Available Classifications
Alternate structures
Alphabetical Indexes
Correspondence Tables
Free downloads
International Family of Classifications
  Best practices

National classifications

  Statistical Commission
  Expert Group
  Technical Subgroup
  Workshops and Training


Contact us

   Back to regional overview

National Classifications

North American Product Classification System / Système de classification des produits de l’Amérique du Nord

Country / Area: Canada

Classification category: Product classifications

General information
1 (a)Name of the current national classification (full name in official national languages and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) Canada 2012 / Système de classification des produits de l’Amérique du Nord (SCPAN) Canada 2012
1 (b)In which language(s) is the classification available?English, French
1 (c)Can the classification (or information about it) be accessed on the Internet? If yes, please provide the URL.NAPCS Canada 2012 will be available on the Internet by the end of 2012.
Classification structure
2 (a)Please describe the structure of the classification: How many levels does the classification have? (Please provide labels, such as “Division”, “Class”) How many categories exist at each level?The structure has 4 levels. The levels, along with the number of categories in each, are as follows:

3-digit – group – 157 categories
5-digit – class – 508 categories
6-digit – subclass – 1411 categories
7-digit – detail – 2646 categories

2 (b)Please provide examples of the coding system used at each level.111 Live animals
11111 Cattle and calves
111111 Cattle and calves
1111111 Beef cattle
Relationship to international standards
3 (a)Is this classification based on (or linked to) an international standard classification? If yes, please describe.A concordance to the CPC will be developed and maintained.

The development of NAPCS has been a joint project of the national statistical agencies of Canada, Mexico and the United States. NAPCS will eventually become an economy-wide classification covering both goods and services, and as such, the three countries a developing a trilateral version of the classification, which have a demand-based aggregation structure. The three countries have agreed on a set of trilateral groups for services and goods, which will serve as the basis of the trilateral version of NAPCS.

3 (b)Is the classification structure identical to the international standard or, if not, how does it differ? (e.g. have additional levels been added to the international standard or have changes been made within the level of the international structure, such as aggregations or additional breakdowns)Not applicable.
3 (c)Please describe deviations from the international standard (in terms of structure, methodology or application rules). Please use examples, if a general statement is not possible.Not applicable.
3 (d)At what level of the international standard can data be reported for international comparison? (Please provide examples of programmes / indicators if reporting takes place at different levels of the classification.)Not applicable.
3 (e)If no links to international classifications exist or no international standard is used, please state if there are plans to use international norms in the future.Not applicable.
Classification uses
4 (a)Please state for which statistical purposes (surveys etc.) this classification is used and if there are users outside of the Statistical Office. Please indicate at which level the classification is used for data collection and for data publishing.NAPCS Canada will be used throughout Statistics Canada in a variety of programs, of which: the business surveys including the agricultural sector; the input-output tables, balance of payments and income and expenditure accounts of the system of national accounts; the raw material and industrial product price indexes; and the international trade statistics.

NAPCS will be used in statistical programs for classifying goods and services commodities; price survey sampling; and data collection, processing, tabulation, analysis and dissemination in business surveys.

NAPCS will be used for data collection and publishing at various levels of the classification, depending on the subject matter.

4 (b)Please give the names of institutions that use the classification for non-statistical purposes (as opposed to statistical purposes in question 4(a)). Also indicate the kind of use (e.g. tax offices, social security, customs, enterprise register, employment services, work permits etc.)Not applicable.
4 (c)Please indicate if alternative classifications are used by other institutions of the economy. Are these classifications available and useful for the Statistical Office?The Canadian Export Classification is a structured, hierarchical classification system based on the Harmonized Description and Coding System (HS). Since January 1, 1988, Canadian exporters or their agents are required to assign an Export HS Number on all export transactions. The Customs Tariff is the classification system used for imports and is also based on the HS. It is used by Canada Border Services Agency to code merchandise that is being imported in the country.
Implementation / revision status
5 (a)Please state the date of the official adoption of the classification. If not yet adopted, please indicate the current state (e.g. in development, sent for approval, in printing, ready to be distributed etc.)NAPCS Canada 2012 will be approved as a departmental standard (i.e., use is mandatory) in October 2012.
5 (b)Please state the date of use of the classification for individual statistical programmes.NAPCS 2012 will be implemented for reference year 2013 in the case of business surveys. For the other programs, the implementation date will vary.
5 (c)Are there existing plans for revision or update of the current classification?NAPCS 2012 will be revised to create NAPCS 2017.
5 (d)Name of former (previous) national classification (full name in both national tongue and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)Previously to NAPCS 2012, there were numerous commodity classifications in use at Statistics Canada. Amongst them, the standard ones are the North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) - Canada (Provisional Version 0.1)/Système de classification des produits de l'Amérique du Nord (SCPAN) - Canada (version provisoire 0.1) for services, the Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) - List of Goods/Liste des biens de l'Enquête annuelle des manufactures (EAM , the Standard Classification of Transported Goods (SCTG)/ Classification type des biens transportés (CTBT), the Canadian Export Classification (CEC)/Nomenclature canadienne des exportations (NCE) and the Customs Tariff (CT)/Tarif des douanes (TD).

Data will continue to be disseminated using CT and CEC for international merchandise trade statistics and the SCTG for some transport statistics.

5 (e)Please describe the link of the former classification to international classificationsThe SCTG, CT and CEC are all HS-based.
5 (f)Please describe the structure of the former classification and indicate the number of items at each level of the classification. (similar to question 2(a))There are a number of former classifications.
5 (g)Do conversion tables exist between the former and current classification?A concordance is being developed between NAPCS 2012 and the former standard classifications.
5 (h)When was the former classification implemented?The ASM list of goods was implemented for reference year 2005 and the implementation of NAPCS 0.1 (services only) varied by program.
5 (i)Are statistical data still collected or published according to the former classification? Please indicate if this statistical data is collected or published by the Statistical Office or elsewhere.Statistics Canada still collects and publishes on the basis of the former various classifications.
Supporting documents
6 (a)Have national explanatory notes and/or guidelines been elaborated?Class descriptions, illustrative examples and exclusions will have been developed by mid 2015.
6 (b)Do correspondence tables exist between the national and the international classifications (if applicable)?A concordance to CPC will be established.
6 (c)Are correspondence tables between alternative and current classification available (if applicable)?Not applicable.
6 (d)Does a national coding index exist?A product reference file is currently under development.
6 (e)Is the classification available in electronic form? If yes, in which formats is it available?(e.g. PDF, TXT, Excel, XML)Yes, it will be available in HTML.
6 (f)Are the correspondence tables or indexes available in electronic form?Yes, they will be available in HTML.
Contact information
7 (a)Name of institution / office responsible for the development and maintenance of the classificationStandards Division, Statistics Canada
7 (b)Contact address, phone number, e-mail or website for public information and inquirystandards-normes@statcan.gc.ca
Other comments
9 (a)Please provide any other information on this classification that you consider relevant 

Source: UN questionnaire, 9/12/2012