eForms FAQ

General overview of eForms

  1. Is there a general presentation of eForms available?

    The policy background of eForms is available on the DG GROW website.

    The eForms-related presentations from the TED eSenders Seminar at the end of 2020 also address various aspects of the context and implementation.

    The 2021 eSenders seminar will provide an updated overview of eForms implementation.

  2. What is the planned transition for eForms implementation on the TED portal?

    Starting on 14 November 2022, usage of eForms by Contracting Authorities and Contracting Entities is optional and the Publications Office will accept both the current TED schema notices and new eForms notices. The TED portal will show both the current TED schema and eForms notices.

    From 25 October 2023 onwards, the usage of eForms is mandatory and the Publications Office will no longer accept the current TED schema notices but only eForms notices. The TED portal will continue to show the TED schema notices that will have been published until 25 October 2023.

  3. Which systems will be available for eSenders during the transition period?

    Notices sent to the current eSentool will continue to be accepted until 25 October 2023 and published on TED. As of 14 November 2022, eSenders will have the possibility to send Notices in the new format; however, this will not become mandatory before 25 October 2023.

    From 14 November 2022 until 25 October 2023, the Publications Office will run two systems in parallel, but it is up to the eSenders to implement changes on their systems as and when best suits them during this time. TED will be adapted to publish notices in both formats for the duration of the transitional period.

  4. Until when will the current eNotices application be available?

    Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1986 will be repealed on 25 October 2023. The current eNotices application will be available until that date.

    The new eNotices2 application will be available as of 14 November 2022 and run in parallel with the current eNotices application during the transition period.

  5. What is the earliest possible time by when eForms could be introduced on a national level?

    The transposition of the eForms regulation into national legislation is not under the control of the Publications Office or the European Commission. We assume that in any case the earliest possible time by when eForms could be introduced at a national level would be the same as for the EU level, namely 14 November 2022.

    See also the section on implementation in EU countries.

  6. What sources of information are available for eForms?

    The following websites cover the various aspects of eForms:

    For any questions or issues, please contact the TED helpdesk at: ted@publications.europa

Forms and procedures

  1. Will eSenders have to send eForms for procedures that were started with the current standard forms? If so, how will the previous publication field be filled in, given that Procedure Identifier is not used in the current forms?

    Once the use of eForms becomes mandatory, eSenders will be required to send eForms notices for any procedures that were started with the current standard forms. As there is no Procedure Identifier in the current forms, in these cases the notice number of the previous TED XML notice (as published in the OJS) must be entered in the Previous Publication field in the eForms notice.

  2. What is meant by E1, E2, E3, E4 and E5 in the Excel document annexed to the eForms regulation?

    E1, E2, E3, E4 and E5 refer to forms that are not part of the eForms regulation, but they were included in the “extended annex” to regulation 2019/1780 available at: https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/43488

    These forms will be implemented after eForms are mandatory in October 2023 and their use, which has no EU legal basis, will be optional.

    They would extend (E) the set of the other forms and correspond to the following notices:

    • Preliminary Market Consultation (E1)

    • PIN below threshold (E2)

    • CN below threshold (E3)

    • CAN below threshold (E4)

    • Contract Completion (E5)

  3. What is the notice variant Business registration information used for?

    The “Business Registration Information Notice” scheme refers to European Company and European Economic Interest Grouping notices, currently available as interactive PDFs only.

  4. How will tailoring by Member States be handled by TED and the EU Publications Office?

    National specificities and their implementation at national, regional and local level are outside the OP’s remit.

    In the eNotices2 form-filling tool UI, users will be able to fill in and send notices based on the eForms regulation. eNotices2 is not aware of and does not apply any compliance with Member State tailoring; for example, it will not check if an optional field (according to the EU regulation) is mandatory at national level. 
    The same applies to notices sent by eSenders via the future eNotices API (the successor of eSentool). All notices go through the same checks of the future Central Validation Service, not applying any Member State tailoring. It is up to each user (or eSender) to ensure that their notices comply with the national implementation of eForms. 

Planning and development

  1. What are the update cycles and how is change management (minor/major releases etc.) carried out for eForms?

    The governance structure and life-cycle management for eForms are currently being updated and will be published soon.

