The nomenclature of hepatitis E virus (HEV) subtypes is inconsistent and makes comparison of different studies problematic. We have provided a table of proposed complete genome reference sequences for each subtype. The criteria for subtype assignment vary between different genotypes and methodologies, and so a conservative pragmatic approach has been favoured. Updates to this table will be posted on the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses website (http://talk.ictvonline.org/r.ashx?C). The use of common reference sequences will facilitate communication between researchers and help clarify the epidemiology of this important human pathogen. This subtyping procedure might be adopted for other taxa of the genus Orthohepevirus.