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Common procurement vocabulary

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Common procurement vocabulary


Regulation (EC) No 2195/2002 on the EU’s Common Procurement Vocabulary



  • It seeks to standardise, by means of a single classification system for public procurement, the terms used by contracting authorities and entities to describe the subject of contracts.


  • The regulation establishes a single classification system: the Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV). This classification endeavours to cover the characteristics for supplies, works and services contracts. By standardising the references used by contracting authorities to describe the subject matter of their contracts, the use of CPV improves the transparency of public procurement covered by the EU directives.
  • Use of CPV makes it easier for potential contractors, such as companies, to find business opportunities, and reduces the risk of error in translating notices, since the CPV is available in all the EU’s official languages.
  • The CPV attaches to each numerical code a description of the subject of the contract, for which there is a version in each of the official languages of the EU. The CPV consists of:
    • a main vocabulary, based on a tree structure, containing a series of numerical codes comprising eight digits and a ninth digit which serves to verify the previous digits;
    • a supplementary vocabulary expanding the description of the subject of a contract by adding further details regarding the nature or destination of the object of the contract.
  • The list of CPV codes and the tables of correspondence between the CPV and other nomenclatures can be consulted on the Internet site: SIMAP ‘Information about European public procurement’.
  • The current CPV was designed to be more user-friendly by focusing less on materials and more on products. In addition, the CPV’s hierarchy was rationalised.
  • The TED website ensures that notices of public tenders subject to EU directives are published in the Official Journal ‘S’ series. Since 2003, TED has used the CPV codes which became compulsory with the adoption of the Directives 2004/17/EC) and 2004/18/EC (subsequently repealed respectively by Directives 2014/25/EU and 2014/24/EU).


Regulation (EC) No 2195/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 November 2002 on the Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV) (OJ L 340, 16.12.2002, pp. 1-562)

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 2195/2002 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.


Commission Regulation (EC) No 2151/2003 of 16 December 2003 amending Regulation (EC) No 2195/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV) (OJ L 329, 17.12.2003, pp. 1-270). See consolidated version.

Regulation (EC) No 451/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 establishing a new statistical classification of products by activity (CPA) and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3696/93 (OJ L 145, 4.6.2008, pp. 65-226). See consolidated version.

last update 15.02.2016