On Thursday, 26 April, the Saeima deliberated on the second revision amendments to the Public procurement Law, supplementing it with a prohibition for companies registered in tax havens or tax-free jurisdictions to participate in public procurement, as well as updating the definition of offshore.
According to the proposed amendments, an offshore is a low-tax or tax-free country or territory, except the countries of the European Economic zone and their territories, member states or territories to the Agreement on Government Procurement of the World Trade Organisation or countries, and territories with which Latvia has concluded international agreements on opening of the market to public procurement.
The amendments were originally adopted by the Saeima on 1 February 2018; however, Raimonds Vējonis, President of the State, returned them for second revision. In his letter to the Saeima, the President noted that the previously adopted provisions had not been thoroughly discussed, no assessment had been made on their compliance with the EU legal acts, and no assessment had been made of the possibility to further improve these provisions.
In the second revision, the Saeima has adopted the amendments and eliminated the shortcomings pointed out by the President, and further improved the provisions which now ban offshore companies from public procurement.
The previously adopted provisions stipulated that candidates or bidders that are companies registered in a low-tax or tax-free country or territory, as well as companies registered in Latvia the shares of which are held by an offshore company, as well as offshore-registered sub-contractors indicated in the bid were to be excluded from procurement procedures.
The adopted amendments to the Public Procurement Law will come into effect as of 1 June 2018.
Saeima Press Service