Mercato interno, industria, imprenditoria e PMI

European single procurement document and eCertis

European single procurement document and eCertis

The European single procurement document (ESPD) is a self-declaration form used in public procurement procedures. Before the introduction of the ESPD, companies had to submit various documents proving that they can participate in a procurement procedure (e.g. on having paid taxes, on not having been convicted of criminal activity). Thanks to the ESPD, companies are able to meet these obligations with a single self‑declaration form – the ESPD. Only the winner of the tender then needs to provide the actual documents. The Commission’s eCertis service lists these documents.

Important: In an initial phase, the European Commission provided an ESPD service to support the ESPD’s uptake. As announced in 2018, on 2 May 2019, the Commission’s ESPD service has been turned off. To reap the full benefit of an electronic ESPD, the integration with national eProcurement services and national databases is necessary. This will enable data reusability, default form pre-filling and data interexchange among different databases. In turn, buyers and suppliers will benefit from the automatism, making the application of the ESPD much easier and decreasing the data errors rates.

The obligation to use the ESPD remains in force. Instead of using the Commission service, users should now rely on national ESPD services. Almost all EU countries currently provide one or more ESPD service. We keep a non-exhaustive, regularly updated list of ESPD providers. If your country is not on the list, or in case of any other questions, please contact one of the national ESPD contact points.

The advantage of using national services is that these can be better integrated with national eProcurement services and databases. This is necessary for users to get all of the electronic ESPD’s benefits.

If you are in the middle of a procedure and have used the Commission service up until now, or if you do not have access to another service, we recommend using one of the following services to complete your procedure (they are very similar to the EU one)

There are 3 possible ways to implement the ESPD

  • ESPD data model, which enables integration of the eESPD service into national eProcurement solutions and/or pre-qualification services
  • Open source version of the Commission eESPD service. The open source version is compatible with the ESPD data model and some elements can be adjusted to take into account national needs.
  • Virtual company dossier (VCD), which allows the buyers to handle the eESPDs (like the first option) and the tenderers to benefit from an automated filling-in of the eESPD.

The ESPD and eCertis play a crucial role in the digital transformation of public procurement. They contribute to EU countries’ transition to full eProcurement, significantly reduce administrative burden and simplify access to cross-border tendering opportunities. The full potential of the ESPD can only be reached if integrated with national services like national databases or eTendering services. In this way, the ESPD will act as a ‘business passport’ for companies bidding for tenders anywhere in the EU.

Documents and links

Infographic: What is the ESPD?
Infographic: What is the ESPD?
Infographic: How the ESPD works
Infographic: How the ESPD works
Infographic: e-Certis
Infographic: eCertis