Checklist for scientific and technical purchases

A variety of issues should be clarified when you purchase new equipment, depending upon the nature of the purchase.Norsk versjon: Sjekkliste ved kjøp av vitenskapelig utstyr og annet teknisk utstyr

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The goal of this checklist

This checklist presents several aspects that are important to consider when you make big scientific or technical purchases, but it is not complete. It is meant as a support tool for people who are putting out tenders, so that the contract and conditions are specific and well thought through.

Remember, it's easier to come to an agreement before the purchase is made, than after a disagreement occurs.

If you are in doubt, ask for help from the Procurement section.

Checklist for large purchases


  • Clearly specify the quantity (number, unit, and performance) of the piece of equipment, any accessories, interfaces and consumables or spare parts.
  • Specify the order number and any other reference numbers.
  • Specify the functionality requirements and the tolerated the limits of these.
  • If you're ordering accessories after the main purchase, provide the series or factory number of the main piece of equipment (in case the equipment has changed).
  • If the equipment is going to be used with equipment from another supplier, make sure that the supplier receives complete information about the other equipment. Decide who is responsible that the pieces work together.



Does the equipment have specific requirements for:

  • indoor transport (weight or size)?
  • foundations (deadline for delivering the foundation drawing)?
  • safety measures (fire and safety equipment)?
  • temperature, humidity and ventilation?
  • lighting and/or noise problems (acoustics, electrical, magnetic)?
  • noise problems (cleaning)?
  • power supply (voltage, frequency, one or three phase, grounding)?
  • water and drains (water pressure, cooling, filtering, waste disposal)?
  • gas and exhaust?
  • connections to water, gas or similar?


  • Who will unpack the equipment and dispose of the packaging?
  • Who will assemble and adjust the equipment?
  • Should a specific test procedure be performed, and by whom?
  • Specifications and requirements for testing?
  • Does the equipment require approval from the electricity inspector?
  • Is the assembly procedure specified? (The contract should specify if the same person who assembles the equipment will also provide training.)

Cost and responsibility delegation

  • Who is responsible and who will pay for the equipment?
  • Should any of the costs be limited? (for example, should living expensive be paid for the technician who installs the equipment)
  • When should the equipment be considered delivered?


Decide what type of documentation is needed, what will be included with the equipment and what will be paid for.

Determine the number of copies and languages needed of:

  • the user manual
  • service manuals
  • blueprints and circuit diagrams
  • spare part list
  • certificates
  • software

Technical maintenance and training

  • How should repairs, preventative maintenance and calibration be arranged? (Separate staff, maintenance contracts, expensed?)
  • Does the supplier have enough maintenance staff, instruments, tools and spare parts in Trondheim or in Norway?
  • Is the supplier's maintenance contract satisfactory in terms of regular maintenance visits and emergency visits? Are the costs of parts, travel, etc included in the contract or will this cost extra? An hourly rate should be agreed upon. How quickly will emergencies be responded to?
  • Does the maintenance contract start on the delivery day or later? (For example if there is a guarantee period)
  • Do the maintenance staff need training in the use of the equipment, in daily maintenance or in more complete maintenance? When, how and what will this cost?
  • Should some spare parts be received upon purchase?
  • Should the customer have to pay for future versions of the software?


Equipment guarantee

  • Are there limitations to any of the components?
  • Is the guarantee affected by modifications, use with equipment from other manufacturers or similar constraints? Will the supplier pay for the entire cost of changing parts? (Work, the price of parts, shipping and travel costs)
  • What is the maximal reparation time?
  • In the case of repeated deficiencies, can the client demand a new delivery or terminate the contract?

Spare parts

For how long must the supplier be able to guarantee spare parts and special consumables, and how quickly? Make sure to specify that spare parts should be deliverable for the duration of the equipment's anticipated lifespan.

Commercial conditions

NTNU has a shipping agreement with a shipping company that takes care of customs and import duty issues related to the import and export of equipment. They can also help fill out the necessary paperwork.

Delivery requirements

At NTNU, these are the regular delivery requirements:

For delivery when NTNU is importing:

DAP (Incoterms 2020) - Delivered at place.

DDP (Incoterms 2020) - Delivery duty paid

The delivery requirements should be supplied by NTNU when the request is made to the supplier. This means that the supplier has risk and insurance responsibility and covers the delivery costs to the specified address.


Is packaging included in the price?

What packaging isn't included in the price? Is the price of this packaging significant? What is the return policy?

Who will cover the costs of shipping in the event of a return?


According to the applicable regulations, signing an insurance for governmental transport risk is not allowed(the self insurance principle). NTNU must therefore insist upon DDP or DDU (Incoterms 2000) in order and shipping requests. This means that the supplier bears the risk and is responsible for insurance until the shipment has been delivered.

Delivery time

It's important that both the delivery time and what conditions need to be met before the delivery is viewed as complete are clearly defined. There is no point in delivery part of the equipment if it won't run without the remaining parts. If the supplier is supposed to set up and test the equipment it may be natural to define the test as the delivery time. The delivery time impacts payment deadlines, late delivery penalties and usually the risk transfer and the start of the guarantee period.

Late delivery penalties

If it is important to the supplier that the delivery time is kept, a late penalty clause might be necessary in the purchase contract. The clause should be clearly defined in percent or amount per time of delay, as well is a limit of 10 percent of the contracted amount. If the shipment is not received by the end of the penalty period, one should seriously consider terminating the contract.

Force Majeure clause

A Force Majeure is a term for an unforeseen event, such as a natural disaster. These clauses are acceptable, but should also be reasonable, and might be combined with other contract-terminating clauses (usually without liability).


The price should been clearly defined when possible, or based on a price with specific rules. Any rules should be based on public indexes (including exchange rates). It should also be considered whether some of the contract amount (for example the profit) should be kept out of such regulation. It should be specified whether the price is with or without VAT, and what toll declarations need to be drawn up.

Requirements for payment

Payment should usually occur within 30 days. Other payment forms include:

  • prepayment, which should usually only be up to 1/3 of the total contract amount. Prepayment should only be given if a safety mechanism such as a bank guarantee is provided, or if the amount is placed in a blocked account. In this case, interest is normally accrued by the buyer.
  • a letter of credit can be used in the case of direct import.
  • smaller international purchases may be pre-payed. The authorities for the budget financing the purchase need to decide whether the supplier is trustworthy.

The costs associated with a bank guarantee are normally covered by the supplier. In the case of reimbursement, the purchaser's bank and the purchaser normally cover the costs.

The Procurement section recommends that for larger, complicated equipment purchases, an agreement to withhold at least 10 percent of the contract amount until an acceptability test is performed.

Standardized purchase and sale contracts

There are a number of standardized purchase and sale contracts, created by companies, sectors, the Norwegian state and others. Such standard contracts can vary greatly depending upon the author and may be singularly friendly to the buyer or seller. The most useful contracts still try to establish a fair balance between the buyers' and the sellers' rights. Common requirements are as follows:

Export and import restrictions

Some goods may be subject to Norwegian import restrictions. The Procurement section can usually fix import licenses. Other goods may be subject to export restrictions in the supplier's country. In some cases, the suppliers export license may depend on us signing a declaration that says that we are penaly responsible that the equipment is not exported again without permission.

If a problem with export licenses in the supplier's country occurs, ask the supplier to supply a form that NTNU can fill out where NTNU declares that the equipment won't be exported to a third county.

Contact information