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Software Trade Data Tutorial. Tim Miles Office of Technology and Electronic Commerce Manufacturing and Services Updated November 2009. Software Trade.

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Software Trade Data Tutorial

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Software trade data tutorial

Software Trade Data Tutorial

Tim Miles

Office of Technology

and Electronic Commerce

Manufacturing and Services

Updated November 2009


Software trade

Software Trade

  • The U.S. Government publishes data on software trade that are collected by the Commerce Department’s Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA);

  • The Census Bureau provides software export data from its Service Annual Survey and export and import data from information, contained on Shipper’s Export Declarations (SEDs), that it compiles according to Harmonized Tariff System codes and supplies to the International Trade Commission (ITC) for distribution to the public;

  • BEA performs a Quarterly Survey of Transactions in Selected Services and Intangible Assets with Foreign Persons which includes data on receipts and payments for general use computer software. This data appears in the Survey of Current Business. The receipts and payments data in the survey also covers custom software which is collected under the computer and data processing services category, but is not shown in this presentation;

  • BEA also provides data on software sales to foreign persons by U.S. multinational corporations (MNCs) and to U.S. persons by foreign MNCs through their affiliates;

  • This presentation explains what the different data series include and exclude in determining the value of U.S. software trade.


U s packaged software exports census service annual survey

U.S. Packaged Software Exports (Census Service Annual Survey)

  • Covers Employer Firms in NAICS 5112, Software Publishers which are engaged in the production and distribution of software including software design, installation, and support as well as royalties and license fees for intellectual property rights;

  • Includes revenue from the sale of personal, business, or mainframe computer software to a customer or a client located outside of the United States;

  • Includes services performed for unaffiliated and affiliated foreign firms (i.e., foreign parent firms, subsidiaries, branches, etc.);

  • Includes software as a service;

  • Includes packaged software exported on media (goods transactions);

  • However, it does include revenues from other services, such as custom application design and development, IT technical consulting services, re-sale of computer hardware and software, and IT-related training services;


U s packaged software exports census service annual survey1

U.S. Packaged Software Exports (Census Service Annual Survey)

  • Excludes services provided to domestic subsidiaries of foreign firms;

  • Excludes custom software services purchased by foreign residents, but performed in the United States;

  • Does not provide breakouts on exports for major countries of destination and does not cover imports;

  • SAS Software Publishers data double count to some extent BEA’s data, but are not directly comparable. The SAS classifies transactions according to the primary industry of the firm providing the service (or good), not by type of service (or good) as BEA does.


U s packaged software exports census service annual survey2

U.S. Packaged Software Exports (Census Service Annual Survey)

*1998-2003 estimated based on trend in prior SAS sample


U s general use software receipts and payments bea

U.S. General Use Software Receipts and Payments(BEA)

  • BEA classifies services by type of service according to the International Monetary Fund’s balance-of –payments guidelines, which do not conform to Census NAICs industry classifications and definitions;

  • BEA now provides data for both affiliated and unaffiliated general use software transactions for 2006 and 2007. Prior general use software affiliated transactions were included in BEA’s aggregate data on affiliated royalty and license fee transactions and were not separately identified;

  • General use software transactions include receipts and payments for rights to distribute general use software, and rights to reproduce or use general use computer software that was electronically transmitted or made from a master copy;

  • Include licensing fees for reproducing copies of general use software for local area network computer systems;

  • Electronically transmitted software includes purchased software accessed or downloaded from the Internet;


U s general use software receipts and payments bea1

U.S. General Use Software Receipts and Payments (BEA)

  • Exclude value of prepackaged general use software not intended for use on a server in a LAN environment, that was physically shipped to or from the United States and included in merchandise trade statistics;

  • Exclude fees for custom software and programming services;.

  • The compensation earned by individual U.S. residents who work abroad for less than one year writing software for foreign residents, and who are paid by foreign residents, is recorded under “income” in the “international transactions” accounts.


U s general use software unaffiliated receipts and payments bea

U.S. General Use Software Unaffiliated Receipts and Payments (BEA)


U s general use software affiliated receipts and payments in 2007 and 2008 bea

U.S. General Use Software AffiliatedReceipts and Payments in 2007 and 2008(BEA)


U s general use software receipts and payments in 2007 and 2008 bea

U.S. General Use Software Receipts and Payments in 2007 and 2008(BEA)*

*Total for affiliated and unaffiliated


Sales of software by mncs through their affiliates bea

Sales of Software by MNCs through Their Affiliates (BEA)

  • BEA reports software sales to foreign persons by U.S. MNCs through their affiliates;

  • It also reports software sales to U.S. persons by foreign MNCs through their affiliates;

  • These data are classified by the primary industry (software publishers) of the affiliate rather than by type of service;

  • As a result, these sales do not include software sold through affiliates that are classified in several other industries.


Sales of software to foreign persons by u s mncs through their affiliates bea

Sales of Software to Foreign Persons by U.S. MNCs through Their Affiliates (BEA)


Sales of software to u s persons by foreign mncs through their affiliates bea

Sales of Software to U.S. Persons by Foreign MNCs through Their Affiliates (BEA)


U s packaged software trade census itc

U.S. Packaged Software Trade (Census/ITC)

  • Covers packaged software exported and imported on media under Harmonized Trade Systems codes;

  • Represents software products for general sales that are publicly available over the counter, by mail order, or by telephone and includes the total value of the package (intellectual content, any manuals, etc.);

  • May include the value of other intellectual content (e.g., movies) on media for certain HTS codes that are not specifically designated as packaged software;


U s packaged software trade census itc1

U.S. Packaged Software Trade (Census/ITC)

  • Does not include the value of custom software (customized technical data) that is exported and imported on media since the shipper is only required to report the value of the media;

  • Does not include the value of software embedded or pre-loaded on hardware that is exported and imported;

  • Census/ITC does provide breakouts by major region and countries of destination for exports and imports as well.


U s packaged software trade census itc2

U.S. Packaged Software Trade (Census/ITC)


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