The only supplier will be taught to love the Motherland // Non-competitive purchases are involved in import substitution

The White House intends to extend the requirements for import substitution in the state order for purchases from a single supplier – in case of amendments, it will be possible to purchase foreign products only in the absence of a domestic analogue. The initiative is supported by both the government and the presidential administration, the dispute persists only around the procurement approval procedure. Until now, there have been no restrictions on non-competitive purchases, while, according to various estimates, they account for about half of the volume of government orders. Closing the opportunity to freely purchase foreign products can also reduce the practice of contracting with a single supplier.

As it became known to Kommersant, the government plans to toughen the protectionist requirements in the state order, extending them to purchases from a single supplier. The industrial vice-premier and ideologist of import substitution in the state order, Yuri Borisov, gave an instruction to do this back in April – in accordance with it, the Ministry of Finance prepared changes in the procedure for conducting non-competitive purchases. Now the purchase from a single supplier can be carried out in accordance with a decree or order of the president, as well as a decree or order of the government on behalf of the president; such legal acts specify the subject and deadline of the contract, the supplier’s obligation to fulfill the contract independently or with the involvement of subcontractors.

The Ministry of Finance proposes to supplement the content of normative acts with information about the country of origin of goods. So, the proposal to determine the only supplier will be supplemented with the number of the register entry in the register of domestic industrial or radio-electronic products, in the case of purchasing foreign products – justifying the impossibility of purchasing Russian goods. In addition, the Ministry of Finance proposes to adjust the composition of the expert opinion of the government, including in it the position of the Ministry of Industry and Trade on the confirmation of the Russian origin of products or the absence of foreign analogues in the Russian Federation.

Drafts of the decree and resolution have already been agreed with the FAS, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Justice (Kommersant has reviews). The State Legal Department (GPU) also conceptually supports the project, but indicates the need for additional study. Thus, the head of the GPU Larisa Brycheva, in a letter to the government apparatus, points out the excessive requirement to indicate the country of origin of the goods in the proposal to determine the only supplier – it will only complicate the preparation of the document. The GPU considers it expedient to indicate all the information to support national producers in the opinion of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, taking into account which the government opinion is being prepared.

Note that in the last year, the government stepped up work to support import substitution. In particular, from 2020, state customers and companies with state participation must comply with the requirements for the minimum share of purchases from domestic manufacturers (the list is determined by the government). The protectionist policy has already caused concern for the European Union, which intends to challenge the measures of the Russian authorities in the WTO. However, even when the norms on quotas were adopted, the Russian authorities assumed inconsistency with the WTO norms, but insisted on the absence of violations, since the Russian Federation never joined the agreement of this organization on access to public procurement (see Kommersant of July 20). At the same time, the president proposed to make quota mechanisms “thinner”, and First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov urged state customers to actively use purchases from a single supplier for import substitution (see Kommersant dated June 4, 2020).

Until now, there have been no restrictions on non-competitive purchases of foreign products. At the same time, the share of the only supplier in the state order has grown significantly in recent years. According to the Ministry of Economy, such purchases account for more than half of the state order (or 4.5 trillion rubles at the end of 2020). Monitoring of the Ministry of Finance on the basis of data from the Unified Information System in the field of procurement (UIS) fixes the share of a single supplier in 2020 at 23% (1.9 trillion rubles). However, as previously recognized in the financial block of the government, there is no complete data on the volume of contracts with a single supplier – the law allows such contracts to be drawn up in paper form, and information in the EIS is entered manually by customers (see Kommersant from November 2 and 3, 2020) …

Diana Galieva

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