World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement
The GPA is a plurilateral agreement within the WTO, which means that not all WTO members are parties to the agreement. Currently, the Agreement has 20 parties comprising 48 WTO Members. 36 WTO members/observers participate as observers in the GPA Committee. Of these, 12 members are in the process of acceding to the agreement. The Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) consists of Parties covering WTO Members (including the European Union and its 27 Member States, as well as the United Kingdom, all of which are covered by the Agreement, as a Single Party). Other WTO Members/Observers and four international organizations participate as observers in the GPA Committee. these observer members are in the process of acceding to the Convention. One of these observers, the United Kingdom, is seeking to join the revised GPA for the period following the transition period (provided for in the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement), during which the United Kingdom will be treated as a Member State of the European Union (AMP/CD/2). The accession process begins with the submission of an application for membership and has two main aspects: negotiations between the adhering member and the parties to the GPA on the offer of coverage of the former and verification that the procurement rules of the adhering member comply with the requirements of the GPA – for example, in terms of transparency, procedural fairness for suppliers and internal review. Surrogacy applies to procurement by any contractual means, including purchase, leasing or leasing with or without a call option.
It applies to companies listed by each signatory country in Annex I (external link) to the agreement. Annex 1 of Appendix I lists the central government agencies covered, Annex 2 lists the agencies of the sub-central government and Annex 3 lists the other agencies. If a Supplier believes that there has been a breach of this Agreement, it is encouraged to consult with the procuring entity to resolve the issue. If such consultations do not lead to a satisfactory outcome, any signatory Government is required to provide non-discriminatory, timely, transparent and effective procedures that would enable suppliers to challenge alleged violations of the Convention. Suppliers may be required to initiate a challenge procedure within a specified period of time (at least 10 days) from the date on which the basis of the complaint was known. Challenges must be heard by an impartial independent court or oversight body that has no interest in the outcome of the contract. Challenge procedures must be completed “promptly”. To be covered by the GPA, public procurement must meet minimum value thresholds. These vary according to the type of contracting entity and the contract. The current thresholds can be found in the table of thresholds published by the WTO (external link). The GPA contains a number of provisions to ensure that tendering procedures for public procurement in signatory countries are transparent, efficient and fair.
The signatories have agreed that: The current signatories to this agreement (as of April 2014) are: Armenia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, the European Union – its Member States, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands (including Aruba), Spain, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom are – Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Liechtenstein, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. Any other government that is a member of the WTO may accede to this Agreement on the terms agreed between that government and the current signatories. The WTO Secretariat provides technical assistance to help WTO Members from interested developing countries learn more about the GPA and/or join the GPA. Where appropriate and if candidate countries so wish, other intergovernmental organisations (e.g. regional development banks) or governance-oriented institutions may also provide technical assistance to join the GPA. The signatories to the GPA agreed that companies from other signatory countries will not be treated less favourably than domestic companies in public procurement, in accordance with the principles of national treatment and non-discrimination. Locally established enterprises are also not treated less favourably because of their foreign affiliation or ownership or because the goods and services they offer are of foreign origin. (2) This restriction does not apply to the purchase of supplies by the Ministry of Defence from a country with which it has entered into a reciprocal agreement, as provided for in the regulations of the Ministry. The agreement was revised in March 2012 and also expands the supply it covers. It entered into force on 6 April 2014 after the acceptance threshold for two-thirds of the parties was reached on 7 March 2014.
It has no expiration date. On 30 March 2012, the Parties to the GPA adopted a revision of the GPA. The revised agreement expands the supply covered by the GPA to provide new opportunities for U.S. goods, services and suppliers to participate in central and sub-central procurement in the other GPA parties. The revised agreement also includes a substantial improvement in the wording of the agreement by modernising the text to reflect current procurement practices and clarifying its commitments. The revised Agreement shall enter into force for those Parties which have accepted it on the 30th day following such deposit by two-thirds of the Parties to the current Agreement and thereafter for each Party which accepts it on the 30th day following its adoption. Signatories to the GPA are required to publish summary notices on procurement opportunities for contracts covered by the agreement. Each member has identified publications in which these opportunities are published.
The publications are listed in Annex II (off-site link). The agreement was originally established in 1979 as the Tokyo Round Code on Government Procurement, which entered into force in 1981 under the auspices of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.  It was then renegotiated in parallel with the Uruguay Round in 1994, and this version entered into force on 1 January 1996. The agreement was subsequently revised on 30 March 2012. The revised GPA entered into force on 6 July 2014.  The Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) requires that open, fair and transparent conditions of competition be guaranteed in public procurement. To this end, the text of the agreement establishes general principles and detailed procedural rules that the parties to the GPA are required to apply in covered procurement activities. As a result, the first agreement on government procurement (the Tokyo Round Government Procurement Code) was signed in 1979 and entered into force in 1981.
It was amended in 1987 and entered into force in 1988. Subsequently, in parallel with the Uruguay Round, the parties conducted negotiations on the extension of the scope and scope of the Agreement. Finally, on 15 April 1994, a new Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA 1994) was signed in Marrakesh at the same time as the Agreement Establishing the WTO, which entered into force on 1 January 1996. If a signatory Government considers that its rights under this Agreement are nullified or affected by another Signatory, it may request the opening of WTO dispute settlement proceedings to resolve the matter. The WTO dispute settlement procedure is described in the Exporter`s Guide to the WTO Dispute Settlement Agreement. The WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) is a “plurilateral” agreement, meaning that it applies to a number of WTO Members, but not to all Members. The Tender Review Body is a body established by States Parties to enable suppliers to challenge irregular government tenders.  These bodies are independent and strive to deal with each case promptly. The Review Panel also has the power to recommend prompt interim measures, which may be recommended in the following days if a Review Panel finds prima facie evidence of a challenge to tender.
 (a) Eligible products from WTO GPA and FTA countries are entitled to the non-discriminatory treatment referred to in point (1) of 25.402(a). The WTO-GPA and free trade agreements establish procurement procedures to ensure fairness (see 25.408). Yes. If you are having difficulty selling goods or services to a signatory government`s procurement entities because that government has not complied with this agreement, contact the U.S. Department of Commerce`s Trade Agreement Negotiations and Compliance Hotline. The Center can help you understand your rights under this Agreement and may notify the appropriate U.S. government officials to help you resolve your issue. The United States…