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CAEN Rev. 3: Everything you need to know

โ€” Stefan-Lucian Deleanu

The Romanian National Institute of Statistics (INS) is set to implement CAEN Rev. 3, an updated version of the national classification of economic activities, starting from January 1, 2025 (INS, 2024).

This revision aims to align Romania's economic classification system with the European Union's standard, NACE (Nomenclature statistique des activitรฉs รฉconomiques dans la Communautรฉ europรฉenne). The implementation of CAEN Rev. 3 marks a significant step towards harmonizing Romania's economic framework with other European nations, facilitating better data comparability and economic analysis.

The adoption of a standardized economic classification system is crucial for effective policy-making, economic research, and business decision-making. It allows for the consistent collection, reporting, and interpretation of economic data across different sectors and geographical regions (United Nations, 2008). Moreover, it enables international comparability and facilitates the exchange of economic information between countries (Eurostat, 2021).

This article provides an in-depth overview of the CAEN Rev. 3 update, its relationship with the European Union's NACE classification system, and the potential implications for various stakeholders. By examining the key aspects of the revised classification system, we aim to offer insights into its significance for Romania's economic landscape.

CAEN and NACE: A Comparative Overview

Defining CAEN

CAEN, an acronym for "Clasificarea Activitฤƒศ›ilor din Economia Naศ›ionalฤƒ" (Classification of National Economic Activities), is Romania's primary tool for categorizing economic activities (INS, 2021).

It provides a standardized framework for organizing and analyzing economic data, enabling policymakers, researchers, and businesses to understand the structure and performance of various sectors.

CAEN is used for a wide range of purposes, including the compilation of national accounts, the production of business statistics, and the development of economic policies.

The current version of CAEN, Rev. 2, was introduced in 2008 and has been periodically updated to reflect changes in the economic landscape (INS, 2021). It consists of a hierarchical structure with four levels: sections (alphabetical codes), divisions (two-digit codes), groups (three-digit codes), and classes (four-digit codes). This structure allows for the aggregation and disaggregation of economic data at different levels of detail, depending on the specific needs of users.

Defining NACE

NACE, the statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community, serves as the European Union's standard for classifying economic activities (Eurostat, 2021).

It aims to provide a consistent and comparable framework for the collection, reporting, and analysis of economic data across EU member states. NACE is used for various purposes, including the compilation of national accounts, the production of business statistics, and the development of economic policies.

The current version of NACE, Rev. 2.1, was introduced in 2023 (Eurostat, 2023). Like CAEN, it consists of a hierarchical structure with four levels: sections (alphabetical codes), divisions (two-digit codes), groups (three-digit codes), and classes (four-digit codes), but adds more codes, for more finegrained statistical representation.

Relationship between CAEN and NACE

CAEN is based on the European Union's NACE classification system, which is derived from the United Nations' International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) (United Nations, 2008).

CAEN Rev. 3 is designed to mirror the structure and codes of NACE Rev. 2.1, ensuring compatibility between Romania's economic classification system and the European standard.

The harmonization of economic classification systems is a key aspect of the European Union's efforts to create a single market and foster economic integration among its member states (Eurostat, 2021).

By adopting a common classification system, EU countries can more easily compare their economic performance, identify areas of strength and weakness, and develop targeted policies to promote growth and competitiveness.

Romania's transition to CAEN Rev. 3 is part of its broader efforts to align its economic and statistical framework with EU standards. Since joining the EU in 2007, Romania has made significant progress in harmonizing its legislation, policies, and practices with those of the EU (European Commission, 2021). The adoption of CAEN Rev. 3 demonstrates Romania's ongoing commitment to further integration and cooperation with its European partners.

Implications and Conclusion

The implementation of CAEN Rev. 3 in Romania has several implications for various stakeholders, including policymakers, researchers, businesses, and international partners.

For policymakers, the adoption of CAEN Rev. 3 will provide a more accurate and detailed picture of the Romanian economy. The revised classification system includes new categories and subcategories that better reflect the current economic landscape, enabling policymakers to make more informed decisions and develop targeted policies to support economic growth and competitiveness.

Moreover, the harmonization of Romania's economic classification system with the European standard will facilitate the exchange of best practices and foster closer cooperation with other EU member states.

Researchers and analysts will also benefit from the implementation of CAEN Rev. 3. The revised classification system will allow for more granular and consistent analysis of economic data, enabling researchers to identify trends, patterns, and potential areas for further investigation. The improved comparability of data across EU countries will also facilitate cross-country studies and contribute to a better understanding of the European economy as a whole.

For businesses, the transition to CAEN Rev. 3 may require some adjustments, such as updating their registration information and ensuring compliance with the new classification system. However, the long-term benefits of a harmonized and up-to-date classification system are significant. Companies will have access to more reliable and comparable economic data, which can inform their strategic decision-making and help them identify new opportunities for growth and investment. Moreover, the alignment with the European standard will make it easier for Romanian businesses to expand their operations and compete in the EU market.

The adoption of CAEN Rev. 3 will also have implications for Romania's international partners. The harmonization of economic classification systems will facilitate trade and investment flows between Romania and other EU countries, as well as with non-EU partners that use compatible classification systems. This will contribute to Romania's economic integration and competitiveness in the global economy.

In conclusion, the implementation of CAEN Rev. 3 represents a significant milestone in Romania's efforts to align its economic framework with European standards. The revised classification system will provide a more accurate and detailed picture of the Romanian economy, enabling policymakers, researchers, and businesses to make better-informed decisions and develop targeted strategies for growth and competitiveness.

While the transition to CAEN Rev. 3 may require some adjustments in the short term, the long-term benefits of a harmonized and up-to-date classification system are substantial. As Romania continues to integrate with the European Union and participate in the global economy, the adoption of CAEN Rev. 3 will play a crucial role in supporting its economic development and competitiveness.