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UN Central Product Classification 


The United National Central Product Classification (CPC) constitutes a complete product classification covering all goods and services. It serves as an international standard for assembling and tabulating all kinds of data requiring product detail, including statistics on industrial production, domestic and foreign commodity trade, international trade in services, balance of payments, consumption and price statistics and other data used within the national accounts. It provides a framework for international comparison and promotes harmonization of various types of statistics related to goods and services.


The first version of the CPC, the Provisional Central Product Classification, was published in 1991. This version was superseded by the Central Product Classification (CPC) Version 1.0, published in 1998. In that publication particular attention was paid to the elaboration of the services part of the classification. CPC Version 1.1, published in 2002, represented a further update to the CPC, incorporating modifications due to recent changes in economies worldwide and sustained technological advancement in the period since the development of CPC Version 1.0. The CPC Version 2, released in 2008, again reflected recent changes in the character of outputs, in particular related to fast developing services industries. In addition, extensive detail had been introduced in the CPC to better describe agricultural and related products and information products. A conceptual review of products covered in the CPC has also led to the introduction of a broader concept of goods and services. The current edition, CPC version 2.1, is the result of a scheduled review of the CPC structure and detail to ensure the classifications’ relevance for describing current products in the economy. The changes in this version are mostly results of further reviews of agricultural products (including fishery, forestry and agricultural inputs), outputs of selected service industries, energy products and necessary adjustments to reflect changes made in the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System.


The ongoing revision of this classification is evidence of the commitment to systematize the improvement of the classification over time, keeping it current and making it more responsive to existing economic and technological reality while maintaining conceptual consistency.


A number of CPC versions are accessible from the link provided below: