Industry Canada NAICS

The classification of the Industry Canada NAICS provides comparable statistical definitions of the Canadian, American and Mexican economies, the three countries having chosen and built a common hierarchical structure and statistical framework.

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

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The 2017 NAPCS, the North American PRODUCT Classification System is a product and service classification system also developed by the national statistical agencies of the three NAFTA 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 by the 2017 NAICS because changes in the world economies continue to have an impact on the NAICS and the NAPCS classification systems. 


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".

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

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

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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.

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,
  • 7-digit details for more precision. 

Also according to Statistics Canada: "the NAPCS is a classification  that organises goods and services throughout the economy in a systematic fashion ".

NAFTA and Industry Canada NAICS

Both the Industry Canada NAICS 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.

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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 Canadian industry data of the NAICS codes and the product data of the NAPCS codes can be analysed, studied and compared to the top industry index and product data of United States and Mexico.

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 and, in 1994 the North American Free Trade Agreement, the NAFTA came into effect.

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. Comparability among the three countries in selected areas was increased and new industries and emerging activities were identified.

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

A revision of the 2012 NAICS codes was also undertaken. its purpose was to add or modify industries in order to reflect new, emerging, or changing activities and technologies.

Changes have also been brought to the Industry Canada NAICS 2017.

Changes to the boundaries of classes, to some examples, to some exclusions and to the titles of some of the industries. Changes that include the reduction of some of the top industry index details, 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 investments and to help Canada, United States and Mexico to be more competitive. 

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In 1984, the American Congress passed the Trade and Tariff Act followed by the beginning of the NAFTA negotiations by President Reagan. 

Canadian Prime Minister Mulroney agreed to begin the negotiations for a Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement with President Reagan.

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

In 1992, the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed by American President George W. Bush, Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

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President Bill Clinton signed the agreement into law in 1993.

For classification systems of national industries other than our Industry Canada NAICS 2017, you may wish to visit the National Classifications of the United Nations Statistics Division.

Or, for other agreements, you may wish to visit the 

  • Canadian Negotiations and Agreements by Country
  • Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
  • Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation.

Montreal BUSINESS Kit

Thank you for promoting Industry Canada NAICS

by Rachel Louise Barry