Chapter 19 of CETA deals with public procurement. It quite faithfully replicates the provisions and undertakings contained in the revised Government Procurement Agreement (“GPA”) agreed upon within the World Trade Organisation (“WTO”); so at first glance not much new…
It sets the general principles applicable to European and Canadian entities to which Chapter 19 applies: non-discrimination, transparency and impartiality, offering a truly level playing field to all participants.
An interesting novelty brought in by Chapter 19, is the considerable widening of the range of entities to which the measures apply. Canada and its provinces and territories have opened up their public and para-public markets to include many entities not previously subjected to the GPA, adding, for example, many municipal and school organizations, as well as additional federal and provincial entities, which must henceforth submit to Chapter 19 rules.
This is quite interesting for European companies who may now participate in a greater number of Canadian public procurement opportunities.
Finally CETA creates a virtual marketplace where an interested person may obtain all information relevant to public markets open in each jurisdiction, and it is proposed that in certain cases any and all documents and public procurement procedures could be online. Great advantages for all involved!