What are CPV Codes?

Kylla • 4th Oct 2019
What are CPV Codes?

They are a nightmare, that’s what they are!
Although the idea seems good, it’s really created a bit of a monster. Basically it was meant to be a simple standard format for identifying what product or service a tender was for. 
Unfortunately, having over 10,000 individual codes hasn’t helped buyers pick the right ones! This results in tenders for say First Aid training being advertised with the CPV code for IT support. Yes I have actually seen this example in the flesh.
Even Sand and Natural Sand have their own individual codes. I never even knew there was a difference!
Here’s the official version of “What is the CPV?” (If you can’t be bothered to read all this, just skip to the last line!)
The CPV consists of a main vocabulary for defining the subject of a contract, and a supplementary vocabulary for adding further qualitative information. The main vocabulary is based on a tree structure comprising codes of up to 9 digits (an 8 digit code plus a check digit) associated with a wording that describes the type of supplies, works or services forming the subject of the contract.

The CPV consists of a main vocabulary and a supplementary vocabulary.

The main vocabulary is based on a tree structure comprising codes of up to nine digits associated with a wording that describes the supplies, works or services forming the subject of the contract.

  • The first two digits identify the divisions (XX000000-Y);
  • The first three digits identify the groups (XXX00000-Y);
  • The first four digits identify the classes (XXXX0000-Y);
  • The first five digits identify the categories (XXXXX000-Y);

Each of the last three digits gives a greater degree of precision within each category.
A ninth digit serves to verify the previous digits.
The supplementary vocabulary may be used to expand the description of the subject of a contract. The items are made up of an alphanumeric code with a corresponding wording allowing further details to be added regarding the specific nature or destination of the goods to be purchased.
The alphanumeric code is made up of:

  • a first level comprising a letter corresponding to a section;
  • a second level comprising four digits, the first three of which denote a subdivision and the last one being for verification purposes

Main categories: (1st level)
03    Agricultural, farming, fishing, forestry and related products
09    Petroleum products, fuel, electricity and other sources of energy
14    Mining, basic metals and related products
15    Food, beverages, tobacco and related products
16    Agricultural machinery
18    Clothing, footwear, luggage articles and accessories
19    Leather and textile fabrics, plastic and rubber materials
22    Printed matter and related products
24    Chemical products
30    Office and computing machinery, equipment and supplies except furniture and software packages
31    Electrical machinery, apparatus, equipment and consumables; Lighting
32    Radio, television, communication, telecommunication and related equipment
33    Medical equipments, pharmaceuticals and personal care products
34    Transport equipment and auxiliary products to transportation
35    Security, fire-fighting, police and defence equipment
37    Musical instruments, sport goods, games, toys, handicraft, art materials and accessories
38    Laboratory, optical and precision equipments (excl. glasses)
39    Furniture (incl. office furniture), furnishings, domestic appliances (excl. lighting) and cleaning products
41    Collected and purified water
42    Industrial machinery
43    Machinery for mining, quarrying, construction equipment
44    Construction structures and materials; auxiliary products to construction (excepts electric apparatus)
45    Construction work
48    Software package and information systems
50    Repair and maintenance services
51    Installation services (except software)
55    Hotel, restaurant and retail trade services
60    Transport services (excl. Waste transport)
63    Supporting and auxiliary transport services; travel agencies services
64    Postal and telecommunications services
65    Public utilities
66    Financial and insurance services
70    Real estate services
71    Architectural, construction, engineering and inspection services
72    IT services: consulting, software development, Internet and support
73    Research and development services and related consultancy services
75    Administration, defence and social security services
76    Services related to the oil and gas industry
77    Agricultural, forestry, horticultural, aquacultural and apicultural services
79    Business services: law, marketing, consulting, recruitment, printing and security
80    Education and training services
85    Health and social work services
90    Sewage-, refuse-, cleaning-, and environmental services
92    Recreational, cultural and sporting services
98    Other community, social and personal services
So, our advice, is when searching for tenders, use keywords rather than CPV codes and your results will be much better.

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