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Do foreign companies have the same possibilities as Swedish companies in public procurement?

Companies from other countries in the EU have the same possibilities than Swedish companies?

Hello, I have two questions:
- I am exploring the possibility of applying for some public procurement calls in Sweden, my company is from another country within the EU, we have the same opportunities than Swedish companies?

- Moreover, the field I am interested in is water management, is there any specific legislation for public utilities?

Thank you so much,


  • Hi,

    Suppliers, both from Sweden, other EU member states and third countries, have the same rights to tender in public procurement according to the Swedish Public Procurement Act (sw. Lagen om offentlig upphandling). The Act on Public Procurement in the Utilities Sectors (LUF) applies to contracting entities in the fields of water, energy, transport and postal services (to my knowledge there is no official English version of it though). For more information on what law applicable, see the Swedish Competition Authority’s website .

    Through the WTO agreement (GPA) and other international agreements, Sweden has committed to open up public procurement for competition for suppliers outside the EU as well. According to the classical EU Directive, contracting authorities shall not give less favorable treatment to suppliers in the countries which have acceded to the contracts than those granted to suppliers in the Union.

    It can be noted that the WTO agreement should allow certain possibilities to limit the possibility for third country suppliers to participate in certain procurements, but this possibility has not been used by Sweden in designing LOU. In other respects, it can be mentioned that the law on procurement in the areas of water, energy, transport and postal services (LUF) contains special provisions on tenders that include goods originating in third countries, including rules on when tenders can be rejected. There are no corresponding provisions in LOU.

    Please also see the section on International Public Procurement on the Commission's website for more information on procurement.

    In Sweden, contract notices are available on a variety of databases provided by private operators. Therefore, there is no national database for procurements in Sweden.You will find a list of all databases at the Swedish Competition Authority.

    In addition to these databases, some municipalities and other contracting authorities also advertise current tenders on their websites. As regards contract procurement and framework agreements over the thresholds, the contracting authority or entity must also be advertised in the EU's common ad database Tenders Electronic Daily, TED.

    • Article 25 of the classical EU Directive (2014/24/EU) about less favorable treatment
    • Chapter 18, Section 1-3 LUF about special provisions on goods from third countries.
    Kind regards,
    Linnea Upphandlingsjurist
  • Thank you so much Linnea, to follow up on the question.
    Our interest is on providing services, such us leak detection, for water management organisation (eg. Sydvatten, Stockholm Vatten och Avfall). Does this activity fall under LUF or LOU?

    Thanks in advance, 
    Mike S.
  • Hi again,

    First, it is the responsibility of the contracting authority to determine which law is to be applied in each of their procurements. Usually, this is stated by the contracting authority in the tender notice. Therefore, The National Agency for Public Procurement does not do those kinds of assessments.

    In general, however, the law to be applied depends on the type of business the procurement object is intended to be used for. As mentioned above, LUF applies to contracting entities in the fields of water, energy, transport and postal services. A prerequisite for LUF to be applicable is that the procurement object is intended for such business as stated in chapter 2, Section 1-8. If this is not the case, LOU should be applied instead.

    For more information concerning the procurements of specific contracting authorities, I suggest you contact them directly. You can find the contact information to Sydvatten here, and to Stockholm Vatten och Avfall here.

    Kind regards,
    Linnea Upphandlingsjurist

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