Participation of third-country bidders and goods in the EU procurement market

On 24 July 2019 the EU Commission published a guidance on the participation of third-country bidders and goods in the EU procurement to ensure the fair competition, high quality and a level playing field. The guidance contains practical advice to public buyers in the Member States and helps them identify which third country bidders have secured access to the EU procurement market. It also helps to review offers efficiently and to tailor their procurements to choose the most innovative, social or green option.

The guidance further aims to raise awareness among contracting authorities of the different instruments in the EU public procurement toolbox. For instance, the guidance provides measures that may be taken in case of abnormally low-priced offers, as well as procedures to ensure that the third country bidders comply with the rules of the quality, security, labor and environmental standards. This helps obtain better value for taxpayers’ money and high-quality public services. As another part of the open EU procurement market, it is also important that the EU businesses need to be able for bid for public contracts outside of the EU.

The guidance focuses on the following areas: access by foreign bidders (for guaranteed access to the EU procurement market needs to have a special agreement between the given third country and the EU), rejecting abnormally low-priced offers, quality-based procurement, and practical assistance from the Commission.

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