After being downgraded in the European professional codes (NAF code in French or NACE code in English), Shiatsu was relegated, depending on the country, to a “catch-all” code (96.09) with “bar hostesses”, tattoo artists and other astrologers, which greatly harmed the image of Shiatsu.

Since 10 February 2023, the EU has completely revised its trade codes and placed Shiatsu in a more appropriate category, code 86.99, i.e. “health activities”. In addition, the legislator has left it to the discretion of EU Member States to add an additional number to this code if they wish to distinguish a particular profession. For example, there could be an 86.99-x just for Shiatsu, which seems to be the route taken by the Belgian Shiatsu Federation (FBS).

Pending further news on this subject, it is important that every European Shiatsu practitioner checks and corrects his or her trade code for 86.99, as this clearly indicates that Shiatsu is recognised as being part of “Health activities”, whatever some governments may say.

For more information, visit Eurostat’s official NACE codes website.

Ivan Bel
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