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International Merchandise Trade Statistics. Course on Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6) IMF-PFTAC Nadi November 22-December 1 , 2010. DM06. Discussion Outline. International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Reference Material Systems – PCTrade, ASYCUDA

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International Merchandise Trade Statistics

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International Merchandise Trade Statistics

Course on Balance of Payments and

International Investment Position Manual (BPM6)



November 22-December 1, 2010


Discussion Outline

  • International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Reference Material

  • Systems – PCTrade, ASYCUDA

  • Challenges

    • Coverage

    • Exports vs. imports

  • Experiences, good and bad

Reference Material

  • International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions, 2010

    • Approved by UNSC Feb 2010

    • Replaces 1998 manual Studies in Methods , Series M, No.52, Rev.2


  • International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Compilers Manual, 2004

    • Series:F, No. 87


    • (There is also a supplement released Dec 2009, printed only)

  • Both are on the CD

IMTS 2010

  • Adopted by UNSC Feb 2010

  • Revision started by UNSC Feb 2008 due to:

    • Changes in the way international merchandise trade is conducted, e.g. increasing globalization, expansion of intra-firm trade, transactions with bundled goods and services components

    • Changes in user needs - more detailed and timely data for market access negotiations and trade policy purposes, market research, etc

    • Changes in the legal environment, e.g., Revised Kyoto Convention

    • Increasing use of non-customs data sources, e.g., members of a customs union

    • Changes in related statistical frameworks, e.g., SNA, BOP

    • Need for additional recommendations on data compilation strategies, quality and metadata, and dissemination

    • Need for further clarification of some existing concepts and improvement of the overall readability

IMTS 2010 (2)

  • Major conceptual difference – IMTS 2010 vs. BPM6

    • IMTS is based on the general principle to record all goods that add to or subtract from the stock of material resources of a country by entering (imports) or leaving (exports) its economic territory

    • BPM6 is based on the principle of change of ownership between residents and nonresidents

IMTS 2010 Changed Recommendations (3)

  • Trade below customs and statistical thresholds: Estimate and include if economically significant

  • Change of ownership: Use as criteria for recording of certain goods only in exceptional cases when the general guideline is not applicable or not sufficient

  • Specific guidelines: Include certain categories of goods, include and separately identify (code)

  • Exclude but record separately: Exclude certain categories of goods but record them separately for use in balance of payments and national accounts and other purpose

  • Media, whether or not recorded: Include at its full transaction value, except for media used for carrying customized software or software written for a specific client or originals of any nature, which should be excluded

  • Goods for processing with or without change of ownership: Include at their full (gross) value

  • Goods for processing as well as goods resulting from such processing where no change of ownership takes place: Include and explicitly identify (preferably by special coding) in your trade statistics

IMTS 2010 Changed Recommendations (4)

  • Goods which cross borders as a result of transactions between related parties: Include and separately identify (code)

  • Fish catch, minerals from the seabed and salvage; Bunkers, stores, ballast and dunnage: Include all transaction not only the ones taking place inside and but also the ones taking place outside the economic territory where economically or environmentally significant

  • Goods simply being transported through a country and Goods temporarily admitted or dispatched: Exclude

  • Reimports and re-exports: Include and identify (code) separately for analytical purposes

  • Customs procedure codes: Make information about the customs procedure applied to individual transactions part of the dataset for trade statistics

  • Statistical value: Record a statistical value for all goods covered in trade statistics, whether sold, exchanged or provided without payment

  • Statistical value of exported and imported goods: Use free on board (FOB-type) valuation for exports (border of the exporting county) and cost, insurance and freight (CIF-type) valuation for imports (border of the importing country); countries are encouraged to compile FOB-type value of imported goods as supplementary information

IMTS 2010 Changed Recommendations (5)

  • Compilation of data on freight and insurance: Countries which compile only CIF-type values of imports are encouraged to compile separately data for freight and insurance, at the most detailed commodity and partner level possible

  • Country of consignment: Record the country of consignment as the second partner country attribution for imports alongside with country of origin; for exports the additional compilation of the country of consignment is encouraged

  • Calculation of trade balances: Use imports by country of origin and exports by country of last known destination

  • Compilation of mode of transport: Compile and disseminate international merchandise trade statistics by mode of transport at the most detailed commodity level (as a new data dimension)

  • Use of non customs records: Supplement customs based data with information obtained from other sources, as necessary, to ensure full coverage of international merchandise trade statistics. Use non-customs sources as substitutes for available customs records only if they provide a cost effective way to improve quality of trade statistics

  • Systematic approach to data quality: Follow a systematic approach to data quality and develop standards and related good practices covering the institutional arrangements, the statistical processes and outputs (the entire trade statistics program)

IMTS 2010 Changed Recommendations (6)

  • Confidentiality rules: Use passive confidentiality as much as possible, unless the use of active confidentiality is already the established, desired and accepted practice (passive = only on request of trader and if justified by statistical authority’s confidentiality rules)

  • Data dissemination timetable: Announce in advance the precise dates at which the statistics will be released and revised

  • Linking business and trade statistics: Integrate the trade register with the business register and take steps towards an integrated system of economics statistics for data compilation and analysis

Systems and Processes

  • PCTrade vs. ASYCUDA vs. CMS?

  • NZ support for PCTrade

    • NZAid financing support provided by StatsNZ continuing past June 2011

  • CMS new system for Tonga (private company)

  • NZ Customs new system => Cook Islands

Systems and Processes (2)

  • Who captures ITS data?

    • Customs Office vs. NSO?

    • Pros and cons

      • Quality (accuracy, timeliness), control, resources

  • Does replacing the system fix the problems?


  • HS07 – for collection of trade data

  • For analysis of data:

    • BEC, SITC, CPC

    • ISIC for industry of origin

  • Concordances linking classifications

MSITS 2010


  • Draft presented to UNSC Feb 2010

  • Some further explanation of services for BOP and links to other statistical frameworks

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