The Standard International Trade Classification (SITC)
Established by the United Nations, the SITC was intended to be used by governments for their external trade statistics. Up until the HS was adopted, the SITC was the only trade classification which enabled comparisons to be made on a worldwide basis.
The fourth revised version of the SITC (Rev 4), is the one currently used, and provides headings which correspond directly to those of the HS declarations.
The purpose of SITC is to compile international trade statistics on all merchandise entering international trade, and to promote international comparability of trade statistics. The commodity groupings of SITC reflect:
- the materials used in production
- the processing stage
- market practices and uses of the products
- the importance of commodities in terms of world trade, and Technological changes
The SITC (Rev 4) is made up of 9 Sections. Sections 0 to 8 then break down to 89 Divisions (Section 9 covers Commodities and transactions not classified elsewhere in the SITC). The Divisions (2-digit codes) are further broken down into 3-digit groups that divide into 4-digit subgroups. The subgroups then divide into Items (5-digits.)