  2. Has development of eNotices2 started?

    The development of eNotices2 started in 2020 and the application is foreseen to be in production for November 2022.

    The scope of the application is to implement the eForms requirements in a product that will allow at least the same functionalities that are available in the current eNotices and the main functionalities that are currently available in eSentool.

    The application will also have a number of new features that will make it easier and more streamlined for contracting parties to publish notices, while mitigating the inherent complexity of the eForms regulation as much as possible.

    See also the presentations about the future of eSentool at
    https://op.europa.eu/en/web/ted-esenders-webinar-2020/agenda

    Updated presentations will be made available at the 2021 eSenders seminar.

Visualisation and display of eForms notices

  1. Will a standard visual display be applied for the eForms? Is it possible for the Publications Office to share (PDF) templates of eForms?

    The eForms will be displayed as standard forms, both within the application that will be used to create and submit them (eNotices2) and for their display on the TED website. The visual display will focus on user-friendliness. As part of the ongoing development of eForms, we have published the provisional samples of the 40 mandatory notices in PDF format at: https://simap.ted.europa.eu/documents/10184/320101/eForms+notice+PDF+samples+2021-07-22/c6785da3-8907-4071-9980-bb670b8ae9b8

  2. How will eForms notices be published and displayed on the TED website?

    For information about the future changes planned for the TED website, please refer to the relevant presentation in the 2020 eSenders Seminar.

    An updated presentation will be made available at the 2021 eSenders seminar.

  3. What will be the retention period for the display of the eForms notices published on TED?

    The retention period for displaying all notices (including eForms notices) on the TED website is 10 years (data available as of 1/1/2014).

Technical documentation and Software Development Kit

  1. Where can I find the latest technical documentation published on eForms (schemas, business or validation rules and other relevant information)?

    Technical information on eForms, relevant to developers and experts, can be found in the eForms Software Development Kit (SDK) on GitHub at https://github.com/OP-TED/eForms-SDK

  2. What is the purpose and governance of the SDK?

    Provisional releases of the eForms Schema and eForms Documentation were provided in 2019 and 2020 through separate announcements on SIMAP. In order to assist eSenders and eForms developers, new releases of the eForms artefacts are now bundled together in the form of a Software Development Kit (SDK). This includes the eForms schema, Schematron validation rules, eForms documentation and sample XML documents. All artefacts are versioned together with the version number of the eForms SDK.

    The eForms documentation will indicate the version of the eForms SDK that modified it. Likewise, the sample XML files will indicate the version of the eForms SDK used when they were created or last modified.

    More information about the SDK will be presented at the 2021 eSenders seminar.

Please note that the eForms SDK is updated regularly. Updates are announced on SIMAP and on the TED eSenders Workspace.

You can also use the "watch" repository feature of Github to receive notifications for new releases.

APIs and Web Services

  1. Will there be a TED qualification environment available for eForms? When will there be a way to test the submission of eForms notices?

    Unlike the current standard forms in eSentool, there will be no qualification procedure for eForms. A Central Validation Service (CVS) will be remotely available so that you can check the validity of eForms notices. The current qualification procedure will be phased out.

    The CVS is not expected to be made available before mid-2022.

    Any announcements will be made via SIMAP at
    https://simap.ted.europa.eu/web/simap/eforms

  2. Will the URL to which we send the messages remain the same?

    The URL used for eForms notices will be different to the one used for the current notices in eSentool.

    The new URL will be communicated when it becomes available.

Schema and field definitions

  1. What is the release date for the eForms schema version that will be used for production in the future?

    The latest version of the schema is close to the version that will be used for production.  The remaining unstated requirements are being identified.

    Please consult the eForms Software Development Kit (SDK) for more details on the latest version of the schema and other technical components.

  2. How to fill in BT-3201 Tender Identifier?

    For TenderID, as for most identifiers, a dedicated scheme similar to that defined for other identifiers, has been specified. Information is available in the documentation in the eForms SDK.

  3. What happens when CA_ACTIVITY_OTHER is given in F02?

    The current TED XML element CA_ACTIVITY_OTHER allows free-text content. This often leads to inconsistencies in reporting the main activity of the contracting authority.

    In eForms, this possibility has been removed and only one value from the list of values in the "main-activity" code list is allowed.

