State of play of the review of the NACE classification

In May 2018, the European Statistical System Committee launched the revision of the classification of economic activities (NACE Rev.2), which had been adopted by the Council and the European Parliament twelve years earlier, in December 2006. Since NACE Rev.2 was adopted, the European society had undergone an enormous evolution, which was no longer reflected in the current classification. It was therefore essential to update the NACE in order to be able to produce statistics reflecting the current economic reality in Europe.


Eurostat received more than 1 750 proposals for changes in NACE Rev.2, mainly submitted by National Statistical Institutes of the European Statistical System (ESS), European Commission services, European Central Banks and European industry associations. A dedicated NACE review Task Force, reporting to the Standards Working Group (SWG), chaired by Eurostat and with 18 ESS NSIs represented therein, was set up to coordinate the review and treat all the proposals. The consolidated Task Force positions were subsequently treated by the SWG.


Moreover, the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC), which is the reference classification of the NACE is also undergoing a review, coordinated by a Task Team (TT-ISIC) of the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Statistical Classifications under the auspices of the United Nations Statistical Commission. The NACE is fully aligned with the ISIC at the two-digit level (with an ambition to also improve the alignment at the three-digit level). The revision processes of ISIC and NACE were closely coordinated in the sense that changes that were proposed within the ISIC revision process were brought to the attention of the NACE review Task Force and, at the same time, feedback from the NACE review Task Force was injected into the ISIC revision process. Following the approval by the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) at its 53rd session in March 2022, the new ISIC structure is now finalised at the levels of section, division and group. The class level will be defined later during 2022.


The review of the NACE is now drawing to a close, and the current near-final version of the new NACE is presented in the enclosed Structure of the new NACE version document for your information. This document represents the outcome of the discussions at the meetings of the NACE review Task Force, the SWG and the TT-ISIC.


The main changes (relative to NACE Rev.2) introduced by this new NACE version are highlighted in the enclosed Summary of the changes introduced in the new NACE version document.


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Source: European Commission

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