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5372.0.55.001 - International Merchandise Trade: Confidential Commodities List, Apr 2012  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/05/2012   
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EXPLANATORY NOTES


INTRODUCTION

1 These Explanatory Notes provide the following information about the confidentialisation of import and export commodities:

  • special confidentiality arrangements
  • a description of the fields in the Confidential Commodities List (CCL)
  • how to apply for a confidentiality restriction and
  • how to obtain more information about confidentiality.

2 The actual CCL data cube is available from the Downloads tab. Instructions on how to print restrictions for a specific period from the CCL are presented with the data cube.


EFFECTS OF CONFIDENTIALITY ON BROADER COMMODITY GROUPS

3 Where a restriction has been placed on a commodity, country, state, etc., data is suppressed not only at the detailed level (8 digit AHECC or 10 digit HTISC) but also in any broader level output.

4 For example, state of destination information for imports of 'macadamia nuts, shelled, fresh or dried' into Australia, tariff code 0802.60.00/16, is restricted. This means that if you are looking at state of destination data for the code 0802, 'Other Nuts, fresh or dried, whether or not shelled or peeled', the individual state figures do not include the statistics for shelled macadamia nuts. These figures would be combined and included under the 'No State Details' category. Likewise, individual state of destination data for SITC code 057.79 'Edible Nuts (excluding mixtures), fresh or dried, nes', does not include statistics for shelled macadamia nuts.


NON-STANDARD ARRANGEMENTS WHICH ARE NOT REFLECTED IN THE CCL

Confidential data removed from country and state totals in Imports/Clearances

5 The method used in confidentialising data for Imports and Clearances changed for data to be released from the September 2008 reference month. Data that have the confidentiality restrictions 'No commodity details' or 'No value details' are aggregated into a single confidential commodity code (see CCL Appendix 1 for more details about these restrictions). For data prior to September 2008, these data are added back into the relevant state total and country total (i.e. these totals show the correct level of trade). From September 2008 these confidential data are not added back. Instead the confidential data are published as 'No country details' in the country totals and 'State not available for publication' in the state totals. Therefore, country and state totals from September 2008 may not represent the actual amount of trade in each country / state but only the trade in commodities without a 'No commodity details' or 'No value details' restriction. This change also applies to all classifications. This change is necessary to ensure the confidentiality of data.


Aluminium oxide, or alumina (AHECC code 2818.20.00)

6 A 'No Country Details' restriction was placed on alumina in the 1970's. Consequently, statistics of Australia's exports to most countries include alumina exports under the 'Confidential Item' in Chapter 99. However, this arrangement does not fully meet the ABS's obligations as data for alumina would account for nearly all of the confidential item of some countries. The alumina component has therefore been removed from the confidential item for these countries and presented as a single aggregate 'Country Confidential - Alumina'.

7 The countries for which this additional or 'secondary' restriction applies are not listed in the CCL. For the period up to and including statistics for February 1992, the countries grouped for this 'secondary' restriction were Norway, Egypt and Iceland. From March 1992, they were Bahrain, Egypt and Iceland.


Port statistics - Gove and Groote Eylandt

8 In some instances there is not sufficient diversity of trade to allow release of data by port. In these cases it is necessary to aggregate data for some ports.

9 In the case of Gove and Groote Eylandt, details by individual port are suppressed and are shown against a 'Confidential Ports - NT' code. This permits accurate totals by state to be released.

10 As the CCL presents details of restrictions by commodity, it does not contain any reference to the restrictions for the ports of Gove and Groote Eylandt.


Aircraft or vessels arriving under their own power which have been entered under section 162 of the Customs Act 1901 (HTISC code 9999.31.99.02)

11 In addition to the standard treatment of tariff codes with a confidentiality restriction of 'No country details, No state details, No duty details', all data for this code has been assigned a Mode of transport=U (Unknown) and the data has not been added into country or state totals.


SPECIAL AGGREGATE DATA RELEASES

12 In some instances, it is possible to release abridged aggregates of confidential monthly data without infringing individuals' or organisations' exercised rights to restrictions. This is achieved by aggregating monthly data and presenting it on a quarterly, six monthly or annual basis. For example, statistics on exports of mineral sands and uncut diamonds are released on this basis. Again, some statistics may be able to be released after an agreed period has elapsed, for example, quarterly details of exports of raw cane sugar in bulk are currently being released with a six month lag.


INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE CCL

13 There are nine fields provided in each sheet in the CCL spreadsheet. In order of presentation, the fields are:


(a) HTISC

14 Harmonized Tariff Item Statistical Code: the 10-digit code given to an import commodity at the greatest level of detail (refer to the Customs Tariff, available from the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, for full listing).


or (b) AHECC

15 Australian Harmonized Export Commodity Classification: the 8-digit code given to an export commodity at the greatest level of detail (refer to the ABS publication catalogue number 1233.0, for full listing).


DELETED DATE

16 A date in this field indicates that the HTISC or AHECC has been superseded, and gives the date (format MM/DD/YYYY) this took place. If this field is blank, the HTISC or AHECC is current.


DATE of EFFECT

17 The month in which the restriction commenced; i.e. data for the item for that month will be restricted. The date of effect is always the first of the month.


DATE of CESSATION

18 The final month for which a restriction is effective. The date of cessation is always the last day of the month.


SITC-REV3

19 Some ABS international trade output is presented using the Standard International Trade Classification Revision-3 (SITC-REV3), rather than the HTISC or AHECC. Codes in this field show the SITC 5-digit item which is affected by the restricted HTISC or AHECC.

20 From July 2008 reference month, data in the SITC series are on a SITC-REV3 basis for all data up to and including June 2005. Data from July 2005 onwards, in standard outputs, are on a SITC-REV4 basis. SITC- REV3 data for 2005-06 and 2006-07 are available on request. Please note that SITC-REV4 labels are used to present data for all periods and care should be taken when interpreting labels on data prior to July 2005. For full details about international trade statistics moving from SITC-REV3 to SITC-REV4, refer to the Information Paper: Impact of Introducing Revision 4 of the Standard International Trade Classification, 2008 (cat. no. 5368.0.55.010).

21 Codes opening from 1 July 2008 may display 'NA' representing not applicable, as data is not available on a SITC-REV3 basis for that time period.


SITC-REV4

22 Some ABS international trade output is presented using the Standard International Trade Classification Revision-4 (SITC-REV4), rather than the HTISC or AHECC. Codes in this field show the SITC 5-digit item which is affected by the restricted HTISC or AHECC.

23 From July 2008 reference month, data in the SITC series are on a SITC-REV3 basis for all data up to and including June 2005. Data from July 2005 onwards are on a SITC-REV4 basis. Please note that SITC-REV4 labels are used to present data for all periods and care should be taken when interpreting labels on data prior to July 2005. For full details about international trade statistics moving from SITC-REV3 to SITC-REV4, refer to the Information Paper: Impact of Introducing Revision 4 of the Standard International Trade Classification, 2008 (cat. no. 5368.0.55.010).

24 Codes closing before 1 July 2005 may display 'NA' representing not applicable, as data is not available on a SITC-REV4 basis for that time period.


ANZSIC

25 Some ABS international trade output is presented on an industry of origin basis according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC). From July 2005 data is available on an ANZSIC 2006 basis. Data up to June 2009 is also presented on an ANZSIC 1993 basis. For both ANZSIC 1993 and ANZSIC 2006 codes in this field show the ANZSIC 4 digit industry code which is affected by the restricted HTISC or AHECC. For full details of the ANZSIC 1993 classification refer to: Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0). For full details of the ANZSIC 2006 classification refer to: Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (Revision 1) (cat. no. 1292.0).


RESTRICTION APPLIED

26 Confidentiality restrictions are applied to data at the most detailed level of the classification (statistical code level). The various confidentiality restrictions, and their impact on international merchandise trade statistics, are set out in CCL Appendix 1.


COMMODITY DESCRIPTION

27 This is a 'free standing' description of the goods which are included under the HTISC or AHECC item, e.g. 'Coffee, roasted, decaffeinated'. Free standing descriptors exist for all numeric codes and provide descriptions which are meaningful outside the context of classification hierarchies. Please note that free standing descriptors are not used in the collection of data and are not part of the official classification. There is a character limitation so abbreviations have been extensively used.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON CONFIDENTIALITY RESTRICTIONS

28 If you are an exporter or importer and wish to apply for a confidentiality restriction, download the booklet in the Information Paper: Request to Confidentialise International Trade Data, 2001 (cat. no. 5497.0.55.001). This contains details on the circumstances under which restrictions may be applied, types of restrictions and how to apply for a restriction.

29 More detailed information on confidentiality can be obtained from the Information Paper: International Merchandise Trade Statistics, Australia: Data Confidentiality,1999 (cat. no. 5487.0). Alternatively you can contact the Confidentiality Manager, Balance of Payments and International Trade Section on (02) 6252 5409 or by email at international.trade@abs.gov.au.


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