Statistical Classification of Products by Activity (CPA)

What is CPA?

The Statistical Classification of Products by Activity (CPA) is the classification of products (goods as well as services) at the level of the European Union (EU). Product classifications are designed to categorize products that have common characteristics. They provide the basis for collecting and calculating statistics on the production, distributive trade, consumption, international trade and transport of such products.

CPA product categories are related to activities as defined by the Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE). Each CPA product - whether a transportable or non-transportable good or a service - is assigned to one single NACE activity. This linkage to NACE activities gives the CPA a structure parallel to that of NACE at all levels.


The CPA is part of an integrated system of statistical classifications, developed mainly under the auspices of the United Nations Statistical Division. This system makes it possible to compare statistics across countries and in different statistical domains.
The CPA is legally binding in the European Community.

CPA Structure

The structuring of a product classification in accordance with the production activity involved avoids proliferation of unrelated coding schemes, and facilitates the identification by producers of relevant markets.
CPA has a hierarchical structure with six levels, each identified with a specific code:

  • First level: 21 sections (alphabetical code)
  • Second level: 88 divisions (two-digit numerical code)
  • Third level: 261 groups (three-digit numerical code)
  • Fourth level: 575 classes (four-digit numerical code)
  • Fifth level: 1,342 categories (five-digit numerical code)
  • Sixth level: 3,142 subcategories (six-digit numerical code)

How to Read a CPA Code?

Sections B Mining and Quarrying
Divisions 08

Other Mining and Quarrying Products

Groups 08.1

Stone, Sand, and Clay

Classes 08.11

Ornamental and Building Stone, Limestone, Gypsum, Chalk, and Slate

Categories 08.11.1

Ornamental or Building Stone

Sub-Categories 08.11.11

Marble and other Calcereous Ornamental or Building Stone

What are CPA Codes used for?

  • The internal market requires statistical standards applicable to the collection, transmission and publication of national and community statistics
  • Enables enterprises, financial institutions, governments and all other operators in the internal market can be provided with reliable and comparable statistical data

Why are CPA Codes important?

  • There is a need to create a reference framework within which statistical data on production, consumption, external trade and transport can be compared
  • An up-to-date CPA is central to the Commission’s ongoing efforts to overhaul Community statistics; it is expected to convey, through more comparable and relevant data, better economic governance at Community and national level