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Tendering rules

This information is provided by:Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVOLast updated on Nederlandse versie

Will you deliver works, goods or services to a Dutch government organisation? Government organisations must follow a tendering procedure when choosing a company. The rules regarding tendering ensure that all companies have an equal opportunity. The rules are listed in the Tendering Act 2012 and the Tendering Directive. The Tendering Rules Works 2016 (ARW 2016) (in Dutch) describes the procedures for allocating work on a tendering basis.

Assignments that require a tendering procedure

A Dutch government organisation has to follow a tendering procedure for:

  • works (building, maintaining structures or civil-technical work)
  • supplies (purchase, hire, lease and hire-purchase of products)
  • services such as cleaning and security services

Organisations that need to follow a tendering procedure

These government organisations need to follow a tendering procedure:

  • central government, ministries, municipalities, provinces, water authorities
  • public institutions, for example universities and schools
  • companies in specific sectors such as water companies, energy companies, public transportation companies such as NS and Schiphol Airport

Do you want to take part in a government procurement procedure? You have to submit a tender.

Equal treatment

The government must treat all companies that participate in a tendering procedure equally. They all have to get the same information.

European tendering

Government organisations must use a European tendering process, when exceeding a certain threshold. The threshold amount depends on the type of procurement.

Governmental organisations must use a classification system when implementing European tendering procedures (Common Procurement Vocabulary, CPV). On the basis of the CPV-code, you can see which governmental projects could be interesting for you.

Digital procedure for EU tenders

The complete procedure for European public tenders must be digital (E-procurement). This means that all communication between the tendered service and the bidding company takes place electronically.

National procedures

For any tenders under the European threshold level, a European tendering procedure is not obligatory. The ARW 2016 applies to these tenders. There are several national procedures (in Dutch).


Do you think the tendering rules have not been applied correctly? Or do you feel you have been treated unfairly? You can submit a complaint to the tendering service. If you are dissatisfied with the handling of that complaint, you can submit a complaint to the Committee of Tendering Experts (Commissie van Aanbestedingsexperts, CvA). Tendering services may also submit a complaint about participating companies.

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