
rural or backward areas; and economic development of other sectors of
(d) encourage their economic development through regional or global arrangements among developing countries presented to the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (hereinafter referred to as the “WTO”) and not disapproved by it.
2. Consistently with the provisions of this Agreement, each Party shall, in the preparation and application of laws, regulations and procedures affecting government procurement, facilitate increased imports from developing countries, bearing in mind the special problems of least-developed countries and of those countries at low stages of economic development.
3. With a view to ensuring that developing countries are able to adhere to this Agreement on terms consistent with their development, financial and trade needs, the objectives listed in paragraph 1 shall be duly taken into account in the course of negotiations with respect to the procurement of developing countries to be covered by the provisions of this Agreement. Developed countries, in the preparation of their coverage lists under the provisions of this Agreement, shall endeavour to include entities procuring products and services of export interest to developing countries.
4. A developing country may negotiate with other participants in negotiations under this Agreement mutually acceptable exclusions from the rules on national treatment with respect to certain entities, products or services that are included in its coverage lists, having regard to the particular circumstances of each case. In such negotiations, the considerations mentioned in subparagraphs 1(a) through 1(c) shall be duly taken into account. A developing country participating in regional or global arrangements among developing countries referred to in subparagraph 1(d) may also negotiate exclusions to its lists, having regard to the particular circumstances of each case, taking into account, inter alia, the provisions on government procurement provided for in the regional or global arrangements concerned and, in particular, products or services which may be subject to common industrial development programmes.
5. After entry into force of this Agreement, a developing country Party may modify its coverage lists in accordance with the provisions for modification of such lists contained in paragraph 6 of Article XXIV, having regard to its development, financial and trade needs, or may request the Committee on Government Procurement (hereinafter referred to as “the Committee”) to grant exclusions from the rules on national treatment for certain entities, products or services that are included in its coverage lists, having regard to the particular circumstances of each case and taking duly into account the provisions of subparagraphs 1(a) through 1(c). After entry into force of this Agreement, a developing country Party may also request the Committee to grant exclusions for certain entities, products or services that are included in its coverage lists in the light of its participation in regional or global arrangements among developing countries, having regard to the particular circumstances of each case and taking duly into account the provisions of subparagraph 1(d). Each request to the Committee by a developing country Party relating to modification of a list shall be accompanied by documentation relevant to the request or by such information as may be necessary for consideration of the matter.
Technical Assistance for Developing Country Parties
8. Each developed country Party shall, upon request, provide all technical assistance which it may deem appropriate to developing country Parties in resolving their problems in the field of government procurement.
— the solution of particular technical problems relating to the
award of a specific contract; and
— any other problem which the Party making the request and another Party agree to deal with in the context of this assistance.
10. Technical assistance referred to in paragraphs 8 and 9 would include translation of qualification documentation and tenders made by suppliers of developing country Parties into an official language of the WTO designated by the entity, unless developed country Parties deem translation to be burdensome, and in that case explanation shall be given to developing country Parties upon their request addressed either to the developed country Parties or to their entities.
11. Developed country Parties shall establish, individually or jointly, information centres to respond to reasonable requests from developing country Parties for information relating to, inter alia, laws, regulations, procedures and practices regarding government procurement, notices about intended procurements which have been published, addresses of the entities covered by this Agreement, and the nature and volume of products or services procured or to be procured, including available information about future tenders. The Committee may also set up an information centre.
Special Treatment for Least-Developed Countries
12. Having regard to paragraph 6 of the Decision of the CONTRACTING PARTIES to GATT 1947 of 28 November 1979 on Differential and More Favourable Treatment, Reciprocity and Fuller Participation of Developing Countries (BISD 26S/203-205), special treatment shall be granted to least-developed country Parties and to the suppliers in those Parties with respect to products or services originating in those Parties, in the context of any general or specific measures in favour of developing country Parties. A Party may also grant the benefits of this Agreement to suppliers in least-developed countries which are not Parties, with respect to products or services originating in those countries.
