Submitting a bid online in response to a public call for tender

Information about Rights & Duties

Submitting a bid online in response to a public call for tender

  1. Are there specific technical requirements for the submission of tenders?

Once the EU thresholds have been reached, both contracting authorities and undertakings must, in principle, use electronic means must be used at any stage of a public procurement procedure, referred to as the principle of the e-Award, Section 97(5) of the Competition Act (Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen, GWB).

In particular, electronic communications concern:

  • the electronic publication of the contract notice
  • making procurement documents, in particular the tender specifications, available on the internet free of charge
  • the electronic offer.

The changeover to electronic communication is mandatory and is irrespective of the item to be delivered or the service to be provided on which the award procedure is based.

As of 1 January 2020 tenders and requests to participate that fall within the scope of the Rules of Procedure for the award of public supply and service contracts below the EU thresholds (Regulation on sub-threshold procurement - Unterschwellenvergabeverordnung - UVgO) must also be submitted using electronic means. However, this requirement does not apply if the estimated contract value is below EUR 25 000 or a procurement procedure is being carried out for which no contract notice is being published. The details relating to this are set out in Section 38 UVgO.

  1. Are electronic signatures mandatory where contracts with a contract value exceeding the EU thresholds are awarded?

In principle, electronic signatures or e-signatures, are not mandatory for contracts awarded above the EU thresholds. However, if the public contracting authority stipulates increased security requirements for the data requested and to be transmitted as part of the procurement procedure, they may require expressions of interest, confirmations of interest, requests to participate and tenders to be accompanied by an electronic form of declaration. The contracting entities can choose to specify an advanced electronic signature, a qualified electronic signature, an advanced electronic seal or a qualified electronic stamp (see Section 53 of the Regulation on the Award of Public Contracts (Vergabeverordnung, VgV).

Electronic signatures can be obtained from various private providers.

  1. Are there specific portals that are used for submitting a tender in response to a public call for tenders?

EU-wide notifications are published on the internet by the Publications Office of the European Union (TED - Tenders Electronic Daily) and updated there on a daily basis.

In addition, there are a number of different tender portals on which public clients - at national, state or municipal level - can essentially publish calls for tenders for their projects online.

The federal government publishes calls for tenders on its central tender platforms. The federal states also operate their own tender platforms alongside this.

In addition, a number of privately operated tender portals collect calls for tenders issued by public contracting authorities and publish these online.

Further information

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action

Last update or date of publication