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EU Semantic Interoperability Catalogue

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Common Procurement Vocabulary

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1. Definition

Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV) was created in order to facilitate the processing of invitations to tender published in the Official Journal by means of a single classification system to describe the subject matter of public contracts. This classification endeavours to cover all requirements for supplies, works and services.


2. Objectives

  • facilitate the processing of invitations to tender
  • description of all possible components of all types of public contracts
  • improve the transparency of public procurement


3. Owner

CPV was developed and is maintained by the European Commission - DG XV – Internal Market and Financial Services.


4. Intended audience

CPV has to be used for public procurement covered by Community directives, and then be used and understood by possible respondents.


5. Long description

CPV is used for coding the invitations to tender for public procurement contracts which the Commission of the European Communities publishes as supplements to the Official Journal in all EU official languages. The efficient management of this public procurement system depends on making the invitations intelligible to potential suppliers. This coding system groups together the products of similar producers.


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.


The numerical code consists of 8 digits, subdivided as follows:

— the first two digits identify the divisions (XX000000-Y),

— the first three digits identify the groups (XXX00000-Y),

— the first four digits identify the classes (XXXX0000-Y),

— the first five digits identify the categories (XXXXX000-Y).


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:

— a first level comprising a letter corresponding to a section,

— a second level comprising a letter corresponding to a group,

— a third level comprising three digits corresponding to subdivisions.


The last digit serves to verify the previous digits.

(Source: Regulation (EC) No 2195/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 November 2002 on the Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV))


6. Known implementations

CPV is mainly used for procurement made by the European Institutions.


7. History / Key milestones

Since 20 December 2003, TED has used the CPV codes which will become compulsory with the adoption of the revised European directives.


8. Additional documents


9. Relationships




Asset Description Metadata Schema for Software


Open e-PRIOR




OIOUBL Guideline


Public Contracts Ontology


IDABC XML shemas for eProcurment




eTEN Procure


eProcurement Demonstrators



Domain Model

Business Interoperability Interfaces for Public procurement inEurope - BII Architecture

Information Exchange Package Description

Classification and catalogue systems used in electronic public and private procurement







Type: Interoperability Solution
Solution category:
Interoperability level:
Alternative name:
Solution type:
Date of creation:
4 Jun 2013 - 10:36
Date of last modification:
11 Jun 2014 - 17:05

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