Every year, the U.S. DoD carefully selects contract partners to help keep its military forces armed, equipped, and ready to defend.
You must register with the department to become part of the U.S. DoD supplier ecosystem. Because U.S. DoD procurement is complex and decentralized, there are a few places you need to upload information about your company and products or services. You’ll also have to apply for a few important registration numbers so buyers can buy from you.
Getting the details right will make your interactions with the U.S. DoD as smooth as possible, so we recommend giving yourself enough time to do the following carefully, and in order:
Identify your product or service
The first step is to know the Federal Supply Class or Service (FSC/SVC) codes, the Product Service Codes (PSCs) and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes for your products, services or industry in which your organization normally does business.
Finding your FSC code
- Visit the Federal Supply Classification (FSC) Directory from the Defense Logistics Agency
- Click the search option link under the subtitle ‘H2 FSC Directory’
- From the FSC search bar (the second search bar), find your product category and click search.
From the keyword search bar (third search bar) manually enter your product category and click search.
- Your Federal Supply Classification FSC details will display (including the code and a brief description).
Finding your PSC code
- From the Acquisition.gov webpage, click the latest PSC Excel document
- From the Excel file, you can sort your products & services alphabetically by name.
- To sort your list, click the arrow on the right side of the “product and service code name” cell.
- Select the “Sort A-Z option.”
- Find you product name
- Your PSC code will be identified on the same row in the “PSC CODE” column.
Finding your NAICS code
- From the United States Census Bureau’s website, enter the keyword that best matches your industry in the keyword search bar on the left side of your screen.
- From the search results, click the NAICS code or codes that best matches your product or service.
- Your code will give you a brief description of the industry and some NAICS code of potentially related industries.
TIMEFRAME: Minutes. These are simple look-ups to identify your numbers.
Get a NCAGE code
Get your NCAGE code
The NCAGE Code (for foreign vendors) is required for registering in SAM.
- Check to see if a NCAGE code is already assigned to the company by searching with the NSPA using the NCAGE Code Request Tool.
- If the search does not result in a match to an existing NCAGE code, complete the Request for Assignment of NCAGE form and email to CCC at [email protected].
- CCC will review the request and forward to DND for NCAGE assignment.
- When the NCAGE code is assigned, an email will be sent to the entity point of contact in the NCAGE Request. Follow the instructions in the email including validating your NCAGE and the timeframe to register with the System for Award Management (SAM) (http://www.sam.gov).
Validate your NCAGE code
- The new NCAGE code information can be validated by logging into the the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) web portal.
- Click on the tab labelled CAGE/NCAGE Code Request.
- Enter the NCAGE code in the first screen, then click Enter.
- At the bottom of the screen, a Results box will display. Click on the line of the entity/organization.
Validate CAGE search and inquiry
- Once the NCAGE is received, the NCAGE code is displayed in CAGE Search and Inquiry (CSI). This was formerly the Business Identification Number Cross Reference System (BINCS).
- The entity/organization’s Legal Business Name and Physical Address must match exactly with NSPA and CSI.
- Access CSI to confirm the NCAGE code data.
TIMEFRAME: CSI is updated after the CAGE Program Office has received and processed the NCAGE data, which may take up to 10 business days.
Register with SAM
A NCAGE and SAM registration are prerequisites for any contract award. After obtaining a NCAGE code, you should register in the System for Award Management (SAM) for contracts at http://www.sam.gov/.
SAM is a database designed to hold information relevant to procurement and financial transactions, and it enables fast electronic payment of your invoices. Entities may register at no cost directly from the website. User guides and webinars are available under the Help tab.
How to register
- You must have a NCAGE before registering in SAM.
- If you are physically located outside the U.S. and its territories, follow the quick guide for international registrations at SAM.gov.
- Foreign vendors are NOT required to enter tax identification numbers (TIN) in SAM.
- If the registration is successfully submitted in SAM with the NCAGE, an email confirmation will be sent to the authorized administrator user(s) of the entity/organization and the SAM status will be updated to “Pending CAGE Validation”.
- NOTE: If the registration is not complete, the status will indicate “Draft” until the Core Data section is complete. “Work in Progress” indicates that Core Data is not complete. Log into SAM and check the SAM Status Tracker. The checkmarks on the left navigation menu or error messages at the top of the page will indicate what is required to complete the registration process.
- If you have any issues with your SAM registration, check NSPA, D&B, SAM, and CSI and query them to ensure the Legal Business Name and the Physical Address both match exactly. Then:
TIMEFRAME: Allow 10 business days from the date of SAM submission for the validation process to be completed.
Identify selling opportunities
Visit SAM.gov and register at the website to be notified of newly posted opportunities in your industries. This is the official website that allows the private sector to electronically access government-wide procurement opportunities.
