Definition: Standard Industrial Trade Classification

Category: Classifications

The Standard Industrial Trade Classification (SITC) is the international trade classification published by the United Nations. The third revised version of the SITC came into force at the same time as the HS was introduced. Up until the time the HS was adopted, the SITC was the only trade classification which enabled comparisons to be made on a worldwide basis. Now that the HS is used throughout virtually the entire world, the SITC has therefore declined in importance. 

The third revised version of the SITC uses the constituent elements of the HS as building blocks. SITC Rev.3 has a five-level hierarchical structure with purely numerical coding. The link between SITC Rev.3 and the HS is very similar to that between the CPC and the HS: the five-digit headings in SITC Rev.3 are equivalent to all or part of a single CPC subclass. However, a link also runs in the other direction in that every CPC subclass is part only of a three-digit heading in SITC Rev.3. CPC subclasses can therefore always be aggregated to three-digit headings in SITC Rev.3.