13. Each developed country Party shall, upon request, provide assistance which it may deem appropriate to potential tenderers in least-developed countries in submitting their tenders and selecting the products or services which are likely to be of interest to its entities as well as to suppliers in least-developed countries, and likewise assist them to comply with technical regulations and standards relating to products or services which are the subject of the intended procurement.
14. The Committee shall review annually the operation and effectiveness of this Article and, after each three years of its operation on the basis of reports to be submitted by Parties, shall carry out a major review in order to evaluate its effects. As part of the three-yearly reviews and with a view to achieving the maximum implementation of the provisions of this Agreement, including in particular Article III, and having regard to the development, financial and trade situation of the developing countries concerned, the Committee shall examine whether exclusions provided for in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs 4 through 6 of this Article shall be modified or extended.
15. In the course of further rounds of negotiations in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 7 of Article XXIV, each developing country Party shall give consideration to the possibility of enlarging its coverage lists, having regard to its economic, financial and trade situation.back to top
1. Technical specifications laying down the characteristics of the products or services to be procured, such as quality, performance, safety and dimensions, symbols, terminology, packaging, marking and labelling, or the processes and methods for their production and requirements relating to conformity assessment procedures prescribed by procuring entities, shall not be prepared, adopted or applied with a view to, or with the effect of, creating unnecessary obstacles to international trade.
3. There shall be no requirement or reference to a particular trademark or trade name, patent, design or type, specific origin, producer or supplier, unless there is no sufficiently precise or intelligible way of describing the procurement requirements and provided that words such as “or equivalent” are included in the tender documentation.
4. Entities shall not seek or accept, in a manner which would have the effect of precluding competition, advice which may be used in the preparation of specifications for a specific procurement from a firm that may have a commercial interest in the procurement.back to top
(b) Selective tendering procedures are those procedures under
which, consistent with paragraph 3 of Article X and other
relevant provisions of this Agreement, those suppliers invited to do
so by the entity may submit a tender.
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In the process of qualifying suppliers, entities shall not discriminate among suppliers of other Parties or between domestic suppliers and suppliers of other Parties. Qualification procedures shall be consistent with the following:
(a) any conditions for participation in tendering procedures shall
be published in adequate time to enable interested suppliers to
initiate and, to the extent that it is compatible with efficient
operation of the procurement process, complete the qualification
(b) any conditions for participation in tendering procedures shall
be limited to those which are essential to ensure the firm’s
capability to fulfil the contract in question. Any conditions for
participation required from suppliers, including financial guarantees,
technical qualifications and information necessary for establishing
the financial, commercial and technical capacity of suppliers, as well
as the verification of qualifications, shall be no less favourable to
suppliers of other Parties than to domestic suppliers and shall not
discriminate among suppliers of other Parties. The financial,
commercial and technical capacity of a supplier shall be judged on the
basis both of that supplier’s global business activity as well as of
its activity in the territory of the procuring entity, taking due
account of the legal relationship between the supply organizations;
(c) the process of, and the time required for, qualifying suppliers
shall not be used in order to keep suppliers of other Parties off a
suppliers’ list or from being considered for a particular intended
procurement. Entities shall recognize as qualified suppliers such
domestic suppliers or suppliers of other Parties who meet the
conditions for participation in a particular intended procurement.
Suppliers requesting to participate in a particular intended
procurement who may not yet be qualified shall also be considered,
provided there is sufficient time to complete the qualification
(d) entities maintaining permanent lists of qualified suppliers
shall ensure that suppliers may apply for qualification at any time;
and that all qualified suppliers so requesting are included in the
lists within a reasonably short time;
(e) if, after publication of the notice under paragraph 1 of
Article IX, a supplier not yet qualified requests to participate
in an intended procurement, the entity shall promptly start procedures
(f) any supplier having requested to become a qualified supplier
shall be advised by the entities concerned of the decision in this
regard. Qualified suppliers included on permanent lists by entities
shall also be notified of the termination of any such lists or of
their removal from them;
(h) nothing in subparagraphs (a) through (g) shall preclude the exclusion of any supplier on grounds such as bankruptcy or false declarations, provided that such an action is consistent with the national treatment and non-discrimination provisions of this Agreement.back to top
1. In accordance with paragraphs 2 and 3, entities shall publish an invitation to participate for all cases of intended procurement, except as otherwise provided for in Article XV (limited tendering). The notice shall be published in the appropriate publication listed in Appendix II.
