The industry-recognized categorization scheme in use in the European Union is the Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community (also known as NACE). Regulation (EC) No. 1893/2006 created revision 2, which is the current version. It is the fourth iteration of the UN categorization system, ISIC, that is used throughout Europe. The International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (NACE) and this classification system are in agreement. The Standard Industrial Classification and North American Industry Classification Systems (SIC and NAICS, respectively) and NACE each provide comparable functions. The Central Statistical Bureau is in charge of NACE, while the Statistical Office of the European Union is the document’s author (Eurostat).

NACE levels in ascending order

Four levels of hierarchy are used by NACE:

  • Level 1 consists of 21 sections denoted by the alphabetic letters A through U
  • Level 2 consists of 88 divisions denoted by two-digit numerical codes (01 to 99)
  • Level 3 consists of 272 groups denoted by three-digit numerical codes (01.1 to 99.0)
  • Level 4 consists of 615 classes denoted by four-digit numerical codes (01.11 to 99.00)

In all European nations, the categorization system’s first four levels—the first four digits of the code—are the same. Levels may be added as a result of national implementations. Depending on the nation, the fifth digit may differ, and database providers may add additional digits.

Codes at Level 1

The 21 Level 1 codes and the associated economic zones are as follows:

A – Agriculture, forestry, and fishing

B – Mining and quarrying

C – Manufacturing

D – Distribution of gas, steam, air conditioning, and electricity

E – Activities related to water supply, sewers, waste management, and cleanup

F – Construction

G – Trades in retail and wholesale, repair of motorcycles and automobiles

H – Transportation and storage

I – Hospitality and catering services

J – Information and communication

K – Financial and insurance activities

L – Real Estate Activities

M – Technical, scientific, and professional activities 

N – Providing administrative and support services

I – Mandatory social security, defense, and public administration

P – Education

Q – Activities for health and social work

R – Arts, entertainment, and recreation

S – Other service activities

T – Activities of households as employers

U – Activities of undifferentiated goods and services produced by households for their use

V – Operations of extra-territorial agencies and organizations

The goal of the introduction

It was implemented to provide a uniform system of classifying economic activities throughout the EU, which aids in identifying the kind of economic activity carried out by institutional units working in the manufacturing or other economic sectors. Additionally, it was used to enhance the comparability of national, EU, and worldwide data.

Application areas

Its applications include maintaining national information systems and compiling statistics based on economic activity.

Planned modification or update

The new NACE Rev. 2.1 classification’s draft structure is complete. The NACE explanatory notes and all other materials for the implementation of the new NACE will be developed concurrently with the legislative act process in 2022 when it will be linked with the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC). The following time frames are anticipated:

  • May–October 2022: Explanatory notes for NACE Rev. 2.1 is being written and reviewed
  • Explanatory notes for NACE Rev. 2.1 will be complete as of January 2023
  • NACE Rev. 2.1 correspondence tables will be completed in Q2 2023
  • Adoption of the NACE Act: fourth quarter of 2023
  • New NACE implementation is scheduled to begin in 2025


On the metadata server of Eurostat, you will find the Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community.