On August 21st, the Secratariat of Foreign Trade of the Brazilian Ministry of Economy (SECEX) opened a public consultation to receive comments on Brazil’s proposal to join the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement (GPA). The public consultation was officially opened through Ordinance #55/2020 and will last 60 days, ending on October 20th, 2020.
Although not expressly mentioned, the public consultation is focused on receiving comments on the coverage part of the proposal, that is, the part that lists which procurements will be subject to GPA’s rules that seek to ensure fair and non-discriminatory conditions for public procurements. Nevertheless, there is no preliminary coverage proposal for participants of the public consultation to comment on. So far on the coverage topic the Brazilian Government has only mentioned its intention to exclude from coverage “strategic sectors” like defense and health-related procurements, but with no specifics.
The public consultation is basically a set of few questions that must be answered through an electronic form (link). Although foreign individuals and entities are allowed to submit comments through their answers, all questions are available only in Portuguese. An English translation of the questions is available in the annex of this client alert.
The opening of the public consultation, although not a formal part of the accession procedure, is a preliminary step so the Brazilian Government can submit its coverage proposal as promissed – as soon as the Covid-19 pandemic is over – thus, showing that the country`s intentions to join GPA remains strong.
Part 1 - Increase of competition
Do you or your entity have an interest in the increase of competition among suppliers of goods/services in public procurements?
If you have answered “yes” to the question above, indicate goods/services for which increased competition would be desirable.
Part 2 – Strategic goods/services
Do you or your entity consider any goods/services to be strategic to the point that the increase of competition in public procurements could be harmful?
If you have answered “yes” to the question above, indicate the strategic goods/services.
If you have indicated any goods/services, justify.
Part 3 - Access to foreign procurement markets
Do you or your entity participate or aim to participate in procurements of other GPA members or WTO members in the process of acceding to GPA?
If you have answered “yes” to the question above, indicate the countries whose procurement you aim to participate.
If you have answered “yes” to the question above, indicate the goods/services of interest.
If there are any, indicate the existing barriers for participating in the procurement markets of your interest.