On 12 November 2015 the WTO's Committee on Government Procurement approved the GPA accession terms for Ukraine. The decision was taken unanimously by all 45 GPA member-states. The accession of Ukraine to the GPA will require ratification of the GPA by the Parliament of Ukraine. This can, according to Ukrainian government officials, be expected by the end of 2015. Ukraine’s accession to the GPA will be formally completed 30 days after the instrument of accession has been submitted to the WTO.
The GPA is an agreement entered into by 45 countries within the framework of the WTO. The agreement ensures free access to government procurement markets for its parties. The GPA establishes the principles of non-discrimination, transparency and procedural fairness. The principles and procedural requirements set out by the GPA are applied to certain procurement activities of the party as provided by the coverage schedule for particular party. The coverage schedules are an integral part of the GPA and consist of a number of annexes which define the party's commitments with respect to the four dimensions of coverage:
- the procuring entities covered by the agreement
- the goods, services and construction services covered by the agreement
- the threshold values above which procurement activities are covered by the agreement
- exceptions to this coverage.
Ukraine applied for GPA accession in February 2011 and submitted its first coverage schedule offer in March 2014. On 15 September 2015 the Parliament of Ukraine adopted the amendments to the Law of Ukraine "On Government Procurement" which were aimed at the prevention of corruption in that sphere and the harmonization of procurement regulation with the rules established in the GPA.
Apart from the adoption of GPA-complaint procurement regulations, Ukraine had to conduct a series of negotiations with the existing parties of the GPA to agree on the terms of accession.
After all the formalities have been completed, Ukrainian suppliers will have access to a global government procurement market estimated at $1.7 trillion annually. Joining the GPA not only gives excellent export opportunities to Ukrainian business but also gives the signal to the world that Ukraine is engaged in the best cross-border trade practices possible.