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CELEX / EUR-lex: Document Numbers

CELEX / EUR-lex: Document Numbers

Posted by matt-terrell | 21 January 2010

CELEX Document Numbers

Each document in the CELEX databases has been assigned a unique document number (e.g. 31997L0044), which usually contains ten characters. This number is used in the following fields, databases and sectors to identify and cross-reference documents:

Treaties Ext.
Legislation Proposals Case
DocNum 1 2 3 & 4 5 6 7 9 C E
LegBase 1 2 3 & 4 5 E
LegCit 1 2 3 & 4 5 9 E
Modifies 1 2 3 & 4 5 9
Modified 1 2 3 & 4 5 9
SubsPrep 1 2 3 & 4 5
CourtDec 3 & 4
EarlActs 5
JurCit 6
Concerns 6

Document numbers are constructed using the following format:

Sector + Year + Document Type + Document Identifier


One character – 31997L0044

The first character in the CELEX document number, indicating the sector in which the document can be found:

1 Treaties
2 External Agreements
3 Secondary Legislation
4 Supplementary Legislation
5 Proposed Legislation
6 Case Law
7 National Implementation
9 Parliamentary Questions
C OJC Documents
E EFTA Documents


Four digits – 31997L0044

The second, third, fourth and fifth characters in the CELEX document number are the 4 digits of the year of publication of the document, e.g. 2001.

Document Type

One or 2 characters – 31997L0044

The sixth (and sometimes seventh) character in the CELEX document number, always alphabetic, not numeric. For each sector, alphabetic codes have been assigned to various types of documents. The same code can have different meanings in different sectors. The same codes are used in the Sector and Year (typdoc) field.

The codes are as follows:

Sector 1 (Treaties database)

A Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (1957)
B Accession Treaty (Denmark, Irish Republic, Norway, United Kingdom) (1972)
C Treaty of Nice, amending the Treaty on European Union the Treaties establishing the European Communities and certain related acts (2001)
D Treaty of Amsterdam, amending the Treaty on European Union, the Treaties establishing the European Communities and certain related Acts (1997)
E European Economic Community Treaty (1957); European Communities Treaty consolidated versions (1992 and 1997)
F Merger Treaty establishing a single Council and a single Commission (1965). Treaty amending certain budgetary provisions (1970)
G Amending Treaty (Greenland) (1985)
H Accession Treaty (Greece) (1979)
I Accession Treaty (Portugal, Spain) (1985)
K European Coal and Steel Community Treaty (1951)
M Treaty on European Union, i.e. Maastricht Treaty (1992), and consolidated version (1997)
N Accession Treaty (Austria, Finland, Norway, Sweden) (1994)
R Treaty amending certain financial provisions. Treaty amending certain provisions of the statute of the European Investment Bank (1975). Act amending the protocol on the statute of the European Investment Bank (1993)
U Single European Act (1986)

Sector 2 (External Agreements database)

A Agreements with non-member countries or international organisations
D Acts of bodies created by international agreements
P Acts of parliamentary bodies created by international agreements
X Other Acts

Sector 3 (Secondary Legislation – Legislation database)

A Opinions
B Budget
C Declarations
D Decisions and Decisions sui generis
E Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) – common positions, common strategies and joint actions
F Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) – common positions and framework decisions
G Resolutions
H Recommendations
M Merger Decisions (non-opposition to a notified joint venture)
K European Coal and Steel Community – recommendations
L European Communities/EURATOM – Directives
M Merger Decisions (non-opposition to a notified concentration)
O European Central Bank – guidelines
Q International arrangements – Rules of Procedure and Internal Agreements
R European Communities/EURATOM – Regulations
S European Coal and Steel Community – general decisions
X Other Acts (resolutions, opinions, etc.) published in the Official Journal L series
Y Other Acts published in the Official Journal C series

Sector 4 (Supplementary Legislation – Legislation database)

A Agreements between member states
D Decisions (of the representatives of the governments of member states meeting within the Council)
X Other Acts published in the Official Journal L series
Y Other Acts published in the Official Journal C series

Sector 5 (Proposed Legislation – Proposals database)

AA Court of Auditors – opinions
AB European Central Bank – opinions
AC European Economic and Social Committee – consultative opinions
AE European Economic and Social Committee – own-initiative opinions
AG Council – common positions
AK European Coal and Steel Community – opinions of the Consultative Committee
AP European Parliament – legislative resolutions
AR Committee of the Regions – consultative opinions
BP European Parliament – budget
DC COM Documents – other documents
HB European Central Bank – recommendations
IE European Economic and Social Committee – other opinions
IG Member states – initiatives
IP European Parliament – other resolutions
IR Committee of the Regions – own-initiative opinions
KG Council – assent ECSC
PC COM Documents – proposals for legislation
SA Court of Auditors – special reports
SC SEC documents
TA Court of Auditors – reports
XA Court of Auditors – other Acts
XB European Central Bank – other Acts
XC Commission – other Acts
XE European Economic and Social Committee – other Acts
XG Council – other Acts
XK European Coal and Steel Community – other Acts of the Consultative Committee
XP European Parliament – other Acts
XR Committee of the Regions – other Acts
XX Other Acts

Sector 6 (Case Law database)

A Court of First Instance – judgments
B Court of First Instance – orders
C Court of Justice – conclusions of the Advocate-General
D Court of First Instance – third-party proceedings
F Court of First Instance – opinions
H Court of First Instance – case reports
J Court of Justice – judgments
O Court of Justice – orders
P Court of Justice – case reports
S Court of Justice – seizures
T Court of Justice – third-party proceedings
V Court of Justice – opinions
X Court of Justice – rulings

Sector 7 (National Implementation database)

L National Implementation Measures – implementation of Directives

Sector 9 (Parliamentary Questions database)

E European Parliament – written questions
H European Parliament – questions asked during Question Time
O European Parliament – oral questions

Sector C (OJC Documents database)

N Other documents published in the Official Journal C Series

Sector E (EFTA Documents database)

A European Free Trade Association – international agreements
C European Free Trade Association – Acts of the Surveillance Authority
G European Free Trade Association – Acts of the Standing Committee
J European Free Trade Association – decisions, orders and consultative opinions of the Court
P European Free Trade Association – pending cases of the Court
X European Free Trade Association – other Acts

Document Identifier

Normally 4 digits – 31997L0044

The four numbers following the alphabetic document type in the CELEX document number. This is an identifying number for the document (such as the Directive Number). Numbers that contain fewer than 4 digits have leading zeroes added.

Some documents in the Treaties database have document numbers that include forward slashes and that use alphabetic characters for the document identifier, for example 11997D/AFI/CE is a valid document number in which the document identifier is “AFI/CE”.


The CELEX document dealing with Council Directive 97/44/EC of 22 July 1997 has the document number 31997L0044, which can be broken down as follows:

3 Sector 3 (Secondary Legislation)
1997 publication year 1997
L Document Type L (European Communities/EURATOM Directives)
44 the identifying number of the document


Some document numbers include a suffix. Some suffixes indicate a part of a document, for example:


means Article 2, Part 3 of Regulation number 3528 of 1986. Other suffixes indicate a series of related documents, for example:

61994B0088, 61994B0088(01) and 61994B0088(02)

are all concerned with Case T-88/94 in the Court of First Instance.

Wild Cards

You can use wild cards to truncate the numeric portions of document numbers if you use the Full Text box on the Search In EU screen, for example:


You cannot use wild cards if you use the Reference field.

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