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FAQs for Economic Operators

1. How would I know that a tender falls under the scope of GPP?

As an economic operator, there are several points one must take note of, to distinguish between a ‘gpp tender’ and a ‘non gpp tender’. For example, the tender title should indicate or give the impression that the environmental performance of the product is crucial to the Contracting Authority (CA). Another important aspect and perhaps the fundamental one is the inclusion of such criteria in the technical specifications of the tender document. Once the GPP criteria are embedded with the technical specifications of the tender document, bidders are obliged to follow the requirements similarly to other technical specifications, otherwise bid is technically non-compliant.

2. Does it make a difference to the economic operator as to whether the GPP criteria are mandatory or not?

No, it is the prerogative of the CA on whether or not to include GPP criteria. It is however beneficial for the economic operator to understand which criteria are mandatory as it is very likely that these feature in each tender. Specific sectors namely those for office it equipment, paper, wall panels, gardening products and services, textiles, cleaning products and services, and thermal insulation are mandatory technical specifications across all Contracting Authorities. This implies that every tender document procuring such supplies should include these minimum technical specifications. For those product groups, which have a non-mandatory status, Contracting Authorities have a choice as to whether to include such criteria or not. However, such targets are increasing on annual basis, implying that all non-mandatory sectors might have a mandatory status in the future. 

3. What does the inclusion of GPP criteria, whether mandatory or non-mandatory imply for economic operators?

The incorporation of GPP criteria within a tender document implies that the goods and services requested from the Contracting Authority must be fully compliant by providing the relevant documentation in the corresponding technical specifications of the tender document. Failure to do so will result in technical non- compliance.

4. What are the documents that need to be submitted by the economic operator so as to ensure compliance? 

The documents vary according to the product group. There is not a single document, which certifies an economic operator as ‘GPP compliant’. The list of documents to be provided by economic operators in their proposal is listed in each guideline under the term ‘verification’. The verification criteria within each document need to be followed. Only in cases, where tenders are issued with BPQR do the economic operators need to also consult the award criteria. For example in transport, the bidder must provide the technical sheet of the vehicle as verification. For paper, there are various documents, which have to be supplied such as a technical dossier from the manufacturer or the EU Ecolabel. For more information on what documents are necessary, bidders are encouraged to look at the verification section of the GPP guidelines.

 5. If an economic operator encounters a tender, which is not compliant with the mandatory GPP criteria, what steps can be taken by the economic operator? 

An economic operator can contact the GPP Office at MESDC if any shortcomings of the sort are noticed on

6. If an economic operator encounters difficulties in achieving compliance a specific sector, whom should the economic operator contact for more information and guidance? 

All economic operators can contact the GPP Office at MESDC on for further information and appropriate direction. 

7. If an economic operator would like more information and/or training on how their organisations can be GPP compliant,  are there any sessions or training available? 

The GPP Office has in the past organised sector specific training sessions. With the launch of the second NAP such sessions are to be reactivated and advertised in due course.