Activity codes (NACE) briefing meeting took place in Ankara hosted by TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu and attended by the Customs and Commerce Minister Hayati Yazıcı as well chamber and exchange presidents.​


Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Companies now have ID numbers just like citizens

07.01.2013 / Ankara


Activity codes (NACE) briefing meeting took place in Ankara hosted by TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu and attended by the Customs and Commerce Minister Hayati Yazıcı as well chamber and exchange presidents.​


A clearer picture of the Turkish private sector has been achieved with the renewal of companies’ activity codes.

The NACE coding system, which classifies the economic activities of companies, has been completed as a result of the work undertaken by TOBB, the Treasury, Income Management Directorate, TÜGİK, SGK and the Population and Citizenship Affairs General Directorate. With this system, companies have received ID numbers just like citizens possess which makes this an important step towards taking full inventory of our trade and industry. The coming chamber and exchange elections will be held according to the NACE coding system.

- “We’ve been boxing in the dark for years”

TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu explained in his speech that they have actualized a revolutionary undertaking in regards to the economy as well as the Turkish private sector with the NACE coding system. Stating that companies have activity codes just like every citizen has a citizenship number, Hisarcıklıoğlu explained the reasons necessitating this:

“In the past, when determining the activity codes of companies, there were no concrete and objective criteria. Various institutions employed different classifications for activities, resulting in a company having different activity codes registered for different institutions.

A more serious problem was that different institutions defined companies completely differently from each other; I would define a company as a shoemaker while the Income Management defined it as bag maker and so on. Does anybody even know how many shoemakers there are in Turkey? Isn’t there a problem regarding up to date contact and address information?

We always see news of ghost companies, companies without address information, in the newspapers. Within walking distance of this building, how many cell phone retailers are there? We don’t know because the information isn’t up to date.

This is the reason we undertook this project, saying that we would not achieve our 2023 goals working in such haphazard manner. In reality, we’ve been boxing in the dark for years. In order to achieve our goals we must first know ourselves. Unfortunately, nobody in Turkey even knows the big picture.

The Customs and Commerce Ministry took the initiative to bring an end to this situation and asked us to work to this end throughout Turkey.

I would like to thank the Minister Hayati Yazıcı, who has not spared his help from us throughout the whole project.”

- “All institutions will use these codes”

Stating that this is a revolutionary development for the Turkish private sector as well as the economy in general, Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized the importance of the Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community (NACE) coding system.

Thanks to the NACE project undertaken together by all institutions, every establishment now corresponds to the international coding system, stated Hisarcıklıoğlu and went on, “The activity codes have been assigned according to their earnings.  The sector which brings in the largest income for the company as reported by the Income Management Directorate has been selected as the company’s activity code. All institutions will use these codes. The disparities between institutions will be eliminated. Chamber and Exchange elections will be conducted better with the proper grouping of professions, preventing problems previously encountered.”

- Over a million company codes have been assigned according to income information

Emphasizing that the Income Management Directorate, TUİK, Population and Citizenship Affairs, SGK and the Customs and Commerce Ministry along with TOBB have accomplished a great undertaking, Hisarcıklıoğlu reported that over a million company codes have been assigned according to income information. Hisarcıklıoğlu summed up the process: “The companies were then notified, whereupon we discovered that almost half of the companies were not at their last stated address. A series of second notifications were sent out to approximately 520,000 companies at their present addresses. The companies which we were still unable to reach were contacted via phone for a third wave of notifications. Thus, we contacted all of our registered companies and assigned NACE codes. We didn’t stop there: We published notifications through 21 national newspapers so that everyone would know about this system and see their NACE codes on our website.

Afterwards, we provided the ability to check the information online. As a result, we received approximately 18,000 appeals for NACE code changes. The objections were below 2% of total code assignments.

All of this was assessed along with the Income Management Directorate and 15,000 appeals were found to be appropriate and their NACE codes changed accordingly.

The NACE codes of the Chambers/Exchanges were assigned according to the codes generated. The whole process was meticulously objective and transparent. Today, we are delivering the profession groups to our Chambers and Exchanges.”

- Chamber exchange elections will be done according to profession groupings

Announcing that the chamber and exchange elections will be held according to these profession groupings over the next two months, TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “The democratic process of our community, which we are proud of, will make our community even stronger. We will be able to contact our members more easily. Starting next week, all of our members will be able to check their activity codes on our website. As the system becomes even more transparent, activity and adoption will increase.”

- Where will NACE be used?

TOBB President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu reported that it will be possible to make use of NACE codes in many fields. Stating that the investment incentive mechanism will able to be used more effectively as a result, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “We will be able to more accurately determine sectoral grouping necessities. Financial policy will be better defined. Selective sector policy will be possible. The growth of registered economy will be strengthened. KOSGEB credit will be granted with these activity codes taken into account.”

Stating that it will be possible to attain company information specific to location and activity, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “It will become easier to reach companies online as their activity and addresses will be up to date for the first time. International offers for goods and partnerships will find resolution more accurately and rapidly. The business volume of the real sector will increase as a result. In short, a new era of increased profitability and new opportunities for the real sector is here.”

- None of the codes were changed arbitrarily

Stating that, through the joint efforts of our institutions, an extraordinary undertaking has been accomplished, Hisarcıklıoğlu reported that never before has there been a clearer view of what activities the companies in Turkey partake in. TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu pointed out that NACE codes can be used in a wide variety of fields in the future.

“The duty which falls to us going forward is the introduction of this new system as befits the chamber/exchange community and making sure that it functions properly,” said Hisarcıklıoğlu and went on, “There may be businessmen who say that they did not fill any forms or determined activity codes. What you need to explain to them is that the determining of activity codes is no longer the way it used to be as per the whims of the individual.

Certified accountants report the activity codes which the company earns the most income from to the Income Management Directorate.

Those with objections have already made their appeals which have all been individually assed and acted upon accordingly.

This means that we didn’t assign anyone their NACE codes, no codes were changed arbitrarily. They were declared and appeals were assessed where necessary.

The duty now falls to us, the chamber and exchange presidents. The people will, of course, wish things to proceed in line with the old process they are used to. We must show them that this new system functions more fairly and accurately. We must make them understand why this new system is necessary for our country and our community.

If we can ensure that this system functions properly, we will have left behind a work which will benefit both our community and our country in a permanent manner.”

At the end of his speech, Hisarcıklıoğlu thanked everyone who contributed to the project beginning with the Customs and Commerce Minister Hayati Yazıcı, the Income Management Directorate and its President, Mehmet Kilci, the Turkey Statistics Institution and its President Birol Aydemir, the Social Security Institution and its President Fatih Acar as well as the Population and Citizenship Affairs General Directorate.

- Customs and Commerce Minister Hayati Yazıcı

The Customs and Commerce Minister Hayati Yazıcı stated that the NACE Project has been a perfect undertaking and went on to say, “The NACE project, when considered in terms of reaching perfect data regarding financial life in Turkey, is a revolutionary undertaking.”

Emphasizing that the success of a society and sectors reaching their goals depend on various factors, Yazıcı stated that the knowledge of the activity of each establishment is of instrumental importance to this end.

In his speech, the Customs and Commerce Minister Hayati Yazıcı talked about a new law: “If elected two terms, chamber presidents cannot be reelected for two terms following their last election. This two term break is, in my opinion, too long. We have discussed this matter with the Prime Minister and a law lowering this break to a single term is a part of a law package to be presented to the Grand National Assembly.”

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