3. Entities in Annexes 2 and 3 may use a notice of planned procurement, as provided for in paragraph 7, or a notice regarding a qualification system, as provided for in paragraph 9, as an invitation to participate.
4. Entities which use a notice of planned procurement as an invitation to participate shall subsequently invite all suppliers who have expressed an interest to confirm their interest on the basis of information which shall include at least the information referred to in paragraph 6.
5. Entities which use a notice regarding a qualification system as an invitation to participate shall provide, subject to the considerations referred to in paragraph 4 of Article XVIII and in a timely manner, information which allows all those who have expressed an interest to have a meaningful opportunity to assess their interest in participating in the procurement. This information shall include the information contained in the notices referred to in paragraphs 6 and 8, to the extent such information is available. Information provided to one interested supplier shall be provided in a non-discriminatory manner to the other interested suppliers.
(a) the nature and quantity, including any options for further
procurement and, if possible, an estimate of the timing when such
options may be exercised; in the case of recurring contracts the
nature and quantity and, if possible, an estimate of the timing of the
subsequent tender notices for the products or services to be procured;
(d) the address and final date for submitting an application to be
invited to tender or for qualifying for the suppliers’ lists, or for
receiving tenders, as well as the language or languages in which they
must be submitted;
7. Each notice of planned procurement referred to in paragraph 3 shall contain as much of the information referred to in paragraph 6 as is available. It shall in any case include the information referred to in paragraph 8 and:
9. In the case of selective tendering procedures, entities maintaining permanent lists of qualified suppliers shall publish annually in one of the publications listed in Appendix III a notice of the following:
(b) the conditions to be fulfilled by suppliers with a view to
their inscription on those lists and the methods according to which
each of those conditions will be verified by the entity concerned; and
When such a notice is used as an invitation to participate in accordance with paragraph 3, the notice shall, in addition, include the following information:
However, when the duration of the qualification system is three years or less, and if the duration of the system is made clear in the notice and it is also made clear that further notices will not be published, it shall be sufficient to publish the notice once only, at the beginning of the system. Such a system shall not be used in a manner which circumvents the provisions of this Agreement.
10. If, after publication of an invitation to participate in any case of intended procurement, but before the time set for opening or receipt of tenders as specified in the notices or the tender documentation, it becomes necessary to amend or re-issue the notice, the amendment or the re-issued notice shall be given the same circulation as the original documents upon which the amendment is based. Any significant information given to one supplier with respect to a particular intended procurement shall be given simultaneously to all other suppliers concerned in adequate time to permit the suppliers to consider such information and to respond to it.back to top
1. To ensure optimum effective international competition under selective tendering procedures, entities shall, for each intended procurement, invite tenders from the maximum number of domestic suppliers and suppliers of other Parties, consistent with the efficient operation of the procurement system. They shall select the suppliers to participate in the procedure in a fair and non-discriminatory manner.
2. Entities maintaining permanent lists of qualified suppliers may select suppliers to be invited to tender from among those listed. Any selection shall allow for equitable opportunities for suppliers on the lists.
3. Suppliers requesting to participate in a particular intended procurement shall be permitted to submit a tender and be considered, provided, in the case of those not yet qualified, there is sufficient time to complete the qualification procedure under Articles VIII and IX. The number of additional suppliers permitted to participate shall be limited only by the efficient operation of the procurement system.back to top
1. (a) Any prescribed time-limit shall be adequate to allow suppliers of other Parties as well as domestic suppliers to prepare and submit tenders before the closing of the tendering procedures. In determining any such time-limit, entities shall, consistent with their own reasonable needs, take into account such factors as the complexity of the intended procurement, the extent of subcontracting anticipated and the normal time for transmitting tenders by mail from foreign as well as domestic points.
