All invitations to tender and competitive procedure with negotiation are published internationally unless the nature of the contract or special circumstances justify making an exception where protecting the EPO's essential security interests cannot otherwise be guaranteed, for instance by imposing requirements to safeguard the confidential nature of information.
Wherever possible, procedures for placing and awarding contracts are conducted jointly for the EPO's locations in Munich, The Hague, Berlin, Vienna and Brussels.
Award procedures are carried out in accordance with the principles of transparency, equal treatment, open and fair competition, proportionality and non-discrimination, and contracts are placed in accordance with the principles of economy and sound financial management.
To view tender documents, suppliers must register with the EPO as a bidder in the eTendering system, either using an invitation code sent by EPO Central Procurement or as instructed in our step-by-step guide.
A qualified electronic signature is required for tender procedures, and bids/offers must be submitted online for tender and competitive procurement procedures published on eTendering.
A qualified electronic signature is an electronic signature that:
A qualified electronic signature fulfils the legal requirements for a signature with respect to data in electronic form in the same way that a handwritten signature does with respect to data on paper.
Bidders may use any qualified electronic signature based on a qualified certificate provided by a certification service provider accredited in accordance with Commission Implementing Decision 2013/662/EU of 14 October 2013 amending Decision 2009/767/EC as regards the establishment, maintenance and publication of trusted lists of certification service providers supervised/accredited by Member States.
The selection criteria concern the reliability, financial and economic standing, as well as technical and professional competence of bidders. They may require minimum capacity levels and particular qualifications.
Bids are examined to check
For tenders where the contract is not awarded on the basis of price alone, the shortlisted bids may be evaluated against the award criteria, with the contract awarded to the most economically advantageous bid. The award criteria concern in particular the price, operating costs, technical merits, environmental aspects, delivery/completion dates, technical and financial guarantees offered and compliance with warranty requirements.
Where the price of the most economically advantageous bid submitted in response to an invitation to tender appears either to exceed the market price or to exaggerate effort or disproportionately high costing of risks, it may be negotiated with the respective bidder before any contract is awarded. Other aspects of the tender conditions or bid will remain unaffected by any such price negotiations.
The EPO may exclude from the tender procedure any bidder who
As a rule, the reasons why a request to be invited or a bid has been unsuccessful will be given to the bidder only on written request and only in writing.
The successful bidder is notified in writing before expiry of the period within which the contract must be awarded.
The procurement documents contain a description of the terms and conditions for the contract, the subject-matter of the procurement, the EPO's needs and objectives and any characteristics required of the supplies, works or services to be procured. The description may also include minimum levels of compliance.