NATO Codification – The Global Language of Logistics


NATO Stock Number

Codification (Cataloguing) is a uniform and standardised process for classifying, naming, and describing Items of Supply. It allocates unique 13-digit NATO Stock Numbers to those Items of Supply.

Purpose and Benefits of Codification

  • To establish a common supply language throughout all logistics operations
  • To enable interoperability of materiel
  • To optimise resource management by preventing duplication in inventories
  • To facilitate item data management and enhance data quality

Allied Committee 135 (AC/135)


The NATO Codification System (NCS) is managed by the Allied Committee 135 (AC/135) – the Group of National Directors of Codification.

AC/135 is made up of National Directors and Technical Experts from all National Codification Bureaux – both NATO and non-NATO – with technical and administrative support provided by the NATO Support Agency (NSPA).

AC/135 Mission

Mission of AC/135 is to provide and promote the NCS as the primary means of materiel identification by Armed Forces, Government and Industry in support of interoperable and effective global logistics operations.


AC/135 and the NCS are defined by the variety and strength of their Global Partnerships. Today 64 nations—one-third of all nations in the world—are official partners of the NCS through AC/135. Thirty-six of those countries are not NATO members.

Partnerships are the means by which AC/135 has built a Worldwide Codification Community of common interests and objectives, enabling Codification, and many other aspects of the Global Supply Chain, to achieve national and international objectives.

MoU between AC/135 and NATO Support Agency (NSPA)

AC/135 has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NSPA for the provision of specific technical and administrative support. The main areas of support are:

  • Secretarial, administrative, and technical support to AC/135
  • Management of AC/135 publications and its Web site
  • Management and Functional Support of NATO Codification Applications/Tools:
    • NATO Master Catalogue of references for Logistics (NMCRL) (see )
    • Assignment of NATO CAGE Codes to non-NATO and international organizations
    • Management of the multilingual dictionary of NATO Supply Groups and Classes and Item Names

NATO Support Agency (NSPA) - Codification Branch

The work of the NSPA Codification Branch falls into two main categories: External Support and Internal Support. The External Support covers support for AC/135, and the Internal Support covers codification support for items used in NSPA logistics systems.

More Information

ISO 9011