A nomenclature is an international standard that codifies and hierarchically organizes products in categories. All queries in WITS are based on the nomenclature (or classification) principle, which is crucial when working with WITS.

Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) and Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (also referred to as Harmonized System or HS) are the two native nomenclatures. Besides these, WITS supports few other nomenclatures that have been derived from these two basic types. Nomenclatures are revised with time, considering changes in international trade

The following table shows the nomenclature used for recording data in the major trade and trade-barrier databases of World Bank and partner organizations

UN COMTRADESITC from 1962-1988 and HS since 1988. However, some countries still use SITC to report trade information to UN COMTRADE

The nomenclature classification to use depends on the requirements of the query. For example, if the maximum level of trade detail is required, select the HS classification. This will bring up the maximum amount of detail; however, data will only reflect details from the last few years since countries began using this classification only since 1988. If details are required for maximum number of years, use SITC-Revision 1 nomenclature for querying. The data retrieved will be from 1962 onwards; however, this data will be less detailed as compared to data retrieved using the HS classification. The following table lists the available nomenclature classifications:

Classification Type Classification Name/Version
Standard Six HS classifications: H0, H1, H2, H3, H4 and H5
Four SITC classifications: S1, S2, S3, and S4
Industry International Standard Industry Classification (ISIC)-2 and ISIC-3
National Income Accounts BEC
Others WTO Multilateral Trade Negotiation (MTN)
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)
Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP)
HS Combined nomenclature (combines all current and historical revisions of HS)

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