Supplies and Logistics

Questions and Answers

What is the purpose of UNICEF Procurement Services?

Who is eligible for UNICEF Procurement Services?

What are the Handling Fees for using Procurement Services?

Does UNICEF make a profit from providing Procurement Services?

What steps do I need to take to order through Procurement Services?

How much does it cost to ship supplies?

What is the minimum order value?

Are UNICEF's products available to procure online?

What is the role of the Country Office in Procurement Services?

How are suppliers selected?

I would like special markings on my supplies. Is this possible?  

How can I find out more about UNICEF Procurement Services?

What is the purpose of UNICEF Procurement Services?
As part of its global mandate for child rights, UNICEF uses its knowledge, expertise and integrity to provide children with the appropriate supplies and services they require. Through Procurement Services, governments and non-profit organizations can use and learn from UNICEF’s procurement expertise in their own efforts to help children. In this way, more children are reached, and the capacity of national supply systems is built up. Cooperating with partners also gives UNICEF a more effective voice to advocate on children’s behalf, and adds scale and impact to UNICEF-supported country programmes.

Who is eligible for UNICEF Procurement Services?
UNICEF undertakes Procurement Services for:

  • Governments

  • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

  • United Nations Agencies

  • International Financial Institutions

  • Philanthropic organizations

  • Universities.

UNICEF does not undertake Procurement Services for:

  • Individuals

  • Profit-making entities.

Non governmental organisations can register as partners by submitting the Registration Form.

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What are the Handling Fees for using Procurement Services?

To view UNICEF standard and non-standard Handling Fees, click here.

Questions and answers about Handling Fees:

Q. Why has UNICEF adopted a cost-recovery approach to Procurement Services?
A. Handling fees are charged in order to defray the incremental direct and indirect costs that UNICEF incurs by providing services. UNICEF only provides procurement services for commodity groups that are already a part of UNICEF programmes with governments. The fees are subject to change when UNICEF achieves additional economies of scale.

Q. Do handling fees contribute to UNICEF’s income?
A. Procurement Services is a mechanism to assist governments and development partners to provide essential supplies for children and to contribute to building more effective national supply systems. Thus, the handling fee is fixed at the minimum amount UNICEF reasonably concludes is required to meet UNICEF's costs of providing Procurement Services, including its capacity to respond to requests for price quotations, to implement agreements and to process, monitor and report on Procurement Services arrangements.

Q. Why doesn’t UNICEF set the same handling fee across all commodities for all PS partners?
A. The differentials reflect differences in the costs associated with providing Procurement Services for supplies and equipment already on hand in the Copenhagen Warehouse  (“warehouse items”) and those which have to be procured separately (“non-warehouse items”). They also reflect the savings available to UNICEF in the procurement of vaccines because of our recognised procurement leadership in that field.

Q. Are there situations in which UNICEF considers reducing handling fees?
A. UNICEF will consider a limited reduction in the handling fee where there is procurement for one commodity group, basket of commodities or a multi-year agreement exceeding US$100 million.  In addition to this, there may be special projects that require specific terms.

Q. Are freight and insurance costs included in calculating the handling fees?
A. No. The handling fee is calculated as a percentage of the cost of goods being procured. UNICEF charges freight and insurance expenses at cost. We have negotiated a series of worldwide freight-forwarding contracts designed to ensure timely and efficient delivery of supplies and equipment.

Does UNICEF make a profit from providing Procurement Services?
UNICEF does not make any profit, but is required to recover its costs from providing Procurement Services by charging a handling fee, which varies according to the supplies or services required.

 

What steps do I need to take to order through Procurement Services?

  • Check to see if you are eligible to order through procurement services (Procurement Services are only available to governments, non-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies, international financial institutions, philanthropic organizations and universities)
  • Register as a Partner (only  applicable for  non-governmental organizations - add link to registration form).
  • Select supplies through the Supply Catalogue.
  • Complete a request for Cost Estimate form using UNICEF Supply Catalogue
  • Submit the request to the UNICEF Country Office and/or directly to UNICEF Supply Division Procurement Services Centre.
  • A cost estimate for the supplies and services you require is prepared and sent to you with a letter of offer.  The letter outlines the advance payment procedure.
  • A signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) must be received prior to any procurement activity.  If you do not have a valid agreement we inform you accordingly.
  • Transfer the full amount of the cost estimate as per UNICEF UNICEF's Financial Regulations and Rules. Upon receipt of your advance payment and a signed MOU, procurement activities would commence.   An order confirmation is sent to you.
  • A final statement of accounts is sent to you along with a customer survey form, for you to complete and return.

Any remaining contingency buffer and /or balances can be reprogrammed or returned

How much does it cost to ship supplies?
The cost of shipment and insurance of the goods is included in the cost estimate, using UNICEF-contracted freight forwarders which offer very competitive rates. Our freight forwarders deliver the goods to the port of entry closest to the project site. If you request supplies to be shipped by air, the port of entry is the nearest major international airport. For sea shipments, the port of entry is the nearest major international seaport in the country where the project is to take place. The seaport of entry for land-locked countries varies on a case-by-case basis.

What is the minimum order value?

Please note, that for order values less than $5,000 we have to charge the minimum handling fee of $300 and it is may not be cost effective for partners to place an order for less than $5,000.

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Are UNICEF’s products available to procure online?
UNICEF’s online Supply Catalogue contains detailed specifications for some 2,000 products, information on supply-related services, as well as technical bulletins for specific items.  However, due to the special nature of every order, and the emphasis UNICEF places on quality service – from ensuring that the products you order are the most appropriate for your needs, through to the logistics of distributing supplies to the end user – products and services are not available to procure online.

What is the role of the Country Office in Procurement Services?
UNICEF’s network of country offices covering 158 countries and territories are a fundamental element of the global service UNICEF offers its customers. The UNICEF country office is frequently the first point of contact for many customers, and often signs the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of UNICEF. In most Procurement Services transactions, work is shared between the Procurement Services Centre based at UNICEF Supply Division, Copenhagen, and the UNICEF office in the country where the supplies and services will be used. In this way, customers benefit from UNICEF’s technical expertise, global market overview, and competitive prices, for example. They also have access to UNICEF’s presence on the ground and specialized local knowledge.

How are suppliers selected?
UNICEF suppliers are carefully chosen through a competitive pre-qualification process, on the basis of quality systems/organization, adherence to ethical standards, capacity and financial soundness. UNICEF continuously evaluates its suppliers. Samples of their products are approved before contracts are awarded, and quality checks can also be made before goods are shipped or received. All supplies entering the UNICEF Copenhagen warehouse are carefully inspected according to international standards.

I would like special markings on my supplies. Is this possible?
Yes. Please inform us at the earliest opportunity if you have any special requirements, if possible when you request the cost estimate and before the deposit of funds.

How can I find out more about UNICEF Procurement Services?
Several publications are available online, providing both general and technical information.

Please contact us if you have any additional queries.

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