  4. How can I deal with multiple NUTS codes in OBJECT_DESCR?

    In the current TED XML, the location(s) of each Lot is indicated with only one MAIN_SITE element, but multiple NUTS elements.

    In eForms, there is the possibility to have more information about each location: a full address, a description and a NUTS code. These are held in the cac:RealizedLocation element. This element is repeatable within each Lot.

Business and validation rules

  1. What are referred to as business rules in the context of eForms?

    Business Rules are business-driven rules used to ensure a certain quality of the reported information. They define or constrain the existence of business information in a procurement notice (e.g. whether some information is mandatory, the possible values of a field, etc.). They have their origin in the Directives and the eForms Regulation or are based on common sense (e.g. an end date is later than a start date) as well as on the legal bases, the public procurement Directives and the eForms Regulation:

  2. When will the business rules and field validation rules be made available?

    The current Schematron validation rules together with some examples of valid and invalid XML files are published on GitHub as part of the eForms SDK.

    We will keep updating these artefacts regularly as they evolve.

  3. What are Schematron files for eForms?  Can you provide samples of them?

    The eForms schema applies basic structural rules to the XML notices. Schematron files are used to apply further validation rules to the XML notices, ensuring that for each notice type, mandatory fields are present and correct field values are used. Schematron files are available as part of the eForms SDK in the GitHub repository.

    As the creation of Schematron files is a work in progress and they will not be ready for official publication for some time, the versions in the SDK only contain a preview. They are provided as-is, without any commitments from the Publications Office for their completeness or stability and without any documentation or support at this stage. The SDK in the repository will be updated periodically.

  4. If a field is mandatory but left empty or if a code choice is mandatory but not chosen, will the notice be rejected and not published? Are there no "content" checks beyond that, for example if a monetary value doesn’t make sense?

    If mandatory fields are not filled in, it will not be possible to submit the corresponding notice and the notice will, therefore, be rejected. There will be several additional business rules that will check the validity of the content of different fields, i.e., combinations of fields, in a way equivalent to what is done today with the existing forms.

    As with the current TED notices, there will be rules that will block (reject) the submission of eForms notices, particularly in cases that violate or contradict the Procurement Directives. All these rules are currently under construction and implemented using Schematron. Only after 14 November 2022, when eForms are introduced, will the Publications Office inform users in advance of any new rules to come.

  5. From a technical point of view, would an eForms notice be rejected if the names of some business terms and descriptions are changed at the national level?

    The eForms notices submitted for publication on TED should conform to the eForms schema, Xpaths and field IDs, which are the same for all Member States. This means that any notice submitted that doesn’t conform to this schema will be rejected by definition.

    On the other hand, what is done and published at national level is under the responsibility and control of the National Authorities, which means that a notice published at national level may not look exactly the same on the national site (which follows the national terminology) as on TED (which follows the EU terminology).

Code lists

  1. Why are you adding codes to eForms Business Terms and how often this will be done?

    Some BTs represent fields whose values come from predefined lists. These values are represented by codes.  Such code lists are not specific to eForms and they can be used in other domains. Code lists are dynamic and can be updated. Standard releases and release dates can be found at
    https://op.europa.eu/en/web/eu-vocabularies/releases

    The concepts in the EU Vocabularies authority tables and taxonomies that are used in eForms are indicated in the XML and SKOS formats by the ”EFORMS” use context. These formats are available for each vocabulary under the “Downloads” tab.

    The XML file does not indicate the “EFORMS” context for the "combined" concept, therefore combined is not used in eForms:

    <start.use>2021-03-17</start.use>
    <use.context>TED</use.context>

    whereas the XML file indicates the use eForms context for the "services" concept, therefore "services" can be used in eForms:

    <start.use>2019-09-18</start.use>
    <use.context>CODIF_DATA</use.context>
    <use.context>EFORMS</use.context>
    <use.context>TED</use.context>

ESPD

  1. Could you provide a clarification about the integration of ESPD into eForms (BG-701 and BG-702)

    The possibility of some level of integration of ESPD requests into eForms notices (avoiding multiple encoding of the same information by reusing it) has been considered and the feasibility of this is still being evaluated. However, it will not be a complete substitution, and ESPD requests will remain necessary.

    For more information, please see section 4.1.2.1 of the eForms Policy Implementation Handbook.