Agreement on Government Procurement

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Agreement on Government Procurement
Parties to the Marrakesh agreement, as amended:
  Observers negotiating accession
  Observers only
Signed12 April 1979 (Geneva)
2 February 1987 (amendment)
15 April 1994 (Marrakesh)
30 March 2012 (amendment)
LocationGeneva (1979), Marrakesh (1996)
Effective1 January 1981 (Geneva)
14 February 1988 (amendment)
1 January 1996 (Marrakesh)
6 April 2014 (amendment)
Parties12 (Geneva, as amended)
21 (Marrakesh, as amended)
DepositaryDirector-General of the World Trade Organization
LanguagesEnglish, French and Spanish

The Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) is a plurilateral agreement under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which regulates the procurement of goods and services by the public authorities of the parties to the agreement, based on the principles of openness, transparency and non-discrimination.

The agreement was originally established in 1979 as the Tokyo Round Code on Government Procurement,[1] which entered into force in 1981 under the auspices of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.[2] It was then renegotiated in parallel with the Uruguay Round in 1994, and this version entered into force on 1 January 1996. The agreement was subsequently revised on 30 March 2012. The revised GPA came into effect on 6 July 2014 and applies since 1 January 2021 to all members.[2]


The following WTO Members are parties to the amended 1994 agreement:[3]

Parties Accession date
 Canada 1 January 1996
The European Union with respect to[Note 1] Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden 1 January 1996
 Israel 1 January 1996
 Japan 1 January 1996
 Norway 1 January 1996
 Switzerland 1 January 1996
 United States 1 January 1996
The Netherlands with respect to Aruba 25 October 1996
 South Korea 1 January 1997
 Hong Kong SAR 19 June 1997
 Liechtenstein 18 September 1997
 Singapore 20 October 1997
 Iceland 28 April 2001
The European Union with respect to Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia 1 May 2004
The European Union with respect to Bulgaria and Romania 1 January 2007
Chinese Taipei[Note 2] 15 July 2009
 Armenia 15 September 2011
The European Union with respect to Croatia 1 July 2013
 Montenegro 15 July 2015
 New Zealand 12 August 2015
 Ukraine 18 May 2016
 Moldova 14 June 2016
 Australia 5 May 2019
 United Kingdom[Note 1] 1 January 2021


  1. ^ a b The agreement applied to the UK as part of its EU membership from 1 January 1996 until 31 December 2020 at the end of the transition period
  2. ^ Taiwan acceded to the WTO as the "Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu", shortened as "Chinese Taipei"

Observer status[edit]

The following WTO Members have obtained observer status with respect to the GPA, with those marked with an asterisk (*) negotiating accession: Afghanistan, Albania*, Argentina, Bahrain, Belarus, Brazil*, Cameroon, Chile, China*, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Ecuador, Georgia*, India, Indonesia, Jordan*, Kazakhstan*, Kyrgyz Republic*, North Macedonia*, Malaysia, Mongolia, Oman*, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Russia*, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan*, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.[3]

Review Body on Bid Challenges[edit]

The Review Body on Bid Challenges is a body set up by party states in order to allow suppliers to challenge irregular government tenders.[4] The Review Body is independent and endeavors to process each case in an expeditious manner. The Review Body is also empowered to recommend Rapid Interim Measures (RIMs), which can be recommended within days where a Review Body finds a prima facie case for a bid challenge.[4]

UK membership after Brexit[edit]

The UK applied the agreement as part of its EU membership from 1 January 1996. After it left on 1 February 2020, the agreement remained in force during the transition period until 1 January 2021. Discussions about continued UK membership were initiated on 27 June 2018,[5] and in October 2020, the UK was invited to become a party in its own right at the end of the transition phase.[6]


  1. ^ Agreement on Government Procurement, 12 April 1979, accessed 1 July 2019
  2. ^ a b World Trade Organization, Agreement on Government Procurement, accessed 1 July 2019
  3. ^ a b "Parties and observers to the GPA". WTO. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b "WTO GPA- Support Behind Suppliers' Back in Government Tender Disputes | Hong Kong Lawyer". Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  5. ^ WTO, Australia’s accession negotiations for government procurement pact reach milestone — Chair, accessed 24 September 2022
  6. ^ "UK to join government procurement pact in its own right in the new year". WTO. 7 October 2020. Retrieved 16 January 2021.

External links[edit]