Directive 2014/23/EU on the award of concession contracts has been transposed into Irish law by the European Union (Award of Concession Contracts) Regulations 2017. Although signed on 18 May 2017, the Regulations are deemed to have come into operation on 18 April 2016, the date by which the Directive was due to be implemented in Ireland.
In a concession contract, the contractor is wholly or partly remunerated, not by the procuring party directly but by third parties availing of the works or services. The contractor (not the procuring entity) also bears the operational risk of the contract. Typical forms of concessions are the building and management of tolled motorways or the running of a canteen service in a public university. Before the adoption of the Concessions Directive, concessions were only partially covered by the EU procurement regime.
The Regulations apply to concession contracts worth €5,225,000 or more. The Regulations set out general requirements for the conduct of concession tenders including an obligation to comply with the principles of equal treatment, non-discrimination and transparency.