Common Procurement Vocabulary CPV

CPV is the common procurement vocabulary of the European Union.   The current version was adopted by Regulation (EC) No. 213/2008 is in use since 17/09/2008, and is translated into the 22 official languages of the European Communities.

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.

CPV comes from the merger of CPC (Central Product Classification) and ISIC (International Standard Industrial Classification to CPA (Classification of products by activity CPA) and became Community Procurement Vocabulary in 1993.  The updates are CPV 93, CPV 94 released in 1996, CPV 2002 and CPV 2008.

There are a number of issues with CPV.  The main ones are a large number of duplicate/similar categories, and the release and approval cycle means that it is normally out of date at the point of release, and then gets worse.

CPV 2008 has 9,454 categories.