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Participating in public tenders: rules and procedures

In Sweden, every year more than 1,100 public authorities (contracting authorities and contracting entities) carry out more than 18,000 public tenders. Companies established in other countries have the right to compete for these tenders.

The procurement rules 

Swedish procurement legislation is largely based on EU directives and EU primary law. Procurement procedures must observe the basic principles of transparency, equal treatment, non-discrimination, proportionality, and mutual recognition.

Public procurement is regulated in the Public Procurement Act, the Utilities Procurement Act, the Concessions Procurement Act, and the Defence and Security Procurement Act. Each procurement act contains rules for tender procedures that fall within the scope of the applicable EU directive, as well as rules for procedures that are only subject to national provisions.

The estimated value of the contract dictates whether the procurement procedure is covered by the EU directives. Only tender procedures above certain thresholds are subject to the directives. 

EU directives – Legal rules and implementation

About thresholds at the European Commission's website 

Submitting a bid online in response to a public call for tender

As a general rule, bids must be submitted electronically. All communication between the public authority and tenderers throughout the process must also, as a general rule, be electronic. 

Always consult the contract notice and the procurement documents for details on how to submit bids or applications. 

Complaints regarding the tender process

We strongly suggest you begin by contacting the public authority with any questions and complaints you may have regarding the tender process. You may also contact these institutions:

Cooperation in procurement procedures

In certain cases, it may be acceptable for companies to cooperate in a public procurement process. A general starting point is that you should not cooperate with another company if you have the resources to carry out the project independently, since you would then be competitors. However, if you are unable to participate on your own, for example, if your company does not make a product or provide a service required in the procurement, it may be permitted to cooperate with another company that offers that product or service.

The Swedish Competition Authority provides guidance (in Swedish) where you can assess whether cooperation is allowed or not

Competition and procurement issues

The Swedish Competition Authority is the supervisory authority for public procurement and welcomes tip-offs from companies regarding violations of the procurement and competition rules.

How to make a tip-off about competition and procurement issues

On the Swedish Competition Authority's website, you can also find information about the procurement regulations and the authority’s supervisory work, as well as court rulings.

The Public Procurement Act – information from the Swedish Competition Authority

About the Swedish Competition Authority’s supervisory work

Database of court rulings from the Swedish Competition Authority (in Swedish)

More about public procurement

What are the differences between procurement in the public and private sectors? What laws govern public procurement? 

Information about public procurement from the Swedish Competition Authority