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North American Product Classification System

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Description of NAPCS Phase I - III Product Lists

The 102 product lists (98 trilateral, 3 bilateral, and 1 US only) that were finalized by the three countries in the initial phases of NAPCS development can be viewed individually in PDF format. Although these lists were designated as "final," it is important to note that they were still considered provisional. The products shown in each product list are presented in the context of a provisional aggregation structure agreed to by the three countries. These structures contain logical groupings of products developed through extensive research by the trilateral working groups and through expansive collaboration with industry experts from the respective countries. However, it must be emphasized that the provisional NAPCS aggregation structures and the associated working group codes shown in these product lists bear no necessary relationship to the final NAPCS structure and codes that were developed by the three countries in subsequent phases of this initiative.

In contrast to the final NAPCS structure, the primary purpose of these provisional and industry-oriented aggregation structures was to facilitate refining product detail and obtaining agreement on the trilateral levels of product detail shown in each list, as provisional targets of comparability in the collection and publication of product data for the industries covered by that list. Products common to multiple lists were identified, and the titles and definitions for those products were standardized.

Each list consists of a table containing nine columns that display the following information:

  • Column 1 - Industry Subject Area: The codes in this column identify the scope of the NAICS and US national industries whose products are covered by the given product list. The entry may range from a NAICS sector code, say 52, indicating that the products of all NAICS and US industries in sector 52 are covered by the list, to a 5-digit code, say 51114, indicating that only the products of the NAICS industry 51114 and US industry 511140 are covered by the list. (A description of NAICS sectors, subsectors, industry groups, industries, and US industries is found under NAICS.)
  • Column 2 - Working Group Code: The codes in this column are interim/unofficial product codes assigned by the three-country working group solely to organize the products contained in the product list.
  • Column 3 - Trilateral Detail: An X in this column for a product identifies the level of product detail that the three countries provisionally agreed to identify in common and anticipated publishing comparable data for.
  • Columns 4-6 - National Product Detail: An X in one or more of these columns for a product indicates that it was a component of a trilateral product but was at a level of detail that was of interest only to the country or countries whose country column contains the X (column 4 = Canada, column 5 = Mexico, and column 6 = the US). In general only one or two of these country columns contain an X for a non-trilateral product, but there are occasional situations where one or more of the detailed products below a trilateral product have an X in all three country columns.
  • Column 7 - US Title: Provides the US title for each product and product aggregate in the list.
  • Column 8 - US Definition: Provides the US definition for each product and product aggregate in the list.
  • Column 9 - NAICS Industries Producing the Products: This column shows the NAICS codes of the industries provisionally identified by each country to be producers of the product in that country.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) | (301) 763-2790 | esmd.napcs@census.gov |  Last Revised: March 23, 2016