Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA)
Members: 48/164 plus 11 Acceding
Closed Initiative
Status: Concluded and In Force

The WTO rules, which otherwise limit discrimination between goods and services, completely exempt government procurement. Any purchases by a government, at any level, is exempt from the normal WTO rules. Through the Agreement on Government Procurement, the WTO Members who signed up to it agreed to extend to one another’s firms the ability to bid openly and compete fairly on a range of government contracts and tenders.


About this Plurilateral
Members, Observers and Accessions

The following WTO Members are parties to the Government Procurement Agreement: Armenia, Australia, Canada, the European Union, Hong Kong – China, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands with respect to Aruba, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States. 

The following WTO Members are in the process of accession negotiations to the Government Procurement Agreement: Albania, Brazil, China, Georgia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, North Macedonia, Oman, Russian Federation and Tajikistan

The following WTO Members have formal observer status to the Government Procurement Agreement: Afghanistan, Argentina, Bahrain, Belarus, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Panama, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey and Viet Nam

Revised Agreement on Government Procurement (Text)


These paragraphs represent an introduction to the agreement and an explanation of what it aims to achieve.


This is a test of article descriptions, written like so. 

The Parties to this Agreement (hereinafter referred to as “the Parties”),
Recognizing the need for an effective multilateral framework for government
procurement, with a view to achieving greater liberalization and expansion
of, and improving the framework for, the conduct of international trade;
Recognizing that measures regarding government procurement should
not be prepared, adopted or applied so as to afford protection to domestic
suppliers, goods or services, or to discriminate among foreign suppliers,
goods or services;


Recognizing that the integrity and predictability of government procurement
systems are integral to the efficient and effective management of public
resources, the performance of the Parties’ economies and the functioning of
the multilateral trading system;


Recognizing that the procedural commitments under this Agreement should
be sufficiently flexible to accommodate the specific circumstances of each


Recognizing the need to take into account the development, financial and
trade needs of developing countries, in particular the least developed


Recognizing the importance of transparent measures regarding government
procurement, of carrying out procurements in a transparent and impartial
manner and of avoiding conflicts of interest and corrupt practices, in
accordance with applicable international instruments, such as the United
Nations Convention Against Corruption;


Recognizing the importance of using, and encouraging the use of, electronic
means for procurement covered by this Agreement;


Hereby agree as follows:

Article 1: Definitions


Article 1: Definitions

For purposes of this Agreement:

a) commercial goods or services means goods or services of a type generally sold or offered for sale in the commercial marketplace to, and customarily purchased by, non‑governmental buyers for nongovernmental purposes;

b) Committee means the Committee on Government Procurement established by Article XXI:1;

c) construction service means a service that has as its objective the realization by whatever means of civil or building works, based  on Division 51 of the United Nations Provisional Central Product Classification (CPC)

d) country includes any separate customs territory that is a Party to this Agreement. In the case of a separate customs territory that is a Party to this Agreement, where an expression in this Agreement is qualified by the term “national”, such expression shall be read as pertaining to that customs territory, unless otherwise specified;

e) days means calendar days;

f) electronic auction means an iterative process that involves the use of electronic means for the presentation by suppliers of either new prices, or new values for quantifiable non-price elements of the tender related to the evaluation criteria, or both, resulting in a ranking or re‑ranking of tenders;

g) in writing or written means any worded or numbered expression that can be read, reproduced and later communicated. It may include electronically transmitted and stored information;

h) limited tendering means a procurement method whereby the procuring entity contacts a supplier or suppliers of its choice;

i) measure means any law, regulation, procedure, administrative guidance or practice, or any action of a procuring entity relating to a covered procurement;

j) multi-use list means a list of suppliers that a procuring entity has determined satisfy the conditions for participation in that list, and that the procuring entity intends to use more than once;

k) notice of intended procurement means a notice published by a procuring entity inviting interested suppliers to submit a request for participation, a tender, or both;

l) offset means any condition or undertaking that encourages local development or improves a Party’s balance-of-payments accounts, such as the use of domestic content, the licensing of technology, investment, counter‑trade and similar action or requirement;

m) open tendering means a procurement method whereby all interested suppliers may submit a tender;

n) person means a natural person or a juridical person;

o) procuring entity means an entity covered under a Party’s Annex 1, 2 or 3 to Appendix I;

p) qualified supplier means a supplier that a procuring entity recognizes as having satisfied the conditions for participation;

q) selective tendering means a procurement method whereby only qualified suppliers are invited by the procuring entity to submit a tender;

r) services includes construction services, unless otherwise specified;

s) standard means a document approved by a recognized body that provides for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for goods or services, or related processes and production methods, with which compliance is not mandatory. It may also include or deal exclusively with terminology, symbols, packaging, marking or labelling requirements as they apply to a good, service, process or production method;

t) supplier means a person or group of persons that provides or could provide goods or services; and

u) technical specification means a tendering requirement that:

i. lays down the characteristics of goods or services to be procured, including quality, performance, safety and dimensions, or the processes and methods for their production or provision; or

ii. addresses terminology, symbols, packaging, marking or labelling requirements, as they apply to a good or service.

Article 2: Scope and Coverage

Application of Agreement

1. This Agreement applies to any measure regarding covered procurement, whether or not it is conducted exclusively or partially by electronic means.

2. For the purposes of this Agreement, covered procurement means procurement for governmental purposes:

a) of goods, services, or any combination thereof:

i. as specified in each Party’s annexes to Appendix I; and

ii. not procured with a view to commercial sale or resale, or for use in the production or supply of goods or services for commercial sale or resale;

b) by any contractual means, including: purchase; lease; and rental or hire purchase, with or without an option to buy;

c) for which the value, as estimated in accordance with paragraphs 6 through 8, equals or exceeds the relevant threshold specified in a Party’s annexes to Appendix I, at the time of publication of a notice in accordance with Article VII;

d) by a procuring entity; and

e) that is not otherwise excluded from coverage in paragraph 3 or a Party’s annexes to Appendix I.

3. Except where provided otherwise in a Party’s annexes to Appendix I, this
Agreement does not apply to:

a) the acquisition or rental of land, existingbuildings or other immovable property or the rights thereon;

b) non-contractual agreements or any form of assistance that a Party provides, including cooperative agreements, grants, loans, equity infusions, guarantees and fiscal incentives;

c) the procurement or acquisition of fiscal agency or depository services, liquidation and management services for regulated financial institutions or services related to the sale, redemption and distribution of public debt, including loans and government bonds, notes and other securities;

d) public employment contracts;

e) procurement conducted:

i. for the specific purpose of providing international assistance, including development aid;

ii. under the particular procedure or condition of an international agreement relating to the stationing of troops or relating to the joint implementation by the signatory countries of a project; or

iii. under the particular procedure or condition of an international organization, or funded by international grants, loans or other assistance where the applicable procedure or condition would be inconsistent with this Agreement.

4. Each Party shall specify the following information in its annexes to
Appendix I:

a) in Annex 1, the central government entities whose procurement is covered by this Agreement;

b) in Annex 2, the sub-central government entities whose procurement is covered by this Agreement;

c) in Annex 3, all other entities whose procurement is covered by this Agreement;

d) in Annex 4, the goods covered by this Agreement;

e) in Annex 5, the services, other than construction services, covered by this Agreement;

f) in Annex 6, the construction services covered by this Agreement; and

g) in Annex 7, any General Notes

5. Where a procuring entity, in the context of covered procurement, requires persons not covered under a Party’s annexes to Appendix I to procure in accordance with particular requirements, Article IV shall apply mutatis mutandis to such requirements.