WTO’s revised government procurement agreement comes into force

The revised WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) will come into force on 6 April 2014, effectively two years from the date on which the Protocol amending the Agreement was adopted in March 2012. The Chairman of the WTO Committee on Government Procurement, Bruce Christie of Canada, confirmed that the threshold of acceptances by two-thirds of the Parties, which is required for the revised Agreement to come into force, had been met, with Israel accepting the Protocol on 7 March.

The GPA updates tender rules and market access commitments and includes a “significant extension of related market access commitments”. It was adopted in 2012 and commits countries to core disciplines over transparency, competition and good governance in procurement.

The threshold of acceptance – the revised protocol had to be accepted by two thirds of the parties to come into force – was met when Israel accepted it on 7 March.

The 10 parties that have, to date, accepted to amend the agreement are: Liechtenstein, Norway, Canada, Taiwan, the United States, Hong Kong, the European Union, Iceland, Singapore and Israel.

Roberto Azevêdo, WTO director general, added: “The fact this has been achieved so quickly shows the importance that the parties attach to the GPA and is further evidence, after the successful Bali package, that the WTO is back in business. The modernised text of the revised GPA and the expanded commitment to market access should prompt other WTO Members to consider the potential advantages of joining.”

India attained an ‘observer status’ in the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) on 10 February 2010.