What is a NACE Code?

NACE (Nomenclature of Economic Activities) is the European statistical classification of economic activities. NACE groups organizations according to their business activities. Statistics produced on the basis of NACE are comparable at European level and, in general, at world level in line with the United Nations' International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC). The change in the identification and grouping of similar economic activities associated with the move to the new NACE implies a statistical break in the time series.

Note: NACE (Nomenclature des Activités Économiques dans la Communauté Européenne)

How to Read a NACE Code?

The NACE code is subdivided in a hierarchical, four-level structure. The categories at the highest level are called sections. The first two digits of the code identify the division, the third digit identifies the group, and the fourth digit identifies the class.



Human Health & Social Work Activities



Human Health Activities



Medical & Dental Practice Activities



Dental Practice Activities


In 1970, the “Nomenclature générale des activités économiques dans les Communautés Européennes” (NACE - General Industrial Classification of Economic Activities within the European Communities) was developed. It was a classification covering the whole range of economic activity.

Eurostat with representatives of Member States developed a revised version of NACE, called NACE Rev. 1. Starting from the structure of ISIC Rev. 3, details were added to reflect European activities that were inadequately represented in ISIC. NACE Rev. 1 was established by Council Regulation No 3037/90 of 9 October 1990.

In 2002, a minor update of NACE Rev. 1, called NACE Rev. 1.1, was established. NACE Rev. 1.1 introduced a few additional items and changes to some titles

The Regulation establishing NACE Rev. 2 was adopted in December 2006, and its text is presented in Annex II. It includes provisions for the implementation of NACE Rev. 2 and coordinated transition from NACE Rev. 1.1 to NACE Rev. 2 in various statistical domains. NACE Rev. 2 is to be used, in general, for statistics referring to economic activities performed from 1 January 2008 onwards (Article 8 of the NACE Regulation provides details on implementation).

Changes from NACE Rev. 1.1 to NACE Rev. 2

NACE Rev. 1.1 NACE Rev. 2
Section Description Section Description
A Agriculture, Hunting and Forestry A Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
B Fishing
C Mining and Quarrying B Mining and Quarrying
D Manufacturing C Manufacturing
E Electricity, Gas and Water Supply D Electricity, Gas, Steam and Air Conditioning
E Water Supply, Sewerage, Waste Management and Remediation Activities
F Construction F Construction
G Wholesale and Retail Trade: Repair of Motor Vehicles, Motorcycles and Personal and Household Goods G Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles
H Hotels and Restaurants I Accomodation and Food Service Activities
I Transport, Storage and Communications H Transportation and Storage
J Information and Communication
J Financial Intermediation K Financial and Insurance Activities
K Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities L Real Estate Activities
M Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
N Administrative and Support Service Activities
L Public Administration and Defence; Compulsory Social Security O Public Administration and Defence; Compulsory Social Security
M Education P Education
N Health and Social Work Q Human Health and Social Work Activities
O Other Community, Social and Personal Services Activities R Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
S Other Service Activities
P Activities of Private Households as Employers and Undifferentiated Production Activities of Private Households T Activities of Households as Employers; Undifferentiated Goods- and Services- Producing Activities of Households for Own Use
Q Extraterritorial Organisations and Bodies U Activities of Extraterritorial Organisations and Bodies

Note: Table presents only a rough one-to-one correspondence between the sections: Further additional details are necessary to establish the complete corrsepondence.

What are NACE Codes used for?

  • Integrated system allows the comparability of statistics produced in different statistical domains (ISIC, CPC, HS, CPA, CN, and PRODCOM)

  • It is required to include a NACE code description of your organization’s activities on the Environmental Management Systems application form for registration purposes

Why are NACE Codes important?

  • The use of NACE is mandatory within the European statistical system

Relationship with ISIC

  • ISIC and NACE have exactly the same items at the highest levels, where NACE is more detailed at lower levels

  • In order to ensure international comparability, the definitions and the guidelines established for use of NACE within the EU are consistent with those published in the introduction to ISIC

Countries that use NACE Codes

AT Austria IE Ireland
BE Belgium IT Italy
BG Bulgaria LT Lithuania
CY Cyprus LU Luxembourg
CZ Czech Republic LV Latvia
DE Germany MT Malta
DK Denmark NL Netherlands
EE Estonia PL Poland
EL Greece PT Portugal
ES Spain RO Romania
FI Finland SE Sweden
FR France SI Slovenia
HR Croatia SK Slovak Republic
HU Hungary UK United Kingdom