Public procurement in Russia
In Russia, public procurement (tenders by public institutions and public organizations) is currently governed by Federal Law no. 44 of 2013, which entered into force on 1 January 2014. The procurements of large Russian public controlled companies are instead governed by another Law no. 223 of 2011.
According to the law, there are two main procedures which regulate public tenders, namely (i) open competition (otkrytyj konkurs) and (ii) electronic auction (elektronnyj auktsion). For both procedures, the law provides a comprehensive list of the information and documentation needed to be able to participate in a public tender, while the possibility of avoiding such procedures is only foreseen in exceptional and mandatory conditions.
Given the current legislation, foreign operators are allowed to participate in a public tender even without a local registered office in the Russian Federation, by operating directly from Italy, also considering that all the necessary requirements for the submission of tenders and the provision of the necessary guarantees to the procurement station can be carried out through online platforms. However, it is necessary to add that, at a practical and operational level, given the importance - especially in a particular context such as the Russian one - of a local presence able to constantly monitor the progress of the procedural steps and to meet the needs of the clients (public), the existence of an office in Russia could increase the chance of awarding public contracts.
Finally, regarding the bank guarantees needed before and during the tender procedure, the 44FZ-2013 law governs both the deposit that the bidder should pay when submitting an offer (obespechenie zayavki), and the guarantee for the performance of the obligations arising out of the awarded contract (obespechenie ispolnenija kontrakta). Both guarantees, at the choice of the Contracting party and subject to certain exceptions provided by the new law, may be a bank guarantee (the requirements of which are detailed in the law) or a deposit, as indicated in single call, on the billing station account.
In conclusion, the current Russian public procurement law treats foreign operators just like the Russian ones, except for particular cases, but not to put up with the first particular obligations of "presence" on the territory of the Federation, a presence that could be desirable from a practical point of view. In addition, the steps and procedural requirements to be met are readily outlined by the rules and, with regard to the specific case, by the individual competition notices, which are in fact the fundamental documents for understanding the mechanisms foreseen for the participation of the potential bidder in the single tender.
Visit the web site http://www.zakupki.gov.ru/epz/main/public/home.html to find the information on all public procurements. According to the specific tender of interest, it is possible to analyze in detail the relevant documentation and how to participate.