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National Classifications

North American Product Classification System

Country / Area: United States of America

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)
1 (b)In which language(s) is the classification available?The U.S. version of NAPCS will be in English only. The Canadian NAPCS will be available in English and French. Mexico’s national version of NAPCS will be available in Spanish.
1 (c)Can the classification (or information about it) be accessed on the Internet? If yes, please provide the URL.http://www.census.gov/eos/www/napcs/
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 overall NAPCS structure is under development and does not exist yet. The product lists developed to date contain as many as seven levels.
2 (b)Please provide examples of the coding system used at each level.N/A – system under development.
Relationship to international standards
3 (a)Is this classification based on (or linked to) an international standard classification? If yes, please describe.NAPCS is in a multiphase development program. The early stages were directed at identifying and defining service products. As the product list for a NAICS industry or group of industries is developed, the products in each list are being linked to the most appropriate product in the Central Product Classification (CPC). Work to date has covered agriculture, mining, utilities, manufacturing, wholesale, retail, and services products.
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)Unlike existing systems, it is anticipated that the NAPCS will be designed around a single unifying principle for grouping and aggregating products based on demand-based aggregation principles. Moreover, NAPCS will not be an industry-of-origin classification system. Ultimately, all products identified in the industry product lists will be arranged in the overall NAPCS structure.
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.The NAPCS is generally more detailed than the CPC and its products are identified and defined with extensive outreach to industry experts (more than 300 in U.S. to date). The NAPCS development process identifies and defines the products of industries rather than industry-defined revenue categories as is sometimes the case with the CPC.
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.)N/A – system under development.
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.When possible, we are including CPC links for the products in NAPCS product lists.
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-based products were first introduced by the Census Bureau in the 2002 Economic Census for selected service industries. NAPCS-based products were collected for all service industries in the 2007 Economic Census. The 2012 Economic Census introduced NAPCS-based products for manufacturing, wholesale trade and retail trade. Implementation of NAPCS products and structure will continue on a flow basis as the system is completed. The Census Bureau will also use this classification system in current annual surveys. Users outside of the Census Bureau will be the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as well as numerous business and academic users.
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.)It is expected that companies and professional organizations will use the classification system in their analytical programs related to competitiveness, market share, trade, etc.
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?Some of the systems in use are the CPC, the International Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS), and the Treasury Management Association (TMA) codes. All of these systems are available and useful to our statistical agencies.
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 is currently in development.
5 (b)Please state the date of use of the classification for individual statistical programmes.The Census Bureau introduced NAPCS-based products for selected service industries in the 2002 Economic Census.
5 (c)Are there existing plans for revision or update of the current classification?After the classification system is developed and official, it will be maintained and revised on a regular cycle.
5 (d)Name of former (previous) national classification (full name in both national tongue and in English with acronyms in brackets, should be given)There was no previous national classification system for products in the United States.
5 (e)Please describe the link of the former classification to international classificationsN/A
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))N/A
5 (g)Do conversion tables exist between the former and current classification?N/A
5 (h)When was the former classification implemented?N/A
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.N/A
Supporting documents
6 (a)Have national explanatory notes and/or guidelines been elaborated?No, the system is still in development.
6 (b)Do correspondence tables exist between the national and the international classifications (if applicable)?N/A
6 (c)Are correspondence tables between alternative and current classification available (if applicable)?N/A
6 (d)Does a national coding index exist?No, the system is still in development.
6 (e)Is the classification available in electronic form? If yes, in which formats is it available?(e.g. PDF, TXT, Excel, XML)No, the system is still in development.
6 (f)Are the correspondence tables or indexes available in electronic form?No, the system is still in development.
Contact information
7 (a)Name of institution / office responsible for the development and maintenance of the classificationThe Economic Classification Policy Committee (ECPC)
Office of Management and Budget—Office of Statistical and Science Policy
7 (b)Contact address, phone number, e-mail or website for public information and inquiryDR. NAICS (on Census Bureau Website www.census.gov/naics or dial 1-888-756-2427).
Other comments
9 (a)Please provide any other information on this classification that you consider relevant 

Source: UN questionnaire, 9/12/2012