NAICS Codes Canada

The classification of the NAICS Codes Canada provides comparable statistical definitions of the Canadian, American and Mexican economies, along with a common hierarchical structure and statistical framework.

The 2017 NAICS, the North American INDUSTRY Classification System is an industry classification system developed by each of the three statistical agencies.

Its sectors and definitions are listed under the NAICS Codes Canada 2017.

The 2017 NAPCS, the North American PRODUCT Classification System is a product and service classification system also developed by the national statistical agencies of our three countries.

Its groups and definitions are listed under the NAPCS Codes Canada 2017.

The first version, the NAICS Canada 1997 was revised in 2002 followed by the 2007 NAICS, the  2012 NAICS codes and  the  2017 NAICS, because changes in the world economies continue to have an impact on the NAICS and NAPCS classification systems. 


Under the NAICS codes, goods producing industries are classified under the primary and secondary economic activities, and services producing industries are classified under the tertiary economic activities. 

According to Statistics Canada:

  • "the economic transactors for which NAICS is designed are businesses and other organizations engaged in the production of goods and services".

The NAICS list of codes is a hierarchical structure and classification of all economic activities,  divided into sectors and categories that further distinguish the economic activities in which industries are engaged.

Five 2-digit sectors in the goods producing industries and fifteen 2-digit sectors in the services producing industries, followed by sub-sectors, industry groups, industries and, for the time being,  one Canadian industry.

Also according to Statistics Canada:

  • "the NAPCS is a classification  that organizes goods and services throughout the economy in a systematic fashion ".

The NAPCS list of codes is also a  hierarchical structure and classification of all goods and services, divided into four levels and followed by 3-digit groups for analytical purposes,5-digit classes for current and constant dollar statistics, 6-digit sub-classes for price  index and 7-digit details for more precision. 

NAFTA and NAICS Codes Canada

Both the NAICS Codes Canada 2017 and the NAPCS Codes Canada 2017 are  based on NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, United States and Mexico. 

An agreement that set the rules and that systematically eliminated most tariff and non-tariff barriers to free trade and investment between the three NAFTA countries. 

Both NAPCS and NAICS codes are classification systems based on units of observation and measurement for which and from which data is collected.

Both the industry data of the NAICS codes and the product data of the NAPCS codes can be analyzed, studied and compared to the industry and product data of the other two countries.

Both NAICS codes and NAPCS listings enable and facilitate research on industries and economic activities, analysis of goods and services and comparisons between industries and products in each of the three countries.  

NAICS vs SIC Codes

In 1980, the first Standard System Classification, the SIC was established, in 1994 the North American Free Trade Agreement, the NAFTA came into effect and, in 1998 the statistical  agencies of Canada, United States and Mexico jointly released the first 1997 North American Industry Classification System, the NAICS.

Five years later, the NAICS 2002 was revised for the first time to increase comparability among the three countries in selected areas and to identify new industries and new emerging activities.

Changes to Canadian and world economies continue to impact on classification systems, and the NAICS 2007  was once again revised to reflect these changes, especially in the information sector.

Then, the revision of the 2012 NAICS codes  was undertaken to modify or add  industries, or to reflect new, emerging, or changing activities and technologies.

Changes have also been brought to the NAICS 2017. Changes to the definition and the boundaries of classes, to some illustrative examples, to exclusions and to the titles of some of the industries. Some changes involve the reduction of industry detail, while other industries are further detailed .

2017 NAICS Codes Canada 

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) helps Canadian, American and Mexican businesses and companies to manufacture products and services together and to sell products and services to each other.

 It's main purpose was and still is, to reduce trading costs, to increase business investment and to help Canada, U.S. and Mexico to become more competitive. 

In 1984, the American Congress passed the Trade and Tariff Act followed the beginning of the NAFTA negotiations by President Ronald Reagan. The Canadian Prime Minister Mulroney agreed to begin the negotiations for a Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement with President Reagan.

Reagan's successor, President H.W. Bush, began negotiations with Mexican President Carlos Salinas for a liberalized trade agreement between the two countries but, in 1991, Canada requested a trilateral agreement. 

In 1992, the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed by President George H.W. Bush, Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. President Bill Clinton signed the agreement into law in 1993.

For other classification systems of national industries or for other agreements, you may wish to visit the National Classifications of the United Nations Statistics Division as well as the Canadian Negotiations and Agreements by Country.

NAICS Codes Canada by Rachel Louise Barry - 2016