Statistics Explained

Glossary:Statistical classification of products by activity (CPA)

The Statistical classification of products by activity, abbreviated as CPA, is the classification of products (goods as well as services) at the level of the European Union (EU).

Product classifications are designed to categorize products that have common characteristics. They provide the basis for collecting and calculating statistics on the production, distributive trade, consumption, international trade and transport of such products.

CPA product categories are related to activities as defined by the Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE). Each CPA product - whether a transportable or non-transportable good or a service - is assigned to one single NACE activity. This linkage to NACE activities gives the CPA a structure parallel to that of NACE at all levels.

The CPA is part of an integrated system of statistical classifications, developed mainly under the auspices of the United Nations Statistical Division. This system makes it possible to compare statistics across countries and in different statistical domains.

CPA has a hierarchical structure with six levels, each identified with a specific code:

  • first level: 21 sections (alphabetical code);
  • second level: 88 divisions (two-digit numerical code);
  • third level: 261 groups (three-digit numerical code);
  • fourth level: 575 classes (four-digit numerical code);
  • fifth level: 1 342 categories (five-digit numerical code);
  • sixth level: 3 142 subcategories (six-digit numerical code).

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