The Office of Budget and Finance

Buying Goods & Services


Many departments work to ensure the smooth purchase (and payment) for goods and services.

The University of Texas at Dallas is exempt from Texas sales tax on purchases for items that are necessary for the university’s operations. The university is a state agency under The University of Texas System established by the Texas Constitution Article 7, Section 10, and is exempt from the payment of Texas sales tax.

Texas public schools, colleges and universities are exempt from Texas state sales tax under Section 151.309 of the Texas Tax Code. Entities that are exempt by law do not need to apply for sales tax exemption on taxable purchases.

A UT Dallas Sales Tax Exemption Certificate must be used by departments when making purchases on behalf of the university. The exemption certificate is only applicable for the exemption of the state of Texas sales tax on taxable purchases.

Dollar Bidding Purchasing Rules

Available Purchasing Methods Use of Existing Contracts
Purchase Amount One-Card Amazon Punch-out Direct Purchase Purchasing Assigned Specialized Equipment or Services (Only One Supplier) UTD, UT System Alliance,Premier, Other Accredited GPO, Accredited State Agency
Under $5000 Available1,2 Available1,2 Minimum of one quote Minimum of one quote One Quote Recommended for routine purchasing
(e.g. office supplies)
$5,000 -$14,999 Not
Minimum of one quote Minimum of one quote One Quote Recommended
(Only if best value)
$15,000 – $49,999 Not
Minimum of
Minimum of
One quote EAJ required4
(No existing contract)
(Only if best value)
$50,000 – $99,999  Not
Required One quote EAJ required4
(No existing contract)
(Only if best value)
Contact for assistance with purchases over $100,000
Over $100,0005,6,7,8 Not
Required One quote EAJ required4
(No existing contract)
(Only if best value)

1Single transaction limit of $5,000.
2See One Card program website for prohibited One-card and Amazon punch-out transactions.
3Include 2 HUB suppliers if possible.
4EAJ = Exclusive Acquisition Justification.
5HUB Subcontracting Plan (HSP) required for purchases greater than $100,000.
6Additional requirements on GPOs apply for purchases greater than $500,000.
7Office of General Council review required for purchases over $1 million.
8Board of Regents approval required for purchases over $2.5 million.

Splitting one transaction into several or otherwise breaking down a purchase so that each component falls under a particular dollar threshold is specifically prohibited.

For current and past bid opportunities, please see Bid Opportunities.

Rules To Be Followed for All University Purchases

  • An exclusive acquisition may only be used for three categories of purchases: a proprietary, an emergency purchase, or certain professional services (unique or necessary). Competitive purchasing is generally best, as it typically leads to reduced costs. For more information about exclusive acquisitions, visit the Purchasing Method page.
  • Per UT System policy, only the Purchasing department can sign procurement-related contracts and agreements and issue Purchase Orders or conduct formal BIDS and RFP Request for Proposals.
  • Verbal orders from UTD Departments without authorization from Purchasing might be a personal obligation of that individual and not the University.
  • Delegations of Authority
  • SAM Federal System for Award Management, orders over $25,000
  • SBA rules for Federal Grants, grant orders over $25,000
  • All orders are subject to the Texas Public Information Act.

There are three ways to purchase at UTD:

  1. Submission of an eProcurement requisition through the Galaxy portal. Catalog purchase options must be used before other non-catalog options. Emergency purchases should be cleared through Procurement prior to placing an order.
  2. Purchase using a UTD One Card.
  3. Purchase using personal funds and request reimbursement. Business reimbursements are handled as exceptions and may only be used for relatively small purchases that could otherwise be made on a UTD One Card.

Note: Purchases outside the first 2 methods above could result in a personal obligation.

Request for Formal Solicitation (RFS) Form

State of Texas law and UT Dallas policy requires competitive bidding for procurements over $50,000. Submit the completed RFS form to Purchasing at Purchasing will review the request and contact the department to discuss possible solicitation methods.

Exclusive Acquisition Justification Form (EAJ)

Competitive purchasing is generally best, as it typically leads to reduced costs. However, it is not always possible – for example, if a specific product is necessary for continuation of research or if a product is only available from a single supplier. Departments must submit a justification when pursuing this type of product. The justification is not intended to determine whether or not the purchase is necessary, but only whether or not the purchase can be made without a competitive bidding process.

An exclusive acquisition may only be used for three categories of purchases:

  • Proprietary and Best Value: the products or services are only available through a single source, and / or are used for compatibility of existing equipment, and / or are necessary to continue service or research, or are specifically required by a contract or grant.
  • Emergency: a delay in purchasing would create a hazard to life, health, safety, welfare, or property.
  • Professional Services: the professional service providers are uniquely qualified, necessary to continue service or research, or are specifically required by a contract or grant.

Purchasing products that are manufactured outside of the United States requires clearance by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency upon entry into the country. Information regarding customs requirements can be found at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

The University of Texas at Dallas retains the services of a U.S. customs broker to assist with purchases from foreign countries.

Products imported from foreign countries may be subject to a variety of fees, duties, or taxes. The department making the purchase is responsible for all additional charges associated with the purchase.

To avoid fines, penalties, and incorrectly paying duty fees, departments are strongly encouraged to work with our contracted Customs Broker below to schedule international shipment of import/export orders.

Aurora Hernandez
W.R. Zanes & Co. of La., Inc.
Houston Imports Office
Ph: 281-590-3505
Fx: 281-590-3838


To ensure the smoothest process possible for any Department Purchase Orders issued to Foreign Suppliers, include the following as an External Note in eProcurement:

“When equipment is ready to ship, please contact our Import/Export Broker at PH-(281)590-3505, email and”


If you encounter issues with Import/Export Broker process, please contact Petrea Nichols,, Import Manager.

Departments should contact our customs broker before the shipment is made to determine what paperwork is required.
The following information must be provided to our customs broker on all shipments:

  • Complete name and address of person initiating shipment.
  • Department name and complete telephone number.
  • Origin and destination points of shipment.
  • Detailed description of shipment, its origin and in layman’s terms, what it is used for.

Exporting a shipment – There are many companies that can ship internationally (FedEx, UPS, DHL etc.), but our contracted customs brokers MUST be contacted when the export is valued at or above $2500. These requirements apply to items that are hand-carried as well as items that are exported via a freight carrier.

Regardless of what carrier is selected, or whether the items are shipped by freight carrier or hand-carried by UTD staff, the customs broker will minimally need the following information:

  • Description of the commodities
  • Name of the consignee and address including zip code
  • Method of shipment
  • Date available for pick-up
  • Desired arrival date
  • Number of pieces, dimensions of cartons, weights
  • Payment terms
  • Other special instructions

Contact the Office of Research Compliance to determine if export controls affect your Grant-funded product.

Our customs broker will charge for their services! In addition to their fees, there are additional pass-through fees and charges that will appear on your final invoice. These charges vary widely and departments should request a quote and ask what additional fees or charges might apply that are not on the quote.

Please be aware that expedited services not originally requested can be very expensive. If a blanket order is not in place, a purchase order should be issued for the services reflecting the customs broker’s quote. Note: When hand-carrying items valued at more than $2,500, you must contact our customs broker with the above information (commercial invoice is recommended) one day before leaving the country.

 When creating the foreign supplier order in eProcurement, make sure to include an external note asking the supplier to contact our customs broker! Contact the eProcurement Help Desk at x5235 if you need assistance with this.

Duty on scientific equipment is usually substantial. Departments should apply for duty-free entry well in advance of making the purchase. If duty must be paid, then departments can budget accordingly; before funds may be committed elsewhere. If the equipment arrives at Customs before duty-free entry has been approved, or if no Request for Duty-Free Entry was made prior to the purchase, the applicant can request a delay of liquidation (Customs classifies the equipment and assesses duty). A delay of liquidation is usually granted for up to 180 days, but may be extended.
Certain scientific equipment can be imported into the US duty-free if the following criteria are met:

  • The scientific instruments and apparatus must be used exclusively for educational purposes and scientific research.
  • The scientific instrument or apparatus, or its equivalent , is not manufactured in the United States
  • Some categories of scientific equipment can be imported duty free by educational institutions under certain conditions.
  • A Request for Duty Free Application should be completed and filed with the United States Customs before placing the order with the supplier. If Customs approves the duty-free purchase, the purchase order must be issued to the supplier within sixty days.

A Request for Duty Free Entry application may still be filed after the equipment has arrived on campus. Contact our customs broker for assistance.