EU: Electronic Catalogues in Electronic Public Procurement

A study commissioned by the European Commission to analyse rules and current practices for the use of eCatalogues in both the public and the private sectors, with a view to formulate requirements and recommendations for their further development in public procurement.

In order to ensure that eCatalogues can be accepted as valid tenders, both contracting authorities and economic operators must comply with the general and specific legal and functional requirements of the EU public procurement Directives. However, whilst the Directives state that tenders submitted electronically may take the form of an electronic catalogue, they do not further define the notion of an eCatalogue itself.

Agreement on certain minimum functional requirements and standards could be expected to remedy the risk of ICT applications on the market not meeting the requirements of the public sector and of barriers to the Internal Market, and increase both public buyers' and businesses' trust in the new electronic procedures, systems and tools. The central tenet of this approach is not to drive a wedge between developments in the public sector and the private sector; eCatalogues suitable to be used as valid offers in a public procurement procedure should be used in, and be interoperable with those used in a standard electronic commerce environment.

The objective of the present study can be summarised as follows:
  • To define the notion of eCatalogues and study their current use in procurement practices, both in the public and private sectors;
  • To identify the general and specific functional requirements that can be derived from the new legal framework, so as to specify in greater detail the conditions under which eCatalogues may constitute a valid offer in an electronic public procurement procedure, whilst preserving interoperability with eCatalogue applications in general use;
  • To review relevant standardisation activities with a view to identify advancements, gaps and areas for future work;
  • To define recommendations for Member States, Standardisation Bodies and the European Commission on actions and activities that can contribute to the more efficient and beneficial use of eCatalogues in European public procurement.

The study consists of 3 volumes:

  • Vol. I – eCatalogues: Report on the state of play;
  • Vol. II - eCatalogues: Report on standardisation activities;
  • Vol. III – eCatalogues: Report on preliminary functional requirements.

Original URL:

Number of pages:
Executive Summary: 10
Vol. I - eCatalogues: Report on the state of play: 146
Vol. II - eCatalogues: Report on standardisation activities: 182
Vol.III - eCatalogues: Report on preliminary functional requirements: 124

Related article:
EU: Functional requirements for eProcurement under the EU legislative framework

Description of license: © European Communities, 2007

Nature of documentation: Official reports and studies


Type of document
Login or create an account to comment.