What is the UK National Codification Bureau (UKNCB)?

The UK National Codification Bureau (UKNCB) logs every item used by the three Services.

Codification creates a detailed catalogue of everything our Armed Forces use on a daily basis – not just weapons systems and hardware, but spares, clothing, medical items, food and anything else the Services need to operate effectively.

Technical descriptions of every item are stored on a central system along with who makes and supplies it. This system is run by the UKNCB in Glasgow and is integral to the success of the defence supply chain.

The UKNCB uses the NATO Codification System (NCS), the biggest and most comprehensive codification and cataloguing system in the world.

64 countries are members of the NCS and its 17 million NATO stock numbers. It provides a common ‘language of logistics’, boosting the effectiveness of our Armed Forces, reducing costs and facilitating both national and coalition operations.


Doing Business with Defence Handbook. Edition 24 (2018).


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