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The three types of license that govern use of SNOMED CT are Affiliate licenses, Sub-licenses and National licenses.

Affiliate licenses

Vendors and other organizations that develop or distribute products or services that include or provide access to SNOMED CT must be SNOMED International Affiliates.

An Affiliate license is a contractual agreement between SNOMED International and the Affiliate. The Affiliate license grants rights to use SNOMED CT worldwide, subject to:

  • Meeting conditions for reporting its use and making appropriate payment where used in non-member territories
  • Holding and conforming to the conditions of a National license for use in Member Countries

The Affiliate license agreement can be found at:

To obtain an SNOMED International Affiliate License:

  • In an Member country, please check the relevant Member web page for advice on how to register:
  • In countries that are not Members, or in Member countries that do not provide a national registration service, you can request a license using the SNOMED CT Member Licensing and Distribution Service (MLDS):

Organizations that use SNOMED CT must all be either an SNOMED International Affiliate or a sub-licensee of an SNOMED International Affiliate. SNOMED International Affiliates are required to issue sublicenses to organizations (or individuals) who use their products or services, unless the user organization is itself an SNOMED International Affiliate. More information on sublicenses is available later in this section.


Affiliate license holders who supply SNOMED CT enabled products or services to others are required to:

  • Issue and manage sub-licenses and make information about these available to SNOMED International
  • Report and ensure appropriate payment when SNOMED CT is used in non-member territories

National Licenses

Members can impose additional requirements related to the use of SNOMED CT International Edition in their territory. For example they may require use of their National Extension of SNOMED CT.

Members may issue National licenses to SNOMED International Affiliates. A National license usually grants use of a National SNOMED CT Extension which may include translations, content additions and reference sets. The terms of a National license may apply similar conditions on the use of the National Extension as the SNOMED CT Affiliate License applies to the International Edition. It may also be part of a broader licensing scheme covering other nationally licensed works

National licenses can only be issued to SNOMED International Affiliates. However, if an applicant for a National License is not already an Affiliate, the Member may issue an Affiliate License on behalf of SNOMED International. Note that an Affiliate license issued in this way is still an agreement between SNOMED International and the licensee and the terms of the Affiliate License Agreement are the same.

License charges

  • SNOMED International does not charge for licensed use of SNOMED CT in Member countries
  • Members are permitted to charge for the use of SNOMED CT within their country, provided that these charges are limited to cost recovery
  • There are fees for use of SNOMED CT in non-Member territories
    • These charges depend on the wealth of the country in which the use of SNOMED CT occurs. For detail of the fee structures see
    • Intended use in non-Member territories must be reported to SNOMED International (via MLDS: before this use begins.
  • Fee-waivers may apply for limited use of SNOMED CT in SNOMED International approved research projects and 'public good' initiatives.

Figure 17.Responsibilities of Affiliate license holders to report usage and where appropriate to pay the fees which are due

Further details can be found via the SNOMED International website at

Online Browser Licensing

SNOMED International has published guidance about licensing implications of web-based SNOMED CT browsers and other publicly available software or services and which incorporate, or provide access to SNOMED CT: