EU Procurement Law 2020 thresholds lowered

EU thresholds and the average EU exchange rate for conversion of EUR thresholds into PLN will be lower from 1 January 2020, which means that some current contracts in Poland will exceed the EU thresholds.

A communication from the European Commission, no. 2019/C 370/01 on corresponding values of the thresholds of Directives 2014/23/EU, 2014/24/ EU, 2014/25/EU and 2009/81/EC, has been published in the EU Official Journal C 370 of 31 October 2019. The communication lays down the binding EUR conversion rates for national currencies outside the Eurozone, to establish thresholds determining, under Art. 11(8) of the Public Procurement Law, whether calls for tender have to be submitted to the EU Publications Office.

At the moment, the EUR conversion rate for PLN is 4.3117. As of 1 January 2020, it will be lowered to 4.2693, and for this reason alone, when calculating the value of a contract in EUR, the value attained will be higher than it is currently.

Meanwhile, thresholds stipulated in the Regulation issued by the Minister of Development and Finance of 22 December 2017 will also be lowered. The current threshold for contracts for construction work of EUR 5 548 000 will be EUR 5 350 000 (PLN 22 840 755) as of 1 January 2020. A lower threshold, which is currently EUR 144 000, for contracts for supply or services contracted by public sector authorities, will be lowered to EUR 139 000 (PLN 593 433 net).

The other thresholds will change as follows:

  • The threshold for public contracts for supply and services will be lowered from EUR 221 000 to EUR 214 000 (PLN 913 630),
  • The threshold for sector-specific supply and services and supply and services in defence and security will be lowered from EUR 443 000 to EUR 428 000 (PLN 1 827 260),
  • Contracts for services concerning social and other specific services organised by classic contracting authorities will be the EU contracts described above.

There will be no change to thresholds for contracts concerning social services: EUR 750 000 for services concerning social and other specific services contracted by classic contracting authorities, and EUR 1 000 000 for services concerning social and other specific services ordered by sector-specific contracting authorities and in defence and security. Due to the lowering of the conversion rate, in effect they will be of lower value in PLN (PLN 3 201 975 and PLN 4 269 300 respectively).

New regulations on values of contracts and competitions determining whether calls for tenders have to be submitted to the EU Publications Office and on the average PLN/EUR rate used as the basis for conversion of the value of public contracts will be published soon. [Update: These regulations were published in the Journal of Laws of 16 December 2019 as items 2450 and 2453.]

Importantly, procedures of a value equivalent to or higher than the thresholds given above require not only that announcements have to be made in a different publication. This also requires observance of other formalities connected with the procedure, such as conducting a procedure electronically, submitting a European Single Procurement Document, longer minimum deadlines for submitting bids, a longer maximum period for which a bid is valid, and the option of filing a complaint regarding a full range of issues.

Anna Prigan, attorney-at-law, Infrastructure, Transport, Public Procurement and PPP practice, Wardyński & Partners