Procurement activities at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) are decentralized and the practices described below extend to and include any employee responsible for ordering on behalf of the MBL. Such employees strive to assimilate knowledge and experience, both within and outside of the MBL, on the materials or equipment to be purchased and the sources from which they may be obtained. It is our goal to conduct all activities in the best interest of the MBL including realizing maximum value for every dollar expended, while simultaneously creating and maintaining quality relationships with our suppliers.

Code of Conduct

The MBL prohibits employees from accepting commissions, rebates, gifts, entertainment or other nonmonetary favors which could influence business decisions. No employee shall be financially interested, or have any beneficial personal interest, directly or indirectly, in any firm furnishing products to the MBL unless they have made full disclosure to the MBL of the details of the relationship prior to engaging in any procurement activities.

What You May Expect From Us

To be always honest and ethical with you.
To keep competition fair.
To respond promptly and courteously.
To provide information which may assist you in developing mutually advantageous alternatives.
To request special or rush services only when absolutely essential.

Competitive quotations are sought on items costing $10,000.00 or more. Prices on an item or service are requested from a minimum of three bidders.

What We Expect of Our Suppliers

To deal fairly and honestly with MBL.
To offer suggestions of alternatives which may improve or reduce the cost of goods and services being purchased.
To inform us of changes in economic or market conditions that might affect our purchasing decisions.
To quote your best price on your first quotation and stand on that basis unless there is evidence of error.
To deliver material only under contract or purchase order.
To fulfill the terms and conditions of a contract.
To responsively provide delivery only as specified.

Addition to the Supplier List

A supplier may be added to the list upon completing and submitting a Supplier Application Form, inclusive of a completed IRS Form W-9 (US suppliers) or an appropriate Form W-8 (non-US suppliers complete either an entity Form W-8BEN-E or government entity Form W-8EXP, or flow through entity Form W-8IMY). 

Unauthorized Sales or Deliveries

Suppliers are cautioned not to accept orders for goods and services and not to deliver products without a Purchase Order.

Invoice, Packing Slips, and Payments

Invoices must reference the corresponding MBL purchase order or contract number. All items on the invoice must match with item numbers shown on the purchase order or contract. Terms, F.O.B. point, and purchase order or contract number must be referenced on the invoice. If the name of supplier on the invoice will be other than that shown on the face of the purchase order or contract, both names must be indicated on the invoice. Failure to do this can result in return of invoice to the supplier.

Packing Slips enclosed with goods delivered and Service Confirmations for services delivered must reference the supplier’s name from which MBL ordered from and include the MBL purchase order or contract number.  Payment may be delayed if MBL is unable to readily verify and match the packing slip or service confirmation to the supplier’s invoice.

Electronically submit invoices to


Mail invoice(s) and statements to:
The Marine Biological Laboratory
Attention: Accounts Payable
7 MBL Street
Woods Hole, MA  02543

Tax Status
The MBL is exempt from state and federal taxes.


Email or call 508.289.7883.