European Single Procurement Document (ESPD)

New regulations

Have you participated in public tender competitions announced before 2016/2017 and experienced that the buyer requested documentation on a number of different eligibility requirements, that would have to be delivered along with the tender offer. Not to mention - the buyer was required to ask for the same documentation in every competition conducted, meaning you as a supplier had to deliver the same documents to the same client over and over again.

The new regulations has now implemented that the documentation of eligibility are no longer required within the tender deadline. However, you need to be aware that the client can ask to receive the documentation at any time if they consider it necessary. (Pay attention to the client's requirements for the submission of documentation in each individual competition). This is when ESPD comes into play.

What is the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD)

European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) is a self-declaration form used in public procurement procedures, and is intended by the European Commission to remove some of the barriers to participation in public procurement. The purpose of the ESPD is to simplify the procurement process between suppliers and buyers in the public sector. Additional, ESPD makes it easier for suppliers interested in tendering for contracts across boarders within the European Union, by obtaining the same requirements everywhere.

All public entities throughout EEA/EU is therefore obliged to use the ESPD form on all acquisitions over the EEA/EU threshold.

The ESPD serves as a preliminary evidence that your company meets the requirements by the contracting entity specified in the document.

Qualification requirement

The ESPD form impose different qualification requirements. The requirements are separated as followed:

  • Reasons for rejection: This requirements entail participation in criminal organization, corruption, fraud, terrorism, and so on. Furthermore, it contains more common requirements such as, payment of taxes and VAT and the so-called rejection reasons. This requirement is new, and the EU Commission has imposed this as a requirement that everyone in the acquisition process needs to follow.
  • Qualification requirements: This requirement entail requirements to economic capacity, previous references, certificates, etc. The ESPD form contains a list of requirements that the buyer can choose from, this way the requirements are standardized and common to all EEA/EU countries.
  • Selection criteria: This requirement is only applicable to competitions with prequalification, in such as a two-stage competition with negotiations, restricted tender procedure and direct dialogue. The purpose is to select a limited number of suppliers that are considered best suited to fulfill the tender contract.

Once the form is filled out and submitted together with the offer, you are no longer required to submit all the documentation on the qualification requirements together with the offer as you had to do before. This does not mean that you in the future will not have to submit the documentation. The buyer can at any time ask for the documentation, if the buyer believe that the documentation is necessary for the evaluation process. Therefore, in practice, you must have all documentation ready to submission.

If you get nominated for the offer of the competition, the buyer is required to request the remaining documentation.

Additionally, the new regulations has now simplified the documentation process. Meaning if you have submitted the requirement documentation once to one client, you no longer have to submit it again to the same client. The exception is if the document expires, such as tax certificate which can not be older than 6 months.

If the client is able to get the documentation in an online database, you will not need to submit the documentation. This presupposes that you have provided the link to the database in the ESPD form.

It is also to be mentioned that you can submit a registration certificate in a certification scheme for qualification in public competitions. Examples include StartBANK, Achilles and Safe Tag. The certificate shall replace the certificates included in the certification scheme and act as full documentation.


How does ESPD work?

Sectors in the public intending to buy goods or services issues an ESPD request. Buyers will set out their qualification requirements (see qualification requirements above). Then an ESPD will be published, which is relevant to their procurement process and make it available for any supplier interested in bidding for this contract. Suppliers interested in the contract respond by completing and submit their ESPD in response to the qualification requirements of the buyer.

How to deliver ESPD

Within a few years, all offers is going to be delivered electronically through a tender portal. Mercell offers a tender portal as mentioned. This tender portal offers the ESPD form fully integrated, meaning, you don’t have to rely on several other solutions to fill the ESPD out.

For those not using a solution with integrated ESPD, the completion of ESPD- form needs to be made electronically. This solution is offered by the European Commission and it can be found here. You can not expect that you get a form you can print out and fill in with a pen. Instead, the buyer and the suppliers have to use the electronic solution of European Commission.

To announce an offer, the buyer enters the EU Commission ESPD solution and submit the form including information on the procurement and applicable requirements. An xml-file is generated and downloaded and published together with other tender documents.

How to go from here:

1. Download the xml.file (from Doffin) and then upload it to the ESPD portal.

2. Fill out the fields that will appear on your screen once the file is uploaded in the ESPD portal.

3. Finally, convert the form as a PDF file, download and print. Sign the form and deliver it together with the offer.

Can you reuse the same ESPD form in all offers?

The different ESPD solutions is meant to facilitate reusing a completed form into different contests and offers.  

In Mercell's integrated solution, the ESPD form will be stored so it can easily be reused. 

If you use the solution by the European Commission's, the form is downloaded and saved on your computer as an xml-file. When you are going to fill out a new ESPD form in a new competition, you will then upload both the buyer and your own xml. file. Now the information from previous form is integrated into the buyers form.

ESPD Summarized

The ESPD form is required for all acquisitions over the EEA/EU threshold.

The ESPD form covers preliminary documentation for:

  • The supplier meets the requirements of documentation
  • That there are no reasons for rejection
  • The supplier meets any selection criteria.

The documentation for qualification requirements are not required to be submitted together with the offer. However if you get nominated for the offer, the documentation is required to be submitted to the client.

ESPD simplifies the whole acquisition process by you no longer have to re-submit the same document over and over again


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