Central Statistics Office


 Skip navigation

The CSO Standard Classification of Industrial Activity is NACE

NACE is a Statistical Classification of Economic Activities developed in the European Community.  NACE is an acronym derived from the French title 'Nomenclature générale des Activités économiques dans les Communautés Européennes'.

A number of different versions of NACE have been used since the original version NACE 70 was introduced in 1970.  NACE 70 was replaced by NACE Rev. 1 in 1990 which in turn under went a minor update in 2002 to establish NACE Rev. 1.1.  A major revision of NACE known as "Operation 2007", took place between 2000 and 2007.  As a result of this revision NACE Rev. 2 was established by Regulation (EC) no 1893/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20th December 2006.

NACE Rev. 2 was implemented over a number of years commencing on January 1st 2008.  The European timetable for the implementation of NACE Rev. 2 can be viewed here: 

On January 1st 2009 NACE Rev.2‌ became an official CSO Standard Classification.  

NACE Rev. 2 incorporated significant changes from NACE Rev. 1.1  The changes occurred at every level of the classification and introduced new sectors for 'Water Supply, Sewage, Waste Management and Remediation', 'Information and Communication', 'Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities', 'Administrative and Supportive Service Activities' and 'Arts, Entertainment and Recreation'.

NACE is designed to allow comparisons of economic activities at national, European and global levels.  The following is a list of the classification with official links to NACE Rev. 2:

An economic activity takes place when resources such as capital goods, labour, manufacturing techniques or intermediary products are combined to produce specific goods or services.  Thus, an economic activity is characterised by an input of resources, a production process and an output of products (goods or services).  An activity as defined in NACE may consist of one simple process (for example weaving), but may also cover a whole range of sub-processes, each mentioned in different categories of the classification (for example, the manufacturing of a car consists of specific activities such as casting, forging, welding, assembling, painting, etc.).  If the production process is organised as an integrated series of elementary activities within the same statistical unit, the whole combination is regarded as one activity.  NACE coding is based on the 'principal activity' of a unit, where most of the gross value is added.  Units should be classified to the category that best describes their activity e.g. for NACE Rev. 2, retail of shoes - 47.72 - 'Retail sale of footwear and leather goods in specialised stores'.

A NACE Rev. 2 Coder facility is available on the CSO Database Direct.  By searching the NACE Coder using a keyword/business description it will bring back a list of possible NACE Codes using the NACE Rev. 2 Classification system.

CSO have created synonym lists for NACE Rev. 1.1 and NACE Rev. 2, if you would like to receive a copy of these, please contact Classifications and Standards Section by email at classifications@cso.ie.

Legal Disclaimer:

The CSO NACE synonym lists are not official documents and while all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of their contents, the Central Statistics Office will not accept liability for any loss or harm resulting from their use.

Further Information

Electronic copies of the NACE Rev. 1.1 and NACE Rev. 2 are available on the Eurostat Ramon classification web server.  Concordances between NACE Rev. 1.1 and NACE Rev. 2 are also available on Ramon.