What are CPV codes?

If you learn one thing working in procurement, it is that people love their abbreviations. NUTS, CPV, TED. You name it, they've got it. Today we’ll talk about CPV. A code used to indicate the subject of a tender. CPV Code stands for Common Procurement Vocabulary Code. The code system was developed by the EU to establish a single classification system for public procurement. They wanted to standardize the references used by contracting authorities and entities to describe the subject of procurement contracts. 

When you first look at a code you feel like you’re just looking at a random set of numbers but there is a system to be found within it:

E.g: 15311200: Diced, sliced and other frozen potatoes

The code consists of eight digits with different levels of classification:

  • The first two digits indicate the department or division the subject relates to.

In this case 15000000 stands for - Food, beverages, tobacco and related products.

  • The first three digits indicate the group the subject belongs to 

15300000 stands for - Fruit, vegetables and related products.

  • The first four digits indicate the class the subject belongs to. 

15310000 - Potatoes and potato products.

  • Categories are indicated withe the first five digits of the code.

15311000 - Frozen potatoes

  • The last three digits represent an extra precision within a category.

15311200 - Diced, sliced and other frozen potatoes

The above CPV code relates to a products. But CPV codes could also indicate services or labor. Think of construction, education or architecture.

Since there are over 9000 CPV-codes it’s possible for a tender to have multiple CPV codes. 

Click here for a list of cpv codes

How can CPV be helpful for you?

If you know the CPV of your area of interest it becomes very easy to search for tenders more focused and precise. On the tender-it.com website you can set up search profiles with your preferred CPV-codes and all tenders with corresponding CPV’s will be send to you by email. 

We hope this blog helped you to understand CPV’s a bit better and how they can help you in your search for the best tender opportunities. Next week we will discuss the other code used in public procurement: NUTS. Stay tuned!

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at info@tender-it.com