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Statistical classification of economic activities



Regulation (EEC) No 3037/90 — ensuring the consistent classification of economic activities across the EU

Regulation (EC) No 1893/2006 — establishing the statistical classification of economic activities


  • It sets out a classification of economic activities to be used across the EU to ensure that statistics gathered are comparable.
  • The regulation has been amended several times. The main amendment was Regulation (EC) No 1893/2006 establishing NACE Revision 2, which currently applies.


  • The regulation defines a 4-digit classification of economic activities, commonly known as NACE*. The regulation in its original form refers to NACE Revision 1. However, NACE Revision 2 has applied since 2008.
  • NACE, which was first introduced in 1970, is consistent with the UN economic activities classification ISIC (International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities). This makes it possible to compare statistics across countries and in different fields.
  • NACE’s alpha-numeric structure is hierarchical and its 4 levels, detailed in the regulation’s annex, are as follows:
    • headings identified by an alphabetical code (sections), e.g. Section A: Agriculture, forestry and fishing;
    • headings identified by a 2-digit numerical code (divisions), e.g. Division 01: Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities and Division 02: Forestry and logging;
    • headings identified by a 3-digit numerical code (groups), e.g. Group 01.2: Growing of perennial crops;
    • headings identified by a 4-digit numerical code (classes), e.g. Class 01.21: Growing of grapes.
  • In 2009, the European Statistical System Committee replaced the Statistical Programme Committee. It is responsible for the implementation and management of NACE and for ensuring its uniform application across the EU. It comprises EU countries’ representatives and is chaired by the Commission.


Regulation (EEC) No 3037/90 has applied since 13 November 1990.

With the adoption of Regulation (EC) No 1893/2006 amending Regulation (EEC) No 3037/90, the NACE Revision 2 has applied since 1 January 2008 in all domains except short-term statistics and the labour-cost index to which it has applied since 1 January 2009.


For more information, see:


NACE: abbreviation of the name of the EU’s classification of economic activities which is derived from the French Nomenclature statistique des activités économiques.


Regulation (EC) No 1893/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 establishing the statistical classification of economic activities NACE Revision 2 and amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 3037/90 as well as certain EC Regulations on specific statistical domains (OJ L 393, 30.12.2006, pp. 1–39)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 1893/2006 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Council Regulation (EEC) No 3037/90 of 9 October 1990 on the statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community (OJ L 293, 24.10.1990, pp. 1-26)

See consolidated version.

last update 13.11.2017