Call for tenders

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Storage and mailing of CTA (co-)publications

Call for expressions of interest in the pre-qualification of candidates

February 9, 2016

The rules for submission, awarding and implementing contracts, in accordance with CTA’s Procurement Procedures and Rules for Awarding Contracts, are available at  


Restricted procedure

Call for expressions of interest in the pre-qualification of candidates

Storage and mailing of CTA (co-)publications 


1. Type of contract

Unit price contract.

2. Description of the contract

2.1. Context

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). Its mission is to advance food and nutritional security, increase prosperity and encourage sound natural resource management in ACP countries. It provides access to information and knowledge, facilitates policy dialogue and strengthens the capacity of agricultural and rural development institutions and communities. CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.

CTA (co-)publishes printed, electronic and/or multimedia information products on various aspects of agriculture and rural development (see our website CTA Publishing: and disseminates them mainly to ACP countries through its Publications Dissemination Service (PDS) on the basis of a subscriptions system (with credit points) (see as well as within the framework of a book donation programme and during events (e.g., seminars, conferences, book fairs).

CTA is looking for a company with facilities in Europe able to store its publications (more than 293,000 copies and around 600 titles at the end of 2015), mail them to the relevant addressees and manage the stock. In 2015 more than 7,000 publications order forms were processed, 48,000 copies were sent to subscribers, 32,000 copies were distributed for events or within the framework of the book donation programme, around 150 shipments were organised for events, within the framework of the book donation programme or for individual mailings.

2.2 Main activities

Stock management
• Storing copies of CTA (co)publications
• Receiving new and reordered publications sent by the publishers/printers, checking the numbers and communicating the results to CTA
• Managing the quantities in stock (daily management and yearly physical counting)
• Recycling obsolete titles at the end of the year (based on a list provided by CTA)

Mailing of publications
• Daily: processing the subscribers' orders on the basis of the electronic order forms provided through the Internet
• On CTA's request: supplying CTA with copies of publications
• On CTA's request: mailing copies of a title to a pre-established list of addresses prepared by CTA (e.g. annual report)
• On the basis of information provided by CTA: shipping by airfreight or courier publications within the framework of our book donation programme or for events

• On CTA's request: organising transport of publications from the publishers/printers' premises to the warehouse
• Various (simple) printing works (e.g., printing cover letters accompanying publications, printing addresses on pre-established order forms)

2.3 Required

• Experience in: storage and mailing of publications, organising transport of publications
• Staff and skills for managing and implementing the service
• Means to implement the service: storage facilities, permanent inventory system (if possible with barcodes), material, accounts with postal, airfreight and courier services

3. Number and title of the lots

Single lot.

4. Maximum budget

The maximum budget available for the services to be provided is €1,800,000 (on average: €450,000/year).


5. Eligibility

Participation in the invitation to tender is open equally to legal persons (participating individually or through a grouping – consortium – of tenderers) domiciled in an EU Member State. Participation by an ineligible entity shall entail the automatic elimination of the tender concerned.

6. Number of tenders

The legal persons selected following the call for expression of interest may not submit more than one tender, irrespective of their form of participation (as an individual legal entity or as head or member of a consortium submitting a tender). If a legal person were to submit more than one offer, all the tenders in which this person participates will be eliminated.

7. Situations of exclusion

A legal or natural person in a situation of ineligibility may not participate in the tender.

8. Subcontracting possibilities

• Subcontracting is authorised.
• If a candidate intends to subcontract one or more parts of the contract, he must indicate clearly in his expression of interest the name(s) of the subcontractor(s) as well as the nature of services subcontracted.
• A subcontractor may not subcontract in turn.
• Subcontractors must meet the conditions of eligibility.


9. Deadline for submission of expressions of interest

At the latest on: 29 March 2016 (extended until 20 May 2016)

10. Indicative date of receipt of the tender documents

At the latest on: 15 April 2016

11. Indicative date for submission of tenders

At the latest on: 15 May 2016

12. Indicative date of the start of the contract

At the latest on: 15 June 2016

13. Term of the services

The term of the services shall be for a period 4 years. An annual contract will be drawn with the successful tenderer then renewed 3 times, based on satisfactory completion of services and availability of budget.


14. Candidate selection criteria

The criteria for selecting candidates are based on:

• Their eligibility;
• Their financial and economic capacities;
• Their technical and professional capacities.

