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NATO Stock Number

A NATO Stock Number, is a 13-digit numeric code, identifying all the ‘standardized material items of supply’ as they have been recognized by all NATO countries by each  Department of Defense.

NATO regulations summarize the concept “one item-one number” and aim at identifying, cataloguing and managing, through a single numeric string, items with the same fundamental characteristics, as provided by STANdaridization AGreements (STANAGs) and theAllied Codification Pubblication 1 (ACod-P1).

The National Codification Bureau (NCB) within each country centrally assigns their national NSNs. The assignment of an NSN fixes the identity of each distinctive item of supply. All NSNs are uniform in composition, length, and structure. Each is represented by a 13- digit number, which can be divided into 3 unique parts:

  1. the first four digits are the NATO Supply Classification (NSC) code, which relates the item to the group and class of similar items
  2. the next two digits indicate the assigning NCB code (each country has its own two-digit NCB code-the United States uses “00” and “01”)
  3. the final seven digits are assigned sequentially and have no inherent significance. However, this number relates to one and only one item of supply within the codifying country.

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