Bidding for overseas government procurement opportunities: what to expect from 1 January 2021


Last updated 29 December 2020

New rules for January 2021

The UK has left the EU. This page tells you the new rules from 1 January 2021.

It will be updated if there’s new information about the UK’s deal with the EU that affects what you need to do.

Check what else you need to do during the transition period.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) opens up procurement markets among its parties. For the UK, as a party to the GPA, this means that:

  • UK businesses can bid for certain procurement opportunities in the other parties’ territories
  • businesses from those parties can bid for certain procurement opportunities in the UK

UK businesses will continue to benefit from the opportunities and rights provided by the GPA from 1 January 2021.

Procurement opportunities under the GPA

The WTO website sets out which markets are covered by the GPA. It also sets out what types of procurement opportunities are covered in each market.

GPA parties use their own online platforms for publishing procurement opportunities. The WTO website provides party specific procurement-related information.

Procurement opportunities in addition to GPA coverage

The UK and EU have agreed an extension of market access coverage beyond the GPA.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • the gas and heat distribution sector
  • certain private utilities that act as a monopoly
  • services including:
    • hospitality
    • telecoms
    • real estate
    • education

If you are a business seeking to bid for EU procurement opportunities in 2021, read more about the terms of procurement provisions of the UK-EU agreement.

Certain trade agreements between the UK and non-EU countries also include procurement provisions in addition to those covered by the  GPA. You can find out more about the terms of these agreements.


If you have any questions about the GPA or what is covered in the procurement agreements, use the contact form to get in touch.