Within the European Union the updated Common Procurement Vocabulary CPV 2008 is in use since 17 September 2008.
The EC (EU) Procurement Directive 2004/18/EC, also known as the Classic Directive, defines the Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV) in the following way in Article 1.14:
14. The ‘Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV)’ shall designate the reference nomenclature applicable to public contracts as adopted by Regulation (EC) No 2195/2002, while ensuring equivalence with the other existing nomenclatures.
In the event of varying interpretations of the scope of this Directive, owing to possible differences between the CPV and NACE nomenclatures listed in Annex I, or between the CPV and CPC (provisional version) nomenclatures listed in Annex II, the NACE or the CPC nomenclature respectively shall take precedence.
CPV Regulation No 2195/2002
The Regulation referred to in Article 1.14 is officially Regulation (EC) No 2195/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 November 2002 on the Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV).
The CPV Regulation has been amended, so this is where you find the consolidated version from 15 September 2008:
There is an amendment in the pipeline, a Commission proposal concerning regulatory procedures (implementing powers): Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL adapting a number of instruments subject to the procedure referred to in Article 251 of the Treaty to Council Decision 1999/468/EC, as amended by Decision 2006/512/EC, with regard to the regulatory procedure with scrutiny – Adaptation to the regulatory procedure with scrutiny Part Four (11.2.2008, COM(2008) 71 final):
The Recitals of the CPV Regulation present the reasons for a single reference system which uses the same description of goods in the official languages of the European Community and the legislative choices:
(1) The use of different classifications is detrimental to the openness and transparency of public procurement in Europe. Its impact on the quality of notices and the time needed to publish them is a de facto restriction on the access of economic operators to public contracts.
(2) In its Recommendation 96/527/EC (5) the Commission invited contracting entities and authorities to use the Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV), developed on the basis of certain existing classifications with a view to gearing them more closely to the particular features of the public procurement sector, when describing the subjects of their contracts.
(3) There is a need to standardise, by means of a single classification system for public procurement, the references used by the contracting authorities and entities to describe the subject of contracts.
(4) The Member States need to have a single reference system which uses the same description of goods in the official languages of the Community and the same corresponding alphanumeric code, thus making it possible to overcome the language barriers at Community level.
(5) A revised version of the CPV therefore needs to be adopted under this Regulation as a single classification system for public procurement, the implementation of which is covered by the Directives on the coordination of procedures for the award of public contracts.
(6) Illustrative tables must also be drawn up showing the correspondence between the CPV and the Statistical Classification of Products by Activity in the EEC (CPA), the Provisional Central Product Classification (CPC Prov.) of the United Nations, the General Industrial Classification of Economic Activities within the European Communities (NACE Rev. 1) and the Combined Nomenclature (CN).
(7) The structure and codes of the CPV may need to be adapted or amended, in the light of developments in the markets and users' needs. A suitable revision procedure must therefore be established.
(8) The measures necessary for the implementation of this Regulation should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission.
(9) Since the objective of the proposed action, namely the drawing up of a classification system for public contracts, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of the dimensions and effects of the action, be better achieved at Community level, the Community may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective.
(10) A Regulation has been chosen rather than a Directive as the establishment of a classification system for public contracts does not require implementation by the Member States.
(11) With a view to familiarising users with a unified classification system that will eventually be compulsory, the implementation of this CPV Regulation should be preceded by a period of adjustment.
Article 1 of the CPV Regulation enshrines the adoption of the Common Procurement Vocabulary and the relationship between the CPV and the other product nomenclatures:
1. A single classification system applicable to public procurement, known as the ‘Common Procurement Vocabulary’ or ‘CPV’ is hereby established.
2. The text of the CPV is set out in Annex I.
3. The illustrative tables showing the correspondence between the CPV and the Statistical Classification of Products by Activity in the EEC (CPA), the Provisional Central Product Classification (CPC Prov.) of the United Nations, the General Industrial Classification of Economic Activities within the European Communities (NACE Rev. 1) and the Combined Nomenclature (CN) are set out in Annexes II, III, IV and V respectively.
On the occasion of the 28 November 2007 amendment to the CPV Regulation, the Commission painted a broad picture of the CPV and the reasons behind the change in the press release Public procurement: new classification system to provide EU businesses with easier access to public contracts (28 November, 2007IP/07/1787):
More detail on the latest major update is offered by the amending Regulation: Commission Regulation (EC) No 213/2008 of 28 November 2007 amending Regulation (EC) No 2195/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV) and Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on public procurement procedures, as regards the revision of the CPV (OJ 15.3.2008 L 74/1):
SIMAP guidance: CPV 2008
SIMAP – the gateway to European public procurement – explains the CPV classification system and offers links to in depth guidance: CPV 2008 Guide, CPV 2008 Explanatory Notes, CPV 2008 Supplementary Codex Explanatory Notes and Correspondence tables:
The CPV 2008 is in use since 17 September 2008.
I wish my procurement readers a Merry Christmas or equivalent.