Products can be defined using many Classifications Standards.
International Economic Classifications
There has always been a problem in attempting to compare the classifications of goods, services and work done across the world and this impedes business planners and researchers. Work is now being done to standardise and harmonise the various systems and one hopes that a common classification system will emerge before too long.
International Standard Industrial Classification - United Nations (ISIC)
International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities is a standard classification of economic activities arranged so that entities can be classified according to the activity they carry out. The categories of ISIC at the most detailed level (classes) are delineated according to what is, in most countries, the customary combination of activities described in statistical units. The groups and divisions, the successively broader levels of classification, combine the statistical units according to the character, technology, organization and financing of production.
Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community - Nomenclature statistique des activités économiques dans la Communauté européenne (NACE)
The Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community designates various versions of the nomenclature of economic activities developed since 1970 in the European Union.
NACE is part of an integrated system of statistical classifications, developed mainly under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) Statistical Division.
- ISIC is the United Nations’ International Standard Industrial Classification of all Economic Activities.
- CPC is the United Nations’ Central Product Classification.
- HS is the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, managed by the World Customs Organisation.
- CPA is the European Classification of Products by Activity.
- Prodcom is the classification of goods used for statistics on industrial production in the EU.
- CN stands for the Combined Nomenclature, a European classification of goods used for foreign trade statistics.
NACE is more detailed than ISIC. ISIC and NACE have exactly the same items at the highest levels, however NACE is more detailed at lower levels.
Classification of Products by Activity (CPA)
The statistical Classification of Products by Activity is the classification of products (goods as well as services) at the level of the European Union.
CPA product categories are related to activities as defined by the NACE Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community. This linkage to NACE activities gives the CPA a structure parallel to that of NACE at all levels.
Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV)
The Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV) endeavours to cover all requirements for supplies, works and services. By standardising the references used by contracting authorities to describe the subject matter of their contracts, the CPV improves the transparency of public procurement covered by Community directives.
United Kingdom Standard Industrial Classification
The U. K. Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities (SIC) is used to classify business establishments and other standard units by the type of economic activity in which they are engaged. The latest (2003) system is identical to the EUROSTAT System NACE at the four digit class level and the at the two digit Divisional level.
Harmonized System Nomenclature (HS)
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding Systems is a multipurpose international product nomenclature developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO). The HS contributes to the harmonization of Customs and trade procedures, and the non-documentary trade data interchange in connection with such procedures, thus reducing the costs related to international trade.
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)
The NAFTA and U.S. NAICS system (and the previous 1997 U.S. SIC codes) has evolved in North America over recent years. There is a bridge between the 2002 NAICS and ISIC 3 and the 2007 NAICS and ISIC 4 classifications.