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Economic accounts for agriculture



Regulation (EC) No 138/2004 on the economic accounts for agriculture in the EU


  • It establishes economic accounts for agriculture.
  • It sets out the methodology for collecting European Union (EU) Member States’ national and regional data and the time limits for sending these to the European Commission.
  • Amending Regulation (EU) 2022/590 formalises the requirement for Member States to report to the Commission regional agricultural data which, to date, had been shared on the basis of an informal agreement. The new rules will contribute to better reporting under the new common agricultural policy (CAP) that will come into force in 2023.


Economic accounts for agriculture:

  • are satellite accounts* of the European system of national and regional accounts;
  • analyse agricultural production and the income it generates;
  • measure total agricultural output, including:
    • sold or traded goods and services,
    • changes in stock levels,
    • production for final consumption or further processing;
  • are collected by national statistical institutes and agriculture ministries and aggregated by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, according to the terms of Regulation (EC) No 2223/96.

Common methodology

The common methodology in the legislation, set out in the detailed annexes, covers the following.

  • Standards (such as uniform use of local kind-of-activity units as a basic measurement of economic accounts).
  • Definitions (notably between agricultural and closely aligned activities).
  • Classification and accounting rules (detailed breakdown of economic activity levels and fiscal considerations).
  • Clearly defined time limits for sending national data to the Commission (the first deadline was November 2003) and regional data, at the NUTS 2 level, by 30 September 2023. However, in the latter case, Member States will be able to apply for a derogation in duly justified circumstances.

The Commission may change the methodology, provided this does not undermine the system’s basic concepts or cause undue extra work for national authorities.

Quality assessment

  • Amending Regulation (EU) 2022/590 also includes quality reporting standards, bringing the rules set out in Regulation (EC) No 138/2004 into line with the quality criteria set out in Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 (see summary).


  • Regulation (EC) No 138/2004 has applied since 25 February 2004.
  • Amending Regulation (EU) 2022/590 has applied since 2 May 2022.


The management and evaluation of the common agricultural policy require comparable, up-to-date, systematic and reliable information. The data show the sector’s economic state of health and changes in farming incomes and are essential for policy planning.

For further information, see:


Satellite accounts. Satellite accounts are linked to the centralised (national or regional) accounts, focusing on a certain field or aspect of economic and social life in the context of the centralised accounts; for example, satellite accounts for the environment, tourism or unpaid household work.


Regulation (EC) No 138/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 December 2003 on the economic accounts for agriculture in the Community (OJ L 33, 5.2.2004, pp. 1–87).

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 138/2004 have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.


Regulation (EU) No 549/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on the European system of national and regional accounts in the European Union (OJ L 174, 26.6.2013, pp. 1–727).

See consolidated version.

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2009 on European statistics and repealing Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1101/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the transmission of data subject to statistical confidentiality to the Statistical Office of the European Communities, Council Regulation (EC) No 322/97 on Community Statistics, and Council Decision 89/382/EEC, Euratom establishing a Committee on the Statistical Programmes of the European Communities (OJ L 87, 31.3.2009, pp. 164–173).

See consolidated version.

Council Regulation (EC) No 2223/96 of 25 June 1996 on the European system of national and regional accounts in the Community (OJ L 310, 30.11.1996, pp. 1–469).

See consolidated version.

last update 03.05.2022