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Statistical classification of products by activity



Regulation (EC) No 451/2008 — new statistical classification of products by activity


  • It introduces a new statistical classification of products (both goods and services) by activity (CPA) in the EU, replacing and repealing a previous classification from 1993.
  • The CPA seeks to contribute to better economic governance at both EU and national levels by providing more comparable and relevant data.


  • Product classifications categorise products that have common characteristics. They are the basis for collecting and calculating statistics on the production, distribution, consumption, international trade and transport of these products.
  • CPA product categories are linked to activities as defined by the EU’s statistical classification of economic activities (NACE*). Each CPA product is assigned to a given NACE activity, meaning that the CPA’s structure is consistent with that of NACE’s at all levels.
  • The CPA is in correspondence with the United Nation's products and services classification, the Central Product Classification (CPC). This makes it possible to compare statistics across countries and in different fields.
  • The CPA has a six-level hierarchical structure. Each level can be identified by means of a specific code.
    • First level: 21 sections (alphabetical code), e.g. A: Products of agriculture, forestry and fishing.
    • Second level: 88 divisions (two-digit numerical code), e.g. 01: Products of agriculture, hunting and related services.
    • Third level: 262 groups (three-digit numerical code), e.g. 01.1: Non-perennial crops.
    • Fourth level: 576 classes (four-digit numerical code), e.g. 01.11: Cereals (except rice), leguminous crops and oil seeds.
    • Fifth level: 1 357 categories (five-digit numerical code), e.g. 01.11.1: Wheat.
    • Sixth level: 3 218 subcategories (six-digit numerical code), e.g. 01.11.11: Durum wheat and 01.11.12: Wheat, except durum wheat.

The CPA is set out in the annex.

The European Commission may adopt measures for the implementation of this regulation, including ones designed to adapt it to economic and technological developments or to align it with other economic or social classifications.

In 2009, the European Statistical System Committee replaced the Statistical Programme Committee. It is responsible for supporting the Commission in implementing this regulation. It comprises EU countries’ representatives and is chaired by the Commission.

The annex to Regulation (EC) No 451/2008 was replaced by the text in the annex to Commission Regulation (EU) No 1209/2014 amending Regulation (EC) No 451/2008, commonly referred to as ‘CPA Version 2.1’.


It has applied since 1 January 2008.


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 451/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 establishing a new statistical classification of products by activity (CPA) and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3696/93 (OJ L 145, 4.6.2008, pp. 65-226)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 451/2008 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 09.11.2017