Definition: Classification by Broad Economic Categories


Classification by Broad Economic Categories (in Terms of the Standard International Trade Classification, Revision 3 - BEC) was designed to serve as a means for converting external trade data compiled on the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) into end-use categories that are meaningful within the framework of the System of National Accounts (SNA), namely categories approximating the three basic classes of goods in the SNA: capital, intermediate and consumer goods. 

The BEC includes nineteen basic categories. The basic categories are those that are not further sub-divided in the classification. Each category of the BEC is defined in terms of divisions, groups, subgroups and basic headings of the SITC, Rev.3. The categories of the BEC are a rearrangement and aggregation of the basic headings of the SITC, Rev.3, reflecting the end uses of the commodities covered by each basic heading. Each SITC, Rev.3, basic heading is allocated entirely to one BEC category. The allocation is done on the basis of the main end use of the commodities in each SITC, Rev.3, basic heading, although it is recognized that many commodities that are traded internationally may be put to a variety of uses
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