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Germany

Public contracts

Updated 09/2012

Legal requirements

There is no single law on contract awards. Rules can be found in various national and EU texts. These include:

  • Sector by-laws

Public procurement prices are also subject to specific conditions: In theory all public contracts - with the exception of building works - are subject to Regulation PR No 30/53 on pricing for public contracts (VO PR No 30/53), according to which public contracts are, in principle, to be awarded at market prices (market price precedence).

Types of public procurement

European level

The thresholds for compulsory tenders, as published in the EU Official Journal, correspond to the thresholds in the EU public procurement directives.

For goods and services:

  • Federal authorities: € 130,000
  • Sectoral clients: € 400,000
  • Allocation in the area of defence and security: € 400,000
  • Other public customers: € 200,000
  • For construction works: € 5 million

National level

There are various possible ways of tendering for public procurement projects:

  • Public tendering (Europe-wide: the ‘public procedure’). An unlimited pool of companies can be invited to tender for contracts.
  • Limited tendering (Europe-wide: the ‘non-public procedure’). The pool of companies invited to tender is determined through candidate pre-selection (there are two exemptions in the case of national calls for tender)
  • Single tender action (Europe-wide: the ‘negotiated procedure’). Single tender action is the only procedure permitting negotiations with companies
  • Competitive dialog (invitation to participate, and subsequent negotiations with selected companies on every contract detail).

National public procurement authorities

Under Germany’s federal structure, public procurement is decentralised, i.e. organised by the Federal Government, the federal states (Länder) and local authorities. Examples of Federal Government procurement agencies include the following:

 

Administrative procedures

Submitting tenders

The Federal Government’s tender platform includes invitations to tender from the Federal Government itself along with many federal states, metropolitan areas and districts (some of which operate their own tender platforms) that can be processed electronically.

Portal bund.de - Online Administration also provides details of current invitations to tender from the Federal Government’s contracting authorities and selected tender platforms in the federal states (Länder).

Resources

The website of the Federal Ministry for Economy and Technology (BMWi) provides lots of information about public procurement and the procurement law principles:

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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