National Adhering Organizations (NAOs) are the formal Members of the Union each of which represents the chemists in its country. A National Adhering Organization may be a national chemical council, a national society representing chemistry, a national academy of science, or any other institution or association of institutions representative of national chemical interests. IUPAC currently has 54 National Adhering Organizations.

To become a formal member of IUPAC, a country may complete an “Application for IUPAC Adhering Organization Status”.  Please contact the Executive Director if interested in applying at: [email protected]. The governing body of IUPAC is the “Council” and meets every other year at the IUPAC General Assembly (odd number years).  The Council reviews the applications and is responsible for approving admission to the Union.  Applications should be submitted by 01 February of the year in which a Council meeting is to be held.  NAOs are required to pay annual dues, or National Subscriptions, to the Union which is based on that country’s economic status.

There are two programs that are designed to increase visibility of NAOs and IUPAC which are the Company Associates (CA) program and the Affiliate Membership Program (AMP) for individual chemists. These programs help to improve cooperation with the chemical industry and outreach to individual chemists through the dependency of the NAOs to run these programs.

The Benefits of being an NAO include:

  • International and global recognition of the NAO and the individual chemists that it represents.
  • Representation on the IUPAC Council, the highest governing body of the Union. The IUPAC Council holds a meeting every two years, usually scheduled at the end of the General Assembly.
  • Individual chemists from an NAO country are eligible to become titular or associate members or national representatives on any IUPAC Division or Standing Committee. Rules regarding committee membership can be found in the IUPAC Statutes, Bylaws and Standing Orders.
  • NAO countries are eligible to host IUPAC Congresses and IUPAC-endorsed conferences.
  • Each year, each NAO has the opportunity to name one national event at which IUPAC Poster Prizes may be awarded.
  • Young chemists from an NAO country are eligible to apply for IUPAC-SOLVAY International Award for Young Chemists. The prize is given for the most outstanding Ph.D. thesis in the general area of the chemical sciences.
  • Each NAO receives a free annual subscription to the IUPAC news magazine, Chemistry International.


See Nations Affiliated with IUPAC