Logistics Operations
Products & Services
Non-NATO Nations



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It is our pleasure to introduce the NATO Codification System to you. The NATO Codification System is the official programme under which equipment components and parts of the military supply systems are uniformly named, described, classified, and assigned a NATO Stock Number. These stock numbers and item descriptions are published in supply catalogues and repair parts lists, and are used as the key identifiers within logistic information systems. The NCS is a common supply language which operates effectively in a multilingual environment. It facilitates interoperability, curbs duplication (both within nations and between nations), permits interchangeability, and maximises logistics support in the most economical manner possible. However, the primary goal of the NATO Codification System is to ensure that military personnel deployed in an operational scenario can be assured of getting the right items to successfully complete their mission.

The National Codification Bureau (NCB) of the nation that produces the item codifies the Items of Supply produced by that nation, regardless of which nation is the end user. The NCBs, as the central operating points for the NATO Codification System, play an essential role in the logistics operations. The information, services and products provided by the NCBs are used in every facet of logistics operations.

This brochure has been developed to explain the role that the NATO Codification System plays in the overall logistics functions within NATO, and in the wider context of Partnership for Peace (PfP), Mediterranean Dialogue (MD), Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) and Sponsored Non-NATO nations around the world
(see details at www.nato.int/structur/AC/135/main/links/contacts.htm).
The Group hopes that it will increase your awareness and understanding of how codification provides the key to the logistics support necessary to sustain NATO readiness.

A Few Figures:

NATO countries manage the data related to
17.3 million Items of Supply (NSN)
38.1 million Part Numbers
2.8 million Manufacturers and Vendors


bullet Its benefits are recognised by its Logistics users. This system has established a single supply language, provides accurate information on the identity and characteristics of an item of supply and avoids duplicates.

bullet It is a flexible system with growth and upgrade capacity to facilitate improved support to logisticians.

NATO Group of National Directors on Codification (AC/135)


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