By Paul Emanuelli

In its July 2017 decision in Ingsteel and Metrostav v. Úrad pre verejné obstarávanie, the European Court of Justice ruled that a public body is permitted to screen bidders for letters of credit when assessing tender compliance. The case dealt with a €25.5 million Invitation to Tender for restructuring, modernizing and building 16 football stadiums in Slovakia. The complainant’s bid was rejected after it was unable to provide the required letter of credit in the prescribed form and instead provided a sworn statement confirming that it could provide the letter if its bid was successful. The court rejected the complaint and ruled that a letter of credit was a valid bid requirement under European law.