What is CPV and why is it so important?

What is CPV?

Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV) was designed by the European Union as a classification system for public procurement.

Mandatory in the European Union from 1 February 2006, CPV was established to standardise the terms used by contracting authorities to describe the subject of procurement contracts.

How might CPV affect my business?

The idea behind CPV is that it has a number of key benefits for suppliers such as yourselves.

Essentially, CPV codes can help you source business opportunities more efficiently and transparently. By registering to receive or searching for specific CPV codes, suppliers can find projects that best meet their capabilities.

Plus, as CPV transcends all languages in the European Union, it has helped foster improved procurement opportunities across borders.

How does CPV work?

CPV consists of a tree structure, comprising codes of up to nine digits. Each of the codes describes the type of supplies, works or services that a contract encompasses.

How is CPV code made up?

  • The first two digits identify the divisions – In this example this would be 45.
  • The first three digits identify the groups – In this example this would be 453
  • The first four digits identify the classes – In this example this would be 4533.
  • The first five digits identify the categories – In this example this would be 45331.
  • The last three digits gives a greater degree of precision within each category – In this example this would be 000.
  • A ninth digit verifies the previous digits – In this example this would be 6.

What are some CPV examples?

Each CPV code is accompanied by a short description to give a brief insight into the types of work, supplies or services that a contract encompasses.

While there are an extensive range of CPV codes, here are some examples for the construction industry:

  • 45000000-7 – Construction work
  • 45100000-8 – Site preparation work
  • 45200000-9 – Works for complete or part construction and civil engineering work
  • 45300000-0 – Building installation work
  • 45400000-1 – Building completion work
  • 45500000-2 – Hire of construction and civil engineering machinery and equipment with operator

Do we need to use CPV if the UK is no longer in the European Union?

CPV became mandatory in the European Union from 1 February 2006. But with the UK having left the European Union on 31 January 2020, EU law no longer applies here in the UK.

However, this does not change the fact that CPV is still an established system. Those involved with public procurement will have used CPV for many years, and will continue to do so because it provides a recognised framework for procurement contracts.

How are CPV codes used in Marketplace?

Because CPV is an established system, we would still encourage suppliers to search and register for the CPV codes that are most relevant to their operations. One report ordered by the European Union into the functioning of CPV found 70% of the surveyed contracting authorities thought the codes allowed more suppliers to become aware of notices. As such, there is still a strong business case for making the most of the opportunities that CPV can help deliver.

We would recommend you still take advantage of CPV, even though it’s no longer mandatory in the UK, to allow you to quickly and easily find the best opportunities for your business.

CPV codes can be used in Marketplace in a number of useful ways. You can:

  • Narrow your searches, by using specific CPV codes that only find contracts which cover specific supplies, works or services
  • Set alerts for certain work categories that include CPV codes, so you never miss the right opportunity for your business
  • Use CPV codes to help source the right suppliers for your project. If you need to subcontract work and build and manage your own supply chain in Marketplace Publish, then CPV codes provide a quick and easy way of getting the right support fast.

So, what are you waiting for? Find your next business opportunity by using CPV codes in Marketplace today.

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