It provides a comprehensive database of all major government solicitations, contract awards over USD $25,000, subcontracting opportunities, surplus property sales, and foreign business opportunities with the federal government. Go to the Learning Centre section in the top menu and learn the details.
FedMall is an eCommerce ordering system for DoD, Federal, State, and authorized local Agencies to search for and acquire products from government reserves and commercial sources—providing access to over 29 million individual items of supply.
Suppliers are able sell on FedMall without a contract through FedMall MarketPlace, using a GSA Schedule, and/or a FedMall awarded contract through the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Contract Support Office (DSCO). FedMall is now accessed through the Procurement Integrated Enterprise Environment (PIEE) website. New users should follow the PIEE registration and approval processes.
The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) posts opportunities to its DLA Internet Bid Board System (DIBBS). The web-based application allows you to search for, view, and submit secure quotes on Requests for Quotations (RFQs) for DLA items of supply.
Check individual websites
Many agencies, military departments and contracting offices also have procurement Websites. In addition, many contracting commands routinely post opportunities on their social media sites. Check the individual sites for other possible sources of information.
Global Bid Opportunity Finder
The Global Bid Opportunity Finder (GBOF) is a web application offered by CCC and the Government of Canada that takes more than 1.5 million opportunities globally, including with the U.S. DoD, and aggregates them in a single and easy-to-use place.
Register with GBOF and browse all the opportunities with the U.S. DoD from a single account.
Dos and Don'ts when selling to U.S. DoD
- Follow procurement offices on social media.
- Connect with contracting officers, preferably face-to-face at events
- Attend industry days to learn about emerging needs
- Consider partnering with a U.S. company as a sub-contractor
- Underestimate the importance of thorough and accurate paperwork
- Use too much jargon on marketing speak in your bid. Do use straightforward, plain-language writing.
Build awareness of your product or service
In early 2022, the Office of the U.S. Under Secretary of Defense outlined 14 critical technology areas vital to national security in an era of unprecedented global competition. Canadian companies offering solutions in these areas stand to benefit even further from these U.S. DoD priorities:
Generation and storage
AI and autonomy
U.S. DoD critical technology areas
Advanced computing and software
Next-gen wireless tech
Integrated network systems-of-systems
Integrated sensing and cyber
Know contracting regulations
The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) is the manual of U.S. Government contracting. Above and beyond the FAR, some U.S. Government departments and agencies have supplemental regulations. In the case of the U.S. DoD, it has the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS). These specific regulations are based upon U.S. DoD policy and/or U.S. law. A complement to the DFARS is the Procedures, Guidance, and Information (PGI). The PGI will help you to understand the DFARS. The Defense Pricing and Contracting (DPC) (DPAP) is the U.S. DoD authority for contracting and procurement policy.
U.S. DoD cybersecurity standards
Cyber hygiene is a major area of focus for the US DoD (and US government writ large). Effective 2020, the DoD issued new rules for certain contracts involving DoD Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), effectively
requiring demonstrated and verifiable compliance with cyber standard NIST SP 800-171.
Furthermore, the DoD is rolling out implementation of its new Cyber Security Maturity Model (CMMC) framework that will be a requirement of all DoD requests for proposals effective 2026.
Dealing with militarily critical technical data?
Canadian and American contractors must be certified by the Joint Certification Program to bid and work on contracts and conduct research requiring access to militarily critical technical data.
Get certified through Public Services and Procurement Canada’s Joint Certification Program.
Access to FOUO/CUI/controlled information
If you’re contracting or subcontracting to the US DoD or NASA, you will likely need to access controlled military technical data, referred to as Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), controlled information, or For Official Use Only (FOUO).
To receive this data as a Canadian company, you will need to be certified by the U.S./Canada Joint Certification Program (JCP). You will need your CAGE code(s) to register for JCP.
To apply to the JCP, follow the steps listed on Public Services and Procurement Canada Joint Certification page. A guide to complete the JCP application form is available on the Public Services and Procurement Canada site.
If you have any questions on completing the JCP form, contact the Canadian JCP program lead at: [email protected]. When you are ready to submit your application to the JCP, it should be emailed to the US JCP office at: [email protected].
You may also want to let the Canadian JCP program lead know after you’ve submitted the form. This may speed the resolution of any issues that arise by providing a direct contact link between your firm and JCP. A simple email introducing your company and informing that you’ve submitted the JCP form is enough.
In order to comply with technical data control regulations and be able to examine, possess or transfer controlled goods in Canada, you also need to register with the Controlled Goods Program (CGP).
Need more information?
CCC offers assistance with opportunities within and outside of the U.S. military.