If the expression of interest is submitted by a consortium, the selection criteria will apply to the consortium as a whole:

The candidates short-listed after the call for expression of interest will receive the full tender documents.

Please note that no change will be authorised in the composition of a consortium that was pre-qualified following the expression of interest. Furthermore, grouping between tenderers on the shortlist will not be authorised.

14.1. Eligibility

Interested candidates must submit:

A. A document issued by a recognised and competent authority according to national law and customs, certifying that the candidate is duly registered in a European Union (EU) Member State.
B. A sworn statement dated at least 90 days as of the date of submission, to be prepared on company letterhead, signed by the candidate, certifying that the candidate is NOT in one of the following exclusion situations:
a) Is in a state of bankruptcy, liquidation, judicial settlement, discontinuance of activity, or in any suchlike situation resulting from proceedings of the same nature in the national legislation and regulations;
b) Is the subject of bankruptcy, liquidation or judicial settlement proceedings, or any other proceedings of the same nature in the national legislation or regulations;
c) Has been sentenced by judgement having the force of res judicata (i.e. against which there is no further appeal) for any offence that comprises his professional conduct;
d) Has been guilty of gross professional negligence;
e) Has failed to fulfil his obligations concerning the payment of social security contributions in accordance with the relevant legal provisions of the country in which he is established;
f) Has failed to meet his obligations concerning the payment of taxes and charges in accordance with the relevant legal provisions of the country in which he is established;
g) Is or has been guilty of making false statements when providing the information required by the CTA for his participation in a contract;
h) Has been found to have seriously failed to meet his contractual obligations arising out of another contract concluded with CTA.

In the case of a consortium, each member must provide documents A and B. In the case of subcontracting, the subcontractor(s) must provide document A. It is worth noting that the rule of nationality shall not apply either to the candidate's employees nor to the individual experts proposed by him.

14.2. Economic and financial capacity

Interested candidates must submit:

C. A certificate from their bank attesting to their sound financial health.
D. A statement on their annual turnover for the last three years.
In case of a consortium, only the head of the consortium must provide document C. Conversely, all the members of the consortium must provide document D.

14.3. Technical and professional capacity

Interested candidates must submit:

E. A description of their areas of expertise (1 page)
F. A statement on their technical personnel (permanent personnel, other personnel) over the last three years and their corresponding professional competencies (1 page)
G. A list of succinct references for the last three years relating to the services to be provided (1 page)
H. A description of the means, resources and tools relating to the services to be provided (1 page):
• Storage facilities
• Equipment (hardware/software to manage the orders and the stock level, if possible including a bar code system)
• Accounts with postal/transport companies

In case of a consortium, the expression of interest must show the technical and professional capacities of each member of the consortium.

15. Contract awarding criteria

The candidates shortlisted following the call for expression of interest will be issued the tender documents. They will be invited to submit a technical tender and a financial tender to CTA.

The contract will be awarded to the tenderer whose tender, said to be the most economically advantageous, gets the highest score, said score being obtained by a weighing between the technical quality and the price, according to an 80/20 distribution key.


16. Procedures for expressions of interest

Expressions of interest must be presented in French or English, in the order described above:

• Eligibility;
• Financial and economic capacities;
• Technical and professional capacities.

The documents must be numbered as indicated (A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H). Any additional document (brochure, letter, etc.) attached to the expression of interest will not be taken into consideration.

Expressions of interest which do not include all the documents requested in the notice of service contract will be considered as non-compliant and will not be examined.

17. Deadline for receiving expressions of interests and dispatching procedures

Expressions of interest must be sent to the attention of Ms. Christine Webster, Senior Procurement & Grants Officer, CTA, P.O. Box 380, 6700 AJ Wageningen, Netherlands and must arrive at the latest at 29 March 2016, by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt. Alternatively, they may be sent by express courier or delivered physically, against an acknowledgement of receipt, at the latest by 3:00 PM on the same date to the following address: CTA, 2 Agro Business Park, 6708 PW Wageningen, Netherlands.

The cover letter must mention in the reference line: "Call for expression of interest for the pre-qualification of tenderers" and the contract title or its reference.

Expressions of interest may not be sent by e-mail.

All costs for preparation of the expression of interest / tender are to be borne by the applicant(s).