UK SIC 2007, the major revision of the UK Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities (UK SIC), announced in 2002, has been completed and is effective from 1 January 2008. It is the outcome of Operation 2007 – a series of consultations started in 2002 and carried out in conjunction with the major revision of the European Union's industrial classification system, NACE.

The consultations involved many stakeholders:

  • the national statistical institutes of all EU member states
  • the European Commission
  • in the UK, a range of government departments, the Bank of England, the devolved administrations, business and trade associations and other interested bodies
  • European business and trade associations

The UK is required by European legislation to revise the UK SIC in parallel with NACE so that both systems remain identical down to and including the four-digit class level. A further breakdown is provided for certain classes by the addition of a five-digit sub-class level. Both the UK SIC and NACE are completely consistent with the UN's International Standard Industrial Classification of all Economic Activities (ISIC).

These revisions are motivated by the need to adapt the classifications to changes in the world economy. The revised classifications reflect the growing importance of service activities in the economy over the last 15 years, due mainly to the developments in information and communication technologies (ICT).

The following table shows the main changes, at section level, between UK SIC 2003 and UK SIC 2007.

Broad correspondence between sections of UK SIC 2003 and UK SIC 2007

UK SIC 2003 UK SIC 2007
Section Description Section Description
A Agriculture, Hunting and Forestry A Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
B Fishing
C Mining and quarrying B Mining and quarrying
D Manufacturing C Manufacturing
E Electricity, gas and water supply D Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
E Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities
F Construction F Construction
G Wholesale and retail trade: repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods G Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
H Hotels and restaurants I Accommodation and food service activities
I Transport, storage and communications H Transportation and storage
J Information and communication
J Financial intermediation K Financial and insurance activities
K Real estate, renting and business activities L Real estate activities
M Professional, scientific and technical activities
N Administrative and support service activities
L Public Administration and defence; compulsory social security O Public administration and defence; compulsory social security
M Education P Education
N Health and social work Q Human health and social work activities
O Other community, social and personal services activities R Arts, entertainment and recreation
S Other service activities
P Activities of private households as employers and undifferentiated production activities of private households T Activities of households as employers; undifferentiated goods and services-producing activities of households for own use
Q Extraterritorial organisations and bodies U Activities of extraterritorial organisations and bodies

Note: UK SIC 2003 has 17 sections and 62 divisions. UK SIC 2007 has 21 sections and 88 divisions.

For further information contact:

Office for National Statistics
Classifications and Harmonisation Unit
Government Buildings
Cardiff Road
South Wales
NP10 8XG

Classifications Helpdesk
Tel: +44 (0)1329 444970

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