3. Common Rules and Data Standards

The system provides NATO allies with a common identification language for use within national activities and between member countries. Non-NATO countries that are "sponsored" members of the NCS also benefit from the system. The foundation of the NCS is the principle that the responsibility for the codification of an item rests with the country that manufactures it and controls its design. This is true even if the item is not used within the military forces of that country. Common rules and data standards (including a Data Element Dictionary) allow for improved communication between members. Using coded data allows for automatic translation into national languages through decode tables.