Participate in the revision of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada

Release date: March 11, 2019 Updated on: December 20, 2019 (Previous notice)

Note: The dates contained in "Key dates for NAICS 2022 revision process" have been updated as a result of changes negotiated between the statistical agencies of Canada, the United States and Mexico.

The pre-public consultation discussions between Statistics Canada and key stakeholders on NAICS 2022 have concluded. The Office of Privacy Management and Information Coordination (OPMIC), the division responsible for NAICS, thanks all those who participated in these discussions. Please note that the time to submit your formal proposals for changes in NAICS is now officially opened until the end of June 2020.


Statistics Canada invites data producers and data users, representatives of business associations, government bodies at the federal, provincial and local levels, academics and researchers and all other interested parties to submit proposals for the revision to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada. The revised version of NAICS will be called NAICS Canada 2022 Version 1.0.


The proposals have two objectives:

  • collect input from users as an integral part of the NAICS revision process, and
  • ensure users' needs continue to be met.


The North American Industry Classification System was released for the first time in 1997, with NAICS 1997. This classification was developed through the cooperation of Statistics Canada, Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Geografia (INEGI) and the Economic Classification Policy Committee (ECPC) of the United States. Each country maintains its own version of NAICS (NAICS Canada, NAICS U.S., and NAICS Mexico). The three country versions are generally the same with some differences found primarily in wholesale trade, retail trade and government, and at the 6-digit national industry level.

NAICS replaced the existing industry classification system used in Canada, which was the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC). Since then, NAICS Canada, U.S. and Mexico have been revised on a 5-year cycle in 2002, 2007, 2012 and 2017. The three NAICS partner agencies meet regularly to discuss possible changes to the common NAICS structure.

NAICS Canada was also revised in 2017 with NAICS Canada 2017 Version 2.0 and in 2018 with NAICS Canada 2017 Version 3.0. Canada has started evolving towards adopting a permanent "evergreen" practice with regards to NAICS, which means the updating of NAICS Canada on an as-needed basis, with version updates between the standard 5-year revision milestones. These "evergreen" updates strive to be constrained to specific situations or cases, e.g., in the cases of NAICS Canada Version 2.0 where changes were made to Internet publishing and NAICS Canada Version 3.0 where the classification was revised to account for new industries created after Canada has adopted a new law legalizing cannabis for non-medical use with impacts on the whole Canadian economy and society.

Nature and content of proposals

Respondents are invited to provide their comments, feedback and suggestions on how to improve the NAICS content. They must outline their rationale for proposed changes.

No restrictions have been placed on content. Respondents may propose non-structural and structural changes. Structural changes are those that affect the numerical hierarchy of the NAICS classification, such as the creation of new classification items, the combination or decomposition of classification items, as well as the elimination of classification items. A classification item (sometimes referred to as a "class") represents a category at a certain level within a statistical classification. It defines the content and the borders of the category. For NAICS, classifications items are: Sectors (2-digit), Subsectors (3-digit), Industry group (4-digit) and Industry (5-digit), and Canadian industry (6-digit).

Updated: Key dates for NAICS 2022 revision process

Here are revised key dates for the NAICS 2022 revision process:

  • Pre-public consultation discussions between Statistics Canada and key stakeholders: March 2019 to October 2019.
  • Official public consultation period will be opened: from November 2019 to the end of June 2020.
  • Completion of trilateral negotiations: September 2020
  • Public notice containing proposals in consideration for changes in NAICS: October 2020 (previously September 2020)
  • Public notice containing the final approved proposal for changes in NAICS: March 2021 (previously February 2021)
  • Public release of NAICS Canada 2022 Version 1.0: January 2022

Individuals and organizations wishing to submit proposals for changes in NAICS should start preparing their material and arguments for the official public consultation which will start in November 2019 (see key dates above), based on the guidelines provided below.


Proposals must contain the name, mailing address, email address and phone number of the respondent.

Proposals must be submitted by email to

Consultation guide and guidelines for submitting proposals for change in NAICS

Individuals or organizations are encouraged to follow the guidelines below when developing their proposals.

Proposals should:

  • clearly identify the proposed addition or change to NAICS; this can include the creation of entirely new classes, or modifications to existing classes;
  • outline the rationale and include supporting information for the proposed change;
  • if possible, describe the empirical significance (i.e. revenue, expenses, value-added, employment) of proposed changes, and especially structural changes; new NAICS industries should have revenues of at least $500 million per year
  • be consistent with classification principles (e.g., mutual exclusivity, exhaustiveness and homogeneity within categories);
  • be relevant, that is
    • describe the present analytical interest;
    • enhance the usefulness of data;
    • base the proposal on appropriate statistical research or subject matter expertise.

Please consider the questions below when preparing your input for the consultation on the revision of NAICS:

  • Are there socioeconomic activities for which you cannot find a satisfactory NAICS code?
  • Are there classification items that you find difficult to use because their descriptions are vague or unclear?
  • Are there pairs of classification items you find difficult to distinguish from each other? Are there boundaries that could be clarified?
  • Are there socioeconomic activities that you find difficult to place in NAICS? Are any activities missing?
  • Are there socioeconomic activities that you think should have their own NAICS category? Please indicate at which level and why, with the support documentation about the activities (see guidelines above for a proposal).
  • Are there activities that you are able to locate in NAICS, but you would like to have them located in a different industry?
  • Is the language or terminology used in NAICS in need of updating to be consistent with current usage?

Note that submissions do not need to cover every topic; you can submit your comments on your particular area(s) of concern only.

NAICS Classification Structure

NAICS has a 6-digit, 5-level classification structure, consisting of 2-digit sectors, 3-digit sub-sectors, 4-digit industry groups, 5-digit industries and 6-digit national industries. Changes may be proposed for any level, but changes to the 2-digit to 5-digit levels will be subject to trilateral negotiation and approval. Changes to the 6-digit national industry level are at the discretion of each trilateral partner (i.e. Statistics Canada makes the final decision about changes to 6-digit industries in NAICS Canada).

NAICS Canada 2017 Version 3.0 is the latest version of the classification for the participants of this consultation to base their input on.

Costs associated with proposals

Statistics Canada will not reimburse respondents for expenses incurred in developing their proposal.

Treatment of proposals

Statistics Canada will review all proposals received. Statistics Canada reserves the right to use independent consultants or government employees, if deemed necessary, to assess proposals.

If deemed appropriate, a representative of Statistics Canada will contact respondents to ask additional questions or seek clarification on a particular aspect of their proposal.

Please note that a proposal will not necessarily result in changes to NAICS.

Official languages

Proposals may be written in either of Canada's official languages—English or French. Include your contact information in the event you need to be contacted for additional information or clarification.


Statistics Canada is committed to respecting the privacy of consultation participants. All personal information created, held or collected by the Agency is protected by the Privacy Act. For more information on Statistics Canada's privacy policies, please consult the Privacy notice.

Thank You

We thank all participants for their continued interest and participation in the various NAICS engagement activities.


If you have any enquiries about this process, please send them to