CELEX number of EUR-Lex documents

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What is a CELEX number?

Most documents in EUR-Lex – regardless of the language they are written in – are assigned a CELEX number, which is a unique identifier.

Learning how to read these numbers will help you search faster and understand how documents relate to each other.

There are 4 parts to a CELEX number:

Illustration of the composition of the CELEX number: It is composed of 4 parts - one digit for the sector, four digits for the year, one or two letters for the type of document and usually 4 digits for the number of document

Exceptions: some documents, such as treaties, national transposition measures or national case-law have a slightly different CELEX structure. For more information, see how CELEX numbers are made up (available in English only, last updated April 2017).

CELEX number infographics A3 printout (PDF)

Sector

Documents in EUR-Lex fall into one of 12 sectors.

Sectors

    • 1 Treaties
    • 2 International agreements
    • 3 Legislation
    • 4 Complementary legislation
    • 5 Preparatory acts and working documents
    • 6 Case-law
    • 7 National transposition measures
    • 8 References to national case-law concerning EU law
    • 9 Parliamentary questions
    • 0 Consolidated acts
    • C Other documents published in the Official Journal C series
    • E EFTA documents

Year

The year of the CELEX describes the year of the publication, official number, internal number, etc.

In most cases, it is linked to the document number.

Document type

Each document type has a descriptor.

Descriptors can have 1 or 2 letters.

Full list of descriptors

Some common descriptors

  • Sector 3 - Legislation

    • L - Directives
    • R - Regulations
    • D - Decisions
  • Sector 6 - Case-law

    • CJ - Court of Justice judgments
    • CC - Opinions of the Advocate-General
    • CO - Court of Justice orders
  • Sector 5 - Preparatory acts and working documents

    • PC - Legislative proposals by the Commission (COM documents), etc.
    • DC - Other COM documents (green and white papers, communications, reports, etc.)
    • SC SEC and SWD documents (staff working documents, impact assessments, etc.)
    • JC - JOIN documents (adopted jointly by the Commission and the High Representative)

Document number

Most CELEX numbers end in 4 digits. These reflect different types of information, e.g.:

Official number - 32017R2394. This is a sequential number showing when the document was published in the Official Journal. It is assigned by the Publications Office.

Internal number - 52018PC0033. This is assigned by the author of the document, the Commission in this case.

Date of publication - 32012A0424(01). This shows the month and day of publication in the Official Journal. It is followed by a sequential number in brackets, as other similar CELEX numbers might have been published on the same day.

Examples

Treaties (sector 1)

There are 3 digits after the descriptor.

They indicate the number of an article of the Treaty.

For example:

11957E086 is the number for Article 86 of the EEC treaty (1957).

Consolidated versions of treaties

These are indicated by the year of consolidation , e.g.

Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union:

12016E – table of contents, consolidated version 2016

12016E/TXT – consolidated version 2016

12016E003 – Article 3, consolidated version 2016.

International agreements (sector 2)

These agreements are identified by their publication date.

So the international agreement 22006A1230(03) was published in the Official Journal on 30 December 2006.

If several agreements are published on the same day, only the number in brackets changes: e.g. 22006A1230 (01)

Case-law (sector 6)

The document number is based on the case number issued by the Court of Justice.

The year is the year in which the case entered the Court’s register.

For example:

6 2004 TJ0 201

This is the judgment in the 201st case entered in the register in 2004.

The case number is T-201/04.

Corrigenda

Corrigenda have the same number as the document they are correcting, with R(xx) added at the end (xx being the number of the corrigendum).

For example:

32009L0164R( 01 ) is the first corrigendum to Directive 32009L0164 .

A corrigendum may relate to one or more language versions – or even all of them.

Consolidated acts (sector 0)

Consolidated acts have the same number as the basic act – but their sector is ‘0’ instead of ‘3’ .

It is followed by the date of application of the last amendment to the act (see our FAQ on consolidation ). For example: 02009L0156- 20161018 .