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.
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:
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.