In May 2016, Ukraine became a full Party to the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) of the World Trade Organization. Due to harmonization of the Ukrainian legislation with international public procurement standards, the Ukrainian companies got the opportunity to freely participate in international tender procurements.
The first Ukrainian company to win an international public tender under the GPA rules was State Foreign Trade Enterprise “SpetsTechnoExport”, enterprise of the State Concern “Ukroboronprom”. According to the results of the tender conducted according to the European Directive 2009/81/EC, “SpetsTechnoExport” will supply components to T-72 tanks to one of the European countries in 2017-2019.
What the Government Procurement Agreement is
According to the Agreement, the member states mutually opened their public procurement markets for each other. Non-discriminatory terms apply to all participants of over-threshold procurement procedures. Thus, there is an open market with the same rules for the member states. The companies willing to take part in tenders only need to meet the qualification requirements of the customer, determine the correspondence of a particular tender with the company profile, draw up tender documentation correctly, and submit it to the customer. The qualification requirements and the list of supporting documents are similar to those applied in Ukraine. Customers in such tenders are central governmental authorities, local and municipal authorities, utility companies, state-owned companies in various areas of activity.
Debut of “SpetsTechnoExport”
Within the framework of a bilateral pilot project, the specialists of “SpetsTechnoExport” and the GPAinUA Project Office started to monitor tender announcements on European electronic platforms by key words and codes of the products that “SpetsTechnoExport” could supply. There is a uniform system of classification of goods, works and services in public procurement in Europe: the CPV classifier. Thus, it is not difficult to find the right tender after determining the code of your product.
After that, the qualification requirements for participants were studied, both general rules and procedures and technical specifications, all documents required by the customer, including supporting documents from open databases, were brought into conformity and submitted. The life cycle of public tenders is usually 30-45 days, so it was important to work quickly.
The first stage was passed, the package of documents was sent to the customer in paper form.
Upon a while, after the documentation submitted was reviewed, “SpetsTechnoExport” was informed that it had been admitted to the next stage of the tender, i.e. submission of a bid. The specialists of “SpetsTechnoExport” sent the customer a filled in contract with price quotations, filled in forms of goods specifications, and prices of each individual product unit.
A special feature of this stage was the requirement to provide an extract from the NATO specialized catalog, which confirmed the conformity of the product proposed with the needs of the customer. Due to the expertise of the specialists of “Ukroboronprom” and the Ministry of Defense, some additional Ukrainian products were entered into the NATO catalog. All documentation was sent, and a confirmation of the award of the contract was received after a while.
“We have discovered a new tool for us to increase exports of goods and services from Ukraine. Now, our exporters' project teams include specialists who are responsible for the work with international electronic trading platforms”, comments on the results of the tender Pavlo Barbul, Director of the State Foreign Trade Enterprise “SpetsTechnoExport”.
Opening and consideration of bids submitted by the participants varies depending on the tender procedure selected by the customer. This tender was conducted under the “limited participation” procedure, that is, the qualification selection of bidders was conducted at the first stage, and the price quotation tender was conducted among qualified companies at the second stage. Thus, the process of filing documents should be treated seriously. Also, it turns out that the price is not the principal assessment criterion at all international tenders. There are many non-price criteria that need to be studied in each individual case of participation in a tender under the GPA rules.
Assistance from GPAinUA Project Office at the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade
“We fulfilled our mission: we helped to prepare the package of documents properly, provided answers to operational questions within our competence, provided support to the company until it submitted tender documentation”, Taras Shymko, Project Manager of GPAinUA, commented on the first successful case of the Ukrainian company.
According to him, 130 companies have applied for assistance with specific questions within the framework of 170 tenders and received consultations from experts of the Project Office during the entire period of its operation. As a result, only 9 companies seriously treated the matter, in total they were qualified to participate in 29 tenders, of which there has been one win of “SpetsTechnoExport”. This is a good statistics taking into account the fact that companies from 46 countries of the world may participate in tenders under the GPA rules.
“It was not at once that we came to idea to work with a professional specialized exporter. However, this hypothesis proved to be efficient at the first try: it is much more efficient to work with experienced teams that are able to work in different markets, correctly position themselves and, after all, prepare high-quality documents”, summarizes Taras Shymko.
ABOUT SPETS TECHNO EXPORT
State Foreign Trade Enterprise “SpetsTechnoExport” is a fully state-run entity incorporated by the Government of Ukraine in 1998 for export-import activities at foreign armaments markets.
7, Stepana Bandery Avenue
Kyiv, 04073, Ukraine
tel: +380 44 5685070
fax: +380 44 5685068
New Delhi, India
Tel: +380 (44) 5685207
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