Wednesday 14 January 2009

EU Procurement Directive: International rules

Contracts with certain public entities outside the European Economic Area (EEA) are excluded from the European Community (European Union) Procurement Directive.


Article 15

According to Article 15 of the Procurement Directive 2004/18/EC, certain contracts awarded pursuant to international rules are excluded from the scope of the Directive:

Article 15
Contracts awarded pursuant to international rules

This Directive shall not apply to public contracts governed by different procedural rules and awarded:

(a) pursuant to an international agreement concluded in conformity with the Treaty between a Member State and one or more third countries and covering supplies or works intended for the joint implementation or exploitation of a work by the signatory States or services intended for the joint implementation or exploitation of a project by the signatory States; all agreements shall be communicated to the Commission, which may consult the Advisory Committee for Public Contracts referred to in Article 77;

(b) pursuant to a concluded international agreement relating to the stationing of troops and concerning the undertakings of a Member State or a third country;

(c) pursuant to the particular procedure of an international organisation.


International rules explained

Recital 22 of the Procurement mentions international rules briefly, without going into details:

(22) Provision should be made for cases in which it is possible to refrain from applying the measures for coordinating procedures on grounds relating to State security or secrecy, or because specific rules on the awarding of contracts which derive from international agreements, relating to the stationing of troops, or which are specific to international organisations are applicable.



Article 15(a) could cover for instance international development assistance agreements between an EEA member and an outside country (third state) on a large infrastructure project. (The WTO GPA does not apply to procurement made in furtherance of tied aid to developing countries.)

Article 15(b) could apply to host nation investments relating to the stationing of NATO troops.

Article 15(c) could apply if there is a link such as a project between a contracting authority and an international organisation with its own procurement rules. One example of procurement rules of an international organisation is the United Nations Procurement Manual based on the Financial Rules and Regulations:

The World Bank has general guidelines and consultancy guidelines for projects financed in whole or in part by a loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) or a credit or grant from the International Development Association (IDA), on the policies that govern the procurement of goods, works, and services:,,contentMDK:50002392~pagePK:84269~piPK:60001558~theSitePK:84266,00.html

In each of these cases there are applicable international procedures, which exclude the Procurement Directive.

Ralf Grahn

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