last updated: 21st January 2013

The Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV) coding system is a set of codes used to help identify the products (goods, services and works) that contracting authorities wish to purchase. These are now incorporated into the legislation with the range of codes provided for each general category of expenditure.

CPV codes must be quoted in Prior Information Notices (PIN), contract notices and annual statistical returns.  A link is provided to the full list of CPV codes which were updated in 2008.

The coding system is very detailed and may be accessed via the web as well as the various services providing electronic transmissions of notices to the OJEU.

For example, within services, the general categories are now presented in the following format:

Subject CPC Ref CPV Ref No
9 Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services 862 From 74121000-3 to 74121250-0
10 Market research and public opinion polling services 864 From 74120000-9 to 74133000-0 and 74423100-1, 74423110-4

Extract from Annex II of the Consolidated Directive.
The first 2 digits of a CPV Ref No identify whether it is a works, service or supply item.  Codes beginning with the digits '45' are works; codes beginning with digits in the range '50' to '99' are services; codes beginning with the digits '01' to '44' or '48' are supplies.

Note: When drafting a contract notice etc, do not automatically use the CPV code published in previous contract notices etc. The Commission has been known to re-use and re-allocate codes, which can lead to the wrong products being identified in your notice.

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