The NATO Codification System

The NATO Codification System (NCS) is the official programme under which equipment and parts of the military supply systems are uniformly named, described, classified, and assigned a NATO Stock Number.

Photo: Frederik Ringnes / Norwegian Armed Forces.
Photo: Frederik Ringnes / Norwegian Armed Forces.

​These stock numbers and item descriptions are published in supply catalogues and repair parts lists, and are used as the key identifiers within logistic information systems.

The NCS is a common supply language which operates effectively in a multilingual environment. It facilitates interoperability, curbs duplication - both within nations and among nations - permits interchangeability, promotes standardisation and maximises logistics support in the most economical manner possible.

The primary goal of the NATO Codification System is to ensure that military personnel deployed in an operational scenarios can be assured of getting the right items to successfully complete their mission.

The system is designed to achieve maximum effectiveness in national and international logistic support, to facilitate data management in the area of materiel identification and to identify items with identical characteristics. It thereby becomes possible to reduce supplies (equipment, assemblies, components and spare parts) and to keep the requiredquantity of stocks under control.

This system has established a single supply language and provides accurate information on the identity and characteristics of an item of supply and avoids duplicates.

The NCS is implemented in the Norwegian Armed Forces. It is used in all 28 NATO countries and in 44 Partnership for Peace (PfP) countries. It manages:

  • 17.000.000 Items of Supply
  • 34.000.000 Part Number
  • 2.000.000 manufactures and Vendors (NCAGE code and contacts details)


The Norwegian National Codification Bureau (NCB) codifies the Items of Supply designed by Norwegian entities regardless of which nation are the end user.  Norwegian NCB is the central point for NATO Codification System in Norway.

The decision to utilise the NATO Codification System in the Norwegian Armed Forces was made in 1959. This allows our forces to operate effectively in national and international operations.

All Norwegian Item of Supply shall be assigned an NATO Stock Number. All Norwegian contracts where new Item of Supply will be introduced shall contain terms for accomplishment of NATO Codification. The general Codification Contracts Clause for Codification (Form 5054) and the “Questionnaire for cataloging data in connection with procurement of materiel” (Form 5056)


All entities with the intent to do business with the Norwegian Armed Forces or with the Armed forces in a NATO and PfP country, needs to have a NATO Commercial and Governmental Entity Code (NCAGE Code). Any question related to the NCAGE Code, please contact the Norwegian NCB. To obtain an NCAGE Code, go to NSPAs' internet page.


The NMCRL is a Database containing all NSN assigned to an item of supply, all Part Numbers related to an NSN, and all entities assigned a NCAGE Code in the whole World.
All (with a few exceptions) can subscribe on the NMCRL. The main benefit for an entity to subscribe for the NMCRL is to have:​

  • Overview for all own materiel assigned an NSN
  • Overview for all NSN information related to an NSN
  • Possibilities to add product information (pictures etc) for own materiel assigned an NSN.

More information can be found here.​


Relevant external links