National Item Identification Number

National Item Identification Number

A National (or NATO) Item Identification Number (NIIN) is a 9-digit numeric code which uniquely identifies an item of supply in the NATO Codification System (NCS).

The NIIN is often prefixed by the NATO Supply Class (NSC aka FSC) to form a National Stock Number (NSN), however the NIIN alone uniquely identifies the item, the FSC merely adds context by indicating the general classification of the item.

The NIIN’s Data Record Number (DRN), in the NCS metabase is 4000. The information listed under in this DRN identifies very specifically the nature of NIIN, its syntax and the procedures associated with it.


Format and Syntax

The NIIN may be formatted with dashes, as follows


This format improves readability but is optional as NIINs are often listed without dashes.

The first two digits of the NIIN identify the National Codification Bureau (NCB). The NCB is the entity, typically a government agency, in charge of maintaining the NCS database within a given country. The other 7 characters are a non significant identification number (actually code, as some of these characters may be alphanumeric, although in general NIINs are strictly numeric.) Following are a few examples of NCB codes:

Country NCB Code(s)
USA 00 to 09
Germany 12
Belgium 13
France 14
Italy 15
Czech Republic 16
Netherlands 17
South Africa 18
Brazil 19
Canada 20 and 21
Denmark 22
Greece 23
Iceland 24
Norway 25
Portugal 26
Turkey 27
Luxemburg 28
Argentina 29
Japan 30
Israel 31
Singapore 32
Spain 33
Malaysia 34
Thailand 35
Egypt 36
Republic of Korea 37
Estonia 38
Romania 39
Slovakia 40
Austria 41
Slovenia 42
Poland 43
United Nations 44
Indonesia 45
Phillipines 46
Lithuania 47
Fiji 48
Tonga 49
Bulgaria 50
Hungary 51
Chile 52
Croatia 53
Macedonia 54
Latvia 55
Oman 56
Australia 66
Saudi Arabia 70
United Arab Emirates 71
New Zealand 98
United Kingdom 99

As the list shows, users of the NCS system not only include NATO member countries, but NATO-sponsored countries as well.

Note also the clever relationship between the Aussie and the Brit nationality indicators. Smart thinking to assist memory, or stumblingly accidental good fortune ?

NIIN Catalogs

NIIN / NSN Catalogs include a significant number of items directly associated with military equipment in general, as well as items of a more generic use. These include Electronic Components, Medical Equipment, Office Furniture, Food items, Clothing, Industrial goods (pumps, valves, motors...) and all kinds of Fasteners (bolts, nails, rivets...), to name a few. For this reason, catalogs have a broader appeal, beyond their original audience (Defense agencies and their direct contractors.)

The US Catalog covers in the order of 6 Millions NIINs (Items of Supply) for a total of 13 Millions Items of Production (Part Number + Manufacturer reference).

NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA), compiles on a regular basis the catalogs of several member nations, for the production of the NATO Master Catalogue of References for Logistics (NMCRL). This combined catalog, totaling 16 Million NIINs for approximately 32 Million Parts, is then published on DVD.

Several companies or governmental agencies publish NIIN Catalogs online or on other media. These catalogs vary greatly in term of the completeness of the information as some items and/or some segments of information may be excluded, for [USA] Security reasons or simply for lack of interest by the target audience. The distribution of these catalogs vary also in terms of the subscription cost and access or export restrictions. Some merely provide a "Part Number" lookup, while others offer advanced features such as parametric search (Search of items driven by the technical characteristics such as physical dimensions, material, color etc.) or links to associated data set.


AC/135 Group of directors on Codification

NMCRL Information

Defense Logistics Information Service (DLIS)

See also

NATO Stock Number

Federal Supply Code

NATO Codification System



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