The Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations (DSPCR) 2011

The DSPCR establishes rules for the procurement of defence and sensitive security equipment and services by contracting authorities in the UK.



The Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations (DSPCR) 2011 implemented the European Union (EU) Defence and Security Procurement Directive into United Kingdom (UK) law. They came into force on 21 August 2011.

The DSPCR is ‘retained EU law’ by virtue of section 2 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This means that the regulations will remain in place and continue to have effect after 31 December 2020 (Transition Period completion day) in the UK.

However, the DSPCR has been amended by two Statutory Instruments to ensure the rules continues to operate effectively after the UK leaves the EU. Those Statutory Instruments are: The Defence and Security Public Contracts (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 and The Defence and Security Public Contracts (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020. After 31 December 2020, the DSPCR are national regulations which sit outside the Directive.

Important note, the current Chapter 4 guidance on Exemptions and Exclusions replaces two documents that previously covered the subjects separately. There is therefore no guidance entitled Chapter 5.

Updates to this page

Published 1 August 2013
Last updated 1 March 2024 + show all updates
  1. Chapter 4 and Chapter 10 have been updated to provide more information on Research and Development Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs).

  2. Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 6 have been updated to reflect the new financial thresholds.

  3. Chapter 11 has been updated following an annual review, which includes new sign posting to the Frameworks Agreement CPS and further clarity on the use of the Statement Relating to Good Standing.

  4. Chapter 4 has been updated to include a link to JSP 440 and the new PCR / DSPCR Exemption Information Form. It has also been updated to reflect Commercial Cascade 09/23, to remove Directorate of Security and Resilience (DSR) from the endorsement of PCR / DSPCR exemptions based on National Security. This decision must now be made at delivery team level (Grade 7 Commercial Officer or equivalent). This update also provides further clarity on exemptions and exclusions and the exemption process .

  5. Chapters 1, 3 and 15 updated to provide additional clarification regarding the Northern Ireland Protocol following the UK leaving the EU. Chapter 15 has also been updated to reflect the new low value threshold which has increased from £10K (inc. VAT) to £12K (inc. VAT), in accordance with Cascade 03/2023.

  6. Chapter 15 has been updated to include a link to the Supplier Selection: Excluding Ineligible Suppliers topic on the Commercial Toolkit. Paragraph 28 affected only. Chapter 17 has been updated to provide further clarity on the Standstill Period, Contract Award and the Contract Award Date. Paragraphs 3 - 5 and 46 affected.

  7. Chapter 10 has been updated to remove paragraph 28. Subsequent paragraphs have been renumbered. A number of chapters have also been amended to replace references to Defence Contracts Online (DCO) with Defence Sourcing Portal (DSP) and to update links to Knowledge in Defence (KiD) content following the move to MOD cloud.

  8. Chapters 1, 2, 3, 6 and 11 have been amended to update the financial thresholds, which came into effect on 1 January 2022 and are now inclusive of VAT.

  9. Chapter 8 has been amended to change reference to Her Majesty to His. Annex B, Paragraph 2 affected. Chapter 15 has been amended to align with DSPCR Regulation 23(4). Paragraph 24 affected.

  10. Chapter 4 amended at paragraph 128 to provide further information on exclusions from DSPCR and also amended throughout for clarity. Chapter 12 updated at paragraph 41 to provide further guidance on where to find information in relation to Security Agreements that include the protection of Defence Classified information. Chapter 17 amended at paragraph 42 to reflect changes to the offer and acceptance process. DEFFORM 8 must be issued to the winning tenderer(s).

  11. Updated Chapter 4: exemptions and exclusions in the DSPCR and Chapter 15: supplier selection

  12. Updated: contracts below the financial threshold section of the DSPCR Chapter 3 financial thresholds page.

  13. Updated all DSPCR chapters to reflect new guidance for 1 January 2021.

  14. Updated Chapters 1, 2, 3, 6 and the frequently asked questions.

  15. Updated DSPCR Chapter 4: treaty exemptions,

  16. Updated the DSPCR Chapter 15: Annex A Pre-Qualification Questionnaire.

  17. Updated DSPCR Chapter 15: Annex A Pre-Qualification Questionnaire.

  18. Updated DSPCR Chapter 17: standstill period, contract award and voluntary transparency.

  19. Updated the frequently ask questions and Chapters 1,2 and 3 to the December 2017 edition.

  20. Updated DSPCR Chapter 4: treaty exemptions.

  21. Updated DSPCR Chapter 8: procurement procedures.

  22. Updated Chapter 4: Treaty exemptions.

  23. Updated Chapters 5 and 17.

  24. Added updated DSPCR Chapter 15: annex A Pre-qualification questionnaire document

  25. Updated: DSPCR Chapter 8: procurement procedures

  26. Added updated Chapter 7.

  27. All documents have been updated.

  28. Added updated chapters 1, 2 and 6.

  29. Added updated Chapter 3.

  30. Added updated Chapter 15

  31. First published.

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