State of play: 11 February 2019
eCertis is an online database listing the eligibility criteria and documentary evidence needed in each European Economic Area (EEA) country for companies to take part in public procurement.
Public procurement – the purchase of works, goods or services by public bodies – is regulated in these countries to ensure compliance with the principles of transparency, equal treatment and non-discrimination.
To be able to bid for a public contract, firms need to know what rules apply and what criteria they have to meet. The EU has set out these criteria in 2 legal acts:
To prove they meet the eligibility criteria (a term used for both the exclusion criteria and what the Directives call the selection criteria), companies must provide evidence documenting:
- their suitability and technical and professional ability to perform the contract correctly
- their lack of criminal convictions and their payment of taxes, for example an extract from the criminal records register and a tax payment certificate.
eCertis is managed by the Commission and participating countries are obliged to make sure the information in it is accurate and up to date.
All 28 EU countries, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The database may later expand to include any countries that join the the EU.
Countries interested in connecting their e-procurement systems to eCertis can apply for Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) grants
- companies (bidders) to identify what proof they need to submit when bidding for a contract in a European country;
- contracting authorities (buyers) in European countries to establish which documents they can accept or need to ask bidders for; and
- both parties to identify means of proof with the same value in different countries.
eCertis is to be used for reference purposes only. It shows the type of information required as evidence in each country. eCertis may suggest that a document from country A is comparable to another document from country B, but this information is not legally binding.
For eCertis to be reliable, the participating countries must upload all the necessary information.
There are 2 indicators to show the extent to which each country is doing this:
- criteria completeness (how many of the criteria in Directive 2014/24/EU have been entered in eCertis for each country?)
- evidence recorded (number of items of evidence associated with each criterion)
Categories of criteria
Data are collected in 3 categories of “grounds for exclusion”:
- criminal convictions (EG-CC)
- non-payment of taxes and social security contributions (EG-PT)
- insolvency, conflict of interests or professional misconduct (EG-INS).
and 4 categories of “selection criteria”:
- economic and financial standing (SG-EF)
- quality assurance schemes and environmental management standards (SG-QA)
- suitability to pursue the professional activity (SG-ST)
- technical and professional ability (SG-TP)
Combining indicator 1 and indicator 2 gives the overall classification.
It follows the rule:
|Red||if both indicators are red|
|Yellow||if all indicators are yellow, or if some indicators are yellow and the others are red, or when 1 indicator is green and the others are yellow|
|Green||if all indicators are green, or if 2 indicators are green and 2 indicators are yellow, or if 3 indicators are greens and 1 indicator is yellow|
The graph shows the percentage of the criteria set at EU level that have been recorded in eCertis for each country.
Colours are assigned as follows:
|Red||≤ 0 %|
|Yellow||> 0% ≤50 %|
|Green||> 50 %|
- Higher scores show that countries have entered data in the eCertis database. All countries have provided at least some data in relation to the exclusion grounds. Lithuania and the UK have not provided any data in relation to the selection criteria.
- For exclusion grounds, 28 countries have an average classification of over 70 %: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Finland, France, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia and the UK.
- For selection criteria, 16 countries have an average classification of over 50 %: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Slovakia.
This indicator categorises the relevant countries based on the number of items of evidence recorded in the system for each type of criterion. If the country has not entered any evidence data, the indicator is red; if it has entered more than one item of evidence, the indicator is green.
The final classification is calculated as follows:
|Red||all criteria are red|
|Yellow||a mixture of red and green values|
|Green||all criteria are green|
If the indicator is zero, it means the country has not entered any data in the system. For exclusion grounds, all countries have entered at least some data, while for selection criteria, Belgium, Spain, Croatia, Lithuania, and the UK have not entered any data.
The following countries have data available for all categories of exclusion grounds and selection criteria: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia.
Facts and Figures
This graph shows the number of items of evidence that may be used and potentially required in a public procurement contract in participating countries. They have been broken down into 3 types: certificates, declaration on oath and self-declaration. The graph shows the differences in the regulatory systems used in each country.
The total number of items of evidence entered as certificates, declaration on oath or self-declaration varies significantly, from 2 in Norway and Belgium to 45 in Germany.
Self-declarations are prevalent in some countries, such as Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, France, Latvia, Portugal and the UK. In others, certificates are the only items of evidence to be provided. This is the case for Austria, Iceland, Italy and Luxembourg.
This graph shows online evidence as a percentage of all items of evidence recorded in the database per country. The link enables eCertis users to access the database and obtain - in some cases - the evidence online.
Broadly speaking, the graph gives an indication of how much information is available online in the databases. However, a 0 % result could be due to other reasons. For instance, the relevant links may not have been added in eCertis, or the information may not be publicly accessible online. (For instance, if there is no database and suppliers use self-declaration to confirm compliance with a given requirement.)
In Estonia and Norway, over half the total number of items of evidence are accessible online to buyers or bidders. Hungary and Iceland also have a high score.
This graph shows the percentage of items of evidence entered in eCertis for which a PDF sample is available, for each country. There may be no samples available for certain types of evidence: some countries, for instance, do not have a specific form for self-declaration.
Countries with higher percentages have attached a large number of samples in relation to the items of evidence recorded in eCertis. This is the case with Spain, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, and Romania.
Croatia, Liechtenstein, Portugal and the UK have no samples available in eCertis.
This graph shows the number of items of priced evidence (items for which a fee is charged to access them) recorded in the system for each country.
Most countries charge a fee to access evidence on a national level. Germany, Bulgaria, Portugal and Italy have particularly high numbers of items of evidence for which a fee is charged.
In contrast, all evidence from Spain, France, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Norway, and the UK is accessible free of charge. Free access to evidences increases participation in public procurement procedures.
- The total number of records in the system has grown substantially to 2 234 (criteria, items of evidence, and issuing bodies). 1 373 criteria (40 % increase on last year) and 581 items of evidence (26 % increase on last year) had been added to eCertis by 11 February 2019.
- The system now contains information on 280 bodies that issue certificates.
- 11 584 unique visitors in the last quarter of 2018 (9 % increase on the same period in 2017).
- 11 % of certificates can be viewed online.
- A sample is available for 21 % of the items of evidence described in the system.
A new version was launched in November, with new features and bug fixes, to:
- mark an item of evidence as an European single procurement document (ESPD), which will help countries in providing and the end-users in accessing more consistent information on usage of the ESPD;
- collect more information about the issuer, to find out if the evidence needs to be retrieved directly from the issuer;
- distinguish between different legal systems (works, supply, services) for a particular EU criteria; and
- provide information on how to retrieve evidence electronically.
- ensure all participating countries update the information in the database
- improve data quality
- strengthen end users’ trust in the system
- promote advertising of the system in participating countries
- support connections between eCertis and national systems
- extend eCertis to include defence procurement and sensitive security procurement (Directive 2009/81/EC)
- encourage countries that wish to connect to eCertis to apply for CEF grants
- continue to improve the eCertis system and its interconnection with other European Commission systems