Iceland - Country Commercial Guide
Selling to the Public Sector

Describes how major projects are secured and financed. Explains activities of the multilateral development banks in and other aid-funded projects.

Last published date: 2022-07-28

Selling to the Government

As of June 2016, the legal framework for public procurement is determined by law 4281/2014. This law incorporated European Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC into the Greek legal systems harmonizing the mandatory procedures for the scheduling overseeing and awarding public procurement contracts, supplies, services and works contracts also providing specific regulation for e-procurement, i.e., the award of public contracts via an independent electronic platform named “Promitheus,” controlled by the Greek State and accessible world-wide. This law is likely to be further amended, but the core of its provisions regarding public procurement awards remains un-influenced by the new European Union legal framework and will remain as is. The new legislative framework includes the European Regulations EC 2015/2342, 2015/2341, 2015/2340.

According to the current resolution issued by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and the Ministry of Finance, law 4281/2014 came into effect regarding the award of (a) public works and (b) design contracts on public works and related engineering services.

Law 2286/1995 and relevant bylaws provide tender guidelines and procedures to be adhered to by the supplier and one or more of the following entities.

  • the State,
  • local Government organizations,
  • legal entities of public law,
  • public enterprises,
  • banks owned by the State,
  • state owned legal entities of private law,
  • enterprises associated with legal entities of private law. And
  • associations formed by one or several of such bodies.

In brief, Law 2286/1995 states the procurement of purchasing (goods), leasing, and the provision of services must be awarded through an announced public tender. The details of the procedures are prescribed in the Regulation of Public Procurement (Presidential Decree 394/1996).

The Greek government has attempted to establish one central procurement agency to offer the country economies of scale, and optimal control and application of common technical specifications. The General Directorate of State Procurement plans, modifies and implements Greece’s Unified Government Supply Program. Procurement actions follow three stages: stage one is the identification of the needs of all agencies and the drafting of the procurement program; stage two is publicizing the tender, selecting the best offer and awarding the contract to the winner; and stage three is the implementation of the contract. The armed forces, municipalities, public hospitals, and the Public Power Corporation carry out procurement independently, pursuant to special procurement rules and regulations. In certain instances, the General Secretariat of Commerce involvement is limited to the first phase of the tender.

U.S. company sworn affidavits can be submitted in place of documents normally issued in the United States, but not produced by U.S. federal government authorities.

Defense procurement and military construction projects are governed by Law 3433/06, effective February 1, 2007, as well as other ministerial decrees, clarifications, and decisions. This law regulates procurement issues such as Domestic Added Value, Industrial Participation, Defense Materials Specifications, and the Offsets Programs. The newly enacted Law 3883/2010 regulates the transitional arrangements for Offset Contracts that have been signed between the Ministry of Defense and various defense equipment suppliers. The law impacts contracts that have expired without having been fulfilled, thus resulting in penalties by the Ministry of Defense. These contracts may be re-established within six months from the date of issuance and the Ministry of Defense must provide a written declaration accompanying the re-established contract. Additional information on this new law is available from CS Athens.

Greek Law on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are contractual agreements, usually long-term, between a public entity and a private counterpart, with the objective of implementing a project and/or providing a service. Greek Law (Law 3389/2005) introduced regulation on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Greece opening the market to this type of public procurement.

In a PPP scheme, the private partner bears, in whole or in part, the implementation cost of the project, as well as a substantial part of the risks related with its construction and operation. The public partner, on the other hand, lays out a set of output specifications on the design, technical, and operational characteristics of the project and determines the private partner’s payment mechanism, either through partial (e.g., annual) payments, or through direct payments by the end-users via fees.

The current law mainly attempts to set a comprehensive procedure regarding the planning, approval, award, and implementation phases of the whole range of PPPs by clearly defining the scope and minimum requirements of such projects. Its aim is to ensure the attainment of the most efficient outcome by supporting the positive aspects of the whole scheme on the one hand, and by minimizing the possibilities for the occurrence of potential risks on the other.  Detailed information on the PPP law is available at the website of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Shipping & Tourism at

European Union Directives and Public Procurement Restrictions

Policies governing the public procurement market in the EU have been revised and a new legislation on concession has also been adopted. All EU member states had to include the following directives, Directive 2014/24/EU, Directive 2014/25/EU and Directive 2014/23/EU in their national law.

For more information on EU public procurement Directives and restrictions, please consult the European Union Country Commercial Guide and the Europa current legal framework website.


U.S. companies bidding on Government tenders may also qualify for U.S. Government advocacy. A unit of the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, the Advocacy Center coordinates U.S. Government interagency advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters bidding on public sector contracts with international governments and government agencies. The Advocacy Center works closely with our network of the U.S. Commercial Service worldwide and inter-agency partners to ensure that exporters of U.S. products and services have the best possible chance of winning government contracts. Advocacy assistance can take many forms but often involves the U.S. Embassy or other U.S. Government agencies expressing support for the U.S. bidders directly to the foreign government. Consult Advocacy for Foreign Government Contracts for additional information.         

Financing of Projects

Multilateral Development Banks and Financing Government Sales: Price, payment terms, and financing can be a significant factor in winning a government contract. Many governments finance public works projects through borrowing from the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB). A helpful guide for working with the MDBs is the Trade Finance Guide. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s (USDOC) International Trade Administration (ITA) has a Foreign Commercial Service Officer stationed at each of the five different Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs): the African Development Bank; the Asian Development Bank; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; the Inter-American Development Bank; and the World Bank.

Learn more by contacting the: