The Government has tendered for a contract to carry out an economic and sustainability impact assessment for a potential Mercosur trade deal.

The named contracting authority on the tender is the Department of Business, Enterprise and Development, while the listed value of the contract is set to be €200,000, excluding VAT.

The formal title of the tender is: ‘Economic and Sustainability Impact Assessment for Ireland of the EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement.’

According to the notice of tender, the Government “has committed to undertaking a full Economic and Sustainability and Impact Assessment (ESIA) for Ireland of the EU-Mercosur trade agreement, including economic, social, environmental and human rights impacts”.

The tender lists a number of ‘common procurement vocabulary codes’ (CPV codes) which describe the criteria under the contract.

These codes relate to: economic research services; market and economic research – polling and statistics; economic impact assessment; business and management consultancy and related services; and environmental impact assessment other than for construction.

The contract to perform the assessment would be awarded for six months, though this would be subject to renewal.

The closing date for receiving applications to carry out the assessment under the tender is set for January 10, 2020, at 5:00pm Irish time.

The tender notice was issued on November 27 last.

Just over a week prior to the tender notice being issued, it was revealed that a impact assessment on the Mercosur agreement would be completed by summer 2020.

That’s according to Charlie McConalogue, Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on agriculture, food and the marine, who put a parliamentary question (PQ) to Minister Michael Creed on this issue.

“Minister Creed has confirmed to me in a PQ reply that the Government-commissioned economic impact assessment on the Mercosur trade deal ‘will be completed by summer 2020′,” McConalogue had said.

The EU-Mercosur trade agreement has come in for extensive discussion and criticism since it was announced in late June of this year, with farm organisations particularly concerned over the fact that it would see an increase of 99,000t in the volume of beef under preferential import tariff rates.