Qualified suppliers & products lists
Qualified products and suppliers lists register goods and sellers that have met certain performance criteria and eligibility requirements. They are also called vendor rosters. These lists are used as a source of information when requesting offers from approved suppliers on a competitive basis.
Relevance to trade facilitation
Companies establish qualified products and suppliers lists in order to save time during the source selection process, as they simplify the qualification process for sellers willing to supply their goods. Such lists help ensure product quality by requiring that items be prescreened and tested for performance and compliance with required specifications.
Qualified products and suppliers lists are effective provided they are maintained regularly with up-to-date information - including product specifications and pricing. Online registration systems contribute to a more efficient and transparent management of such lists. Suppliers' and products' eligibility and selection criteria need to be transparent and disclosed in advance. Registration forms, often available online, include fields such as:
- company information, e.g nature and type of business, number of employees, licensing authority and license number, corporate social responsibility policy, EDI capability (capability of transmitting data by electronic means), business address and country of origin,
- financial information, e.g.value of turnover and exports for the last 3 consecutive fiscal years,
- export/international experience per year and by country,
- quality assurance certificates by name and type,
- membership of trade organizations,
- subsidiaries, associates and overseas representative, and
- product coding based on product classification systems, such as the WCO Harmonized Commodity Description and Common System (HS) or the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC).
Prerequisites for eligibility may be foreseen in order to ensure that, over the last 5 years, suppliers have not been under investigation or sanction by any government, and that the company has no outstanding or pending bankruptcy, judgement or legal action that could impair the company's ability to continue operating. Companies may be asked to fill in a self-declaration for this purpose.
The United Nations list of registered vendors is an example of a qualified suppliers list. On the UNGM website, useful guidance is provided to suppliers wanting to register with the interactive guide for suppliers. The Montana State Department of Transportation Qualified Product List website is an example of a state (USA) government's application of qualification criteria to ensure not only expeditious and non-repetitive purchasing steps, but specifically to ensure product performance and user safety through prequalification testing.