9 The United Nations and other international organisations, in association with the customs departments and statistical agencies of major trading nations, have developed an interrelated set of classifications of economic activities and products. These comprise the International Standard Industrial Classification of all Economic Activities (ISIC) Revision 37, the HS6, the SITC Revision 35 and the CPC Version 1.02. As part of the programme of harmonisation of major classifications, the ABS, SNZ and other major national and international statistical agencies are progressively rebasing their classification systems to align with these international standards as closely as possible, thereby facilitating international data comparisons. For example, the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC)4 will be revised to take account of changes expected to be made in the ISIC, and already made in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)8, and the United States of America, Canada and Mexico are developing the North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) which will be based on the CPC.
10 For goods typically subject to international trade, and consequently to customs administration, the HS is, under international convention, the standard which describes them.
11 As signatory countries to the HS Convention, Australia and New Zealand, and hence the ABS and SNZ, have a mandatory responsibility to collect and publish import and export product statistics according to the most detailed (six-digit) level of the HS without deviation. The consistency introduced to international trade statistics is reflected in the 5124 HS 6-digit codes and descriptions which are identical for both import and export statistics and are stable over time9. These are a minimum list of items. Australian trade statistics are available at finer levels of detail presented in the Combined Australian Customs Tariff and Statistical Nomenclature (Customs Tariff)10 and The Australian Harmonized Export Commodity Classification (AHECC)11. Trade data in New Zealand are classified by the New Zealand Harmonised System (NZHS)12 which applies to both imports and exports as a single 10 digit classification.
12 The Standard International Trade Classification Revision 3 (SITC) regroups HS categories into 3118 headings. It is designed to aid statistical analysis of trade data and to assist in the compilation of comparable trade data.
13 The CPC has been developed as a multipurpose classification covering all goods and services (the HS and SITC classify goods only). It has been designed to bring together, into a single framework, products (whether goods or services) that can be the object of domestic or international transactions, or that can be entered into stocks. Also included are non-produced assets such as land, and assets arising from legal contracts (e.g. patents, trademarks and copyrights).
14 The goods categories of the CPC can be directly linked to the HS and the SITC Revision 3. Consequently, comparison between the data compiled using any of these classifications is possible. As all the SITC and the CPC goods categories are composed of one or more HS categories, the Explanatory Notes to the HS also provide the documentation for the definition of the scope of individual SITC and CPC categories. It should be noted however that when attempting to link the respective classifications there is not always a 1:1 or a many:1 correspondence between the same items in different classifications.
15 The only direct correspondence for the non-transportable goods and services component of the ANZSPC (Sections 5-9) to related product classifications, is with the CPC because the CPC is the first classification to incorporate services into a single unified product framework. However, correspondences to trade in services may be indirectly ascertained via the correspondences between CPC Version 1.0 and the Extended Balance of Payments Services (EBOPS) Classification contained in the Manual on Statistics of International Trade in Services (Draft)13.