Issues encountered in ISIC Rev.4 United Nations Statistics Division UNSD has been monitoring feedback on ISIC Rev.4 since its release in 2008 (a) identify any problems with the current version, i.e. text, of the classification (b) identify issues that have arisen in the implementation of the classification in different countries highlighting cases where the (generic) ISIC text is difficult to apply to national specific cases indicating a need for revision of ISIC Feedback was gathered through workshops, Hotline, website feedback Editorial issues in ISIC rev.4 A few errors (typos) have been discovered in the English document easy to correct - no reprint necessary Other languages have more numerous problems Example: French version More serious issues 1. 2. 3. 4. Outsourcing On-line activities "Retail sale of services" Internet sales issues 1. Outsourcing Common theme in workshops Explanation of current rule with examples is usually sufficient No strong objection encountered No alternative proposals encountered in workshops First counter-proposal is from ECE Task Force (May 2013) triggered by factoryless goods producers shown in document 26 2. On-line activities Mostly received as Hotline questions, seeking interpretation of activities with on-line presence Standard recommendation agreed by TSG: Treat the same as non-Internet based equivalent Problem: In some cases such equivalent is difficult to identify Examples: Social media activities, like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr On-line dating sites, either general or for specific segments of the population Photo-, music and other content-sharing websites Professional networks, like Linked In 3. "Retail sale of services" Conceptually, "retail sale of services" does not exist We treated similar arrangements before as "agents" for the respective service industry and classified them with the service industry or in a special class (insurance agents, travel agents) This works if a single service is being "sold" What to do if a large variety of services is involved? Top-down would not be meaningful Placing in retail sale would be conceptually wrong Are they just handling payments? Is there a solution that's consistent with old treatment? Examples: Groupon, Sodexho 4. Internet sales issues Standard treatment for goods: ISIC 4791 (Retail sale via mail order houses or via Internet) Many sites have similar appearance, but their involvement in the sale may differ Examples: Amazon vs. Google Shopping vs. Groupon vs. Advertising placement In addition, problems arise when goods and services get mixed Next steps The paper lists a number of criteria that could lead to a different treatment in ISIC for the issues above No explicit proposal for a change to ISIC has been recorded (apart from new FGP issue) Can the above situations be addressed in the current structure, avoiding the need for an ISIC revision? Can we (re-)create the TSG to look into these ISIC issues and draft a proposal? What would be the timeline and process for resolution? When should a decision about ISIC Rev.4's future be taken? Many countries are in the middle of the implementation process; starting a change now may stop/damage this process.