UK National Codification Bureau

The UK National Codification Bureau logs every item used by the 3 services. Suppliers can find out here what they need to do to be included.

The NATO Codification System (NCS) is the worldwide standard for item identification of military and civilian government items of supply using NATO Stock Numbers (NSNs). It is a uniform and common system for the identification, classification and stock numbering of items of supply, used by all NATO countries. It provides item names, suppliers and part numbers, and characteristics data required in all phases of logistics, from procurement through to disposal. The system offers linkage between NSNs and other classification systems and is a common language of supply that promotes interoperability among nations and prevents duplication in supply chains.

The United Kingdom National Codification Bureau (UKNCB) are a team of MOD civilian NATO codification specialists, part of the Ministry Of Defence DE&S Support Services Portfolio. The team manages and maintains all aspects of NATO codification for the UK government and are the sole authority within the UK. The team also simplifies the codification process for MOD delivery teams and industry and offers policy assistance, training solutions and any other NATO codification support.

Further information, UKNCB services and contacts are available from the UKNCB Website.

Benefits of codification

The UKNCB documents technical data and descriptions for every item of supply and allocates NATO stock numbers based on form, fit and function. This information is stored on the Codification Support Information System (CSIS) and includes details of manufacturer, supplier and any other relevant information. The benefits/advantages of codification are detailed further in NATO codification: a simple guide to the services available to DE&S, MOD and industry.

The codification process is free to MOD Delivery Teams and can be carried out within a target date of 15 working days. If it’s needed faster for operational reasons, then it can be done in 24 hours. Please refer to the MOD Codification page for further information.

We also offer codification in aid of export sales. This is the provision of a NATO stock number(s) to UK companies that want to have their items codified but are not sponsored by MOD or a NATO partner. We offer this as a chargeable service to industry as an aid to marketing and sales of their products: i.e. some foreign governments require NATO stock numbers (NSNs) allocated to products before they will purchase them or add them to their inventories. Please refer to the Codification Packages and Pricing table for further information.

NATO codification

The NATO codification system is used by the Army, Navy and Air Force. All items of supply going through the military supply chain must be NATO codified. A 13-digit NATO stock number (NSN) is allocated to an item, which is used to identify it throughout the supply chain. NSNs are catalogued on the CSIS database.

Codification Policy is set by Allied Committee 135 (AC/135) and all participating countries follow the same guidelines.

For information on International Codification, please visit the NSPA AC/135 ( website.

Single item ownership

In accordance with DLF (accessed via Defence Gateway) previously the JSP 886 policy on single item ownership, UKNCB now record only one IMC, DMC or SMBI code in the CSU field to identify the item owner.

Where a second user group has an interest in that item they must contact the existing owner to either agree supply of the item through existing arrangements or to negotiate transfer of ownership, establishing business agreements. Failure to carry out this process will result in users future demands being cancelled.

For further information please refer to DLF (accessed via Defence Gateway on single item ownership which includes contact details for the single item ownership working group and the policy owner.

Auto NCAGE system

UKNCB is responsible for the maintenance of the MOD’s Codification Support Information System (CSIS). CSIS contains data relating to all materiel, spares, stores and services supplied to UK MOD. Each organisation listed within CSIS is allocated a 5 digit code known as an NCAGE code (NATO Commercial And Government Entity), which holds name, address and contact details.

Where previously applications for NCAGE codes and updates to details were processed by UKNCB, the automated system allows the user to search for existing NCAGE codes and create new codes if required.

Each organisation listed has access to our system to check on the accuracy of their details and if required, update them (address and contact details only). Amendment to NCAGE code details is now the responsibility of the NCAGE holder, who will be assigned a username and password for the new system. However any changes to the name of the NCAGE record should be sent to via

It is beneficial to MOD suppliers to ensure their data is accurately recorded to allow continued procurement of defence equipment and spares and also to ensure payment for equipment/services provided.

Updates to this page

Published 12 December 2012
Last updated 6 July 2023 + show all updates
  1. Updated information under 'Benefits of codification' and 'NATO codification' headings.

  2. Updated email addresses and phone numbers.

  3. Updated the link for A simple guide to the services available to DE&S, MOD and Industry.

  4. Updated: FAQs, NATO codification FAQs and NATO codification a simple guide.

  5. Updated contact emails throughout page.

  6. Updated page content.

  7. Updated page content and attachments.

  8. Updated the contact us section with the latest information.

  9. Updated E-Task contact details and Frequently asked codification questions.

  10. Deleted out of date sentence about the benefits of codification.

  11. Updated guidance and added documents: Frequently asked codification questions, NATO codification: a simple guide to the services available to DE&S MOD and industry and NATO codification: export sales FAQs.

  12. Added updated frequently asked codification questions.

  13. Added updated NATO codification: a simple guide to the services available to DE&S, MOD and industry and Frequently asked codification questions.

  14. Added information about the re-brand of 'Item of Supply Information System' (ISIS) to ‘Codification Support Information System’ (CSIS).

  15. Added contact number and email address for commercial codification enquires.

  16. Added FAQ and NATO codification: a simple guide documents. Removed Phishing and Spam emails section.

  17. Updated contact details.

  18. Updated contact details.

  19. Updated the 'Benefits of codification' section.

  20. Added new inline attachment.

  21. Added an announcement about phishing emails.

  22. First published.

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