(b) in selective procedures not involving the use of a permanent
list of qualified suppliers, the period for submitting an application
to be invited to tender shall not be less than 25 days from the date
of publication referred to in paragraph 1 of Article IX; the
period for receipt of tenders shall in no case be less than 40 days
from the date of issuance of the invitation to tender;
(c) in selective procedures involving the use of a permanent list of qualified suppliers, the period for receipt of tenders shall not be less than 40 days from the date of the initial issuance of invitations to tender, whether or not the date of initial issuance of invitations to tender coincides with the date of the publication referred to in paragraph 1 of Article IX.
(iv) a contact point with the entity from which further information
may be obtained, the 40-day limit for receipt of tenders may be replaced by a
period sufficiently long to enable responsive tendering, which, as a
general rule, shall not be less than 24 days, but in any case not less
than 10 days;
(b) in the case of the second or subsequent publications dealing
with contracts of a recurring nature within the meaning of paragraph 6
of Article IX, the 40-day limit for receipt of tenders may be
reduced to not less than 24 days;
(c) where a state of urgency duly substantiated by the entity
renders impracticable the periods in question, the periods specified
in paragraph 2 may be reduced but shall in no case be less than
10 days from the date of the publication referred to in paragraph 1
of Article IX; or
(d) the period referred to in paragraph 2(c) may, for procurements by entities listed in Annexes 2 and 3, be fixed by mutual agreement between the entity and the selected suppliers. In the absence of agreement, the entity may fix periods which shall be sufficiently long to enable responsive tendering and shall in any case not be less than 10 days.
4. Consistent with the entity’s own reasonable needs, any delivery date shall take into account such factors as the complexity of the intended procurement, the extent of subcontracting anticipated and the realistic time required for production, de-stocking and transport of goods from the points of supply or for supply of services.back to top
2. Tender documentation provided to suppliers shall contain all information necessary to permit them to submit responsive tenders, including information required to be published in the notice of intended procurement, except for paragraph 6(g) of Article IX, and the following:
(g) a complete description of the products or services required or
of any requirements including technical specifications, conformity
certification to be fulfilled, necessary plans, drawings and
(h) the criteria for awarding the contract, including any factors
other than price that are to be considered in the evaluation of
tenders and the cost elements to be included in evaluating tender
prices, such as transport, insurance and inspection costs, and in the
case of products or services of other Parties, customs duties and
other import charges, taxes and currency of payment;
(k) in accordance with Article XVII the terms and conditions, if any, under which tenders from countries not Parties to this Agreement, but which apply the procedures of that Article, will be entertained.
Forwarding of Tender Documentation by the Entities
3. (a) In open procedures, entities shall forward the tender documentation at the request of any supplier participating in the procedure, and shall reply promptly to any reasonable request for explanations relating thereto.
(b) In selective procedures, entities shall forward the tender
documentation at the request of any supplier requesting to
participate, and shall reply promptly to any reasonable request for
explanations relating thereto.
(c) Entities shall reply promptly to any reasonable request for relevant information submitted by a supplier participating in the tendering procedure, on condition that such information does not give that supplier an advantage over its competitors in the procedure for the award of the contract.
- 1. For
each Party, Appendix I is divided into five Annexes:
— Annex 1 contains central government entities. — Annex 2 contains sub-central government entities. — Annex 3 contains all other entities that procure in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement. — Annex 4 specifies services, whether listed positively or negatively, covered by this Agreement. — Annex 5 specifies covered construction services.
- 2. This Agreement shall apply to any procurement contract for which the contract value is estimated to equal or exceed the threshold at the time of publication of the notice in accordance with Article IX. Back to text
- 3. For the purpose of this Agreement, a technical regulation is a document which lays down characteristics of a product or a service or their related processes and production methods, including the applicable administrative provisions, with which compliance is mandatory. It may also include or deal exclusively with terminology, symbols, packaging, marking or labelling requirements as they apply to a product, service, process or production method. Back to text
- 4. For the purpose of this Agreement, a standard is a document approved by a recognized body, that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for products or services or related processes and production methods, with which compliance is not mandatory. It may also include or deal exclusively with terminology, symbols, packaging, marking or labelling requirements as they apply to a product, service, process or production method. Back to text