This publication describes the conceptual framework for Australia's international merchandise trade statistics and the data sources and methods used to compile them. Its purpose is to help users better understand these statistics.
This is the first issue of this publication. It reflects the international standards contained in International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions Series M, No. 52, Rev. 2 (IMTS, Rev.2) published in 1998 by the United Nations (UN). It also aligns, where possible, with the concepts reflected in the Balance of Payments Manual, Fifth edition (BPM5) and the System of National Accounts, 1993 (SNA93).
The main Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publications that present international merchandise trade statistics are the monthly International Merchandise Imports, Australia (Cat. no. 5439.0) and the quarterly International Merchandise Trade, Australia (Cat. no. 5422.0). The concepts, sources and methods described in this publication are consistent with Australia's international merchandise trade statistics released from 1 July 2000.
From time to time, particular concepts, sources or methods used in compiling Australia's international merchandise trade statistics are changed or modified in the light of reviews or other developments. Users are advised of these changes in the quarterly publication (Cat. no. 5422.0) as they occur.
The ABS invites comments on the usefulness of this publication as a guide to Australia's international merchandise trade statistics. Such feedback will help in planning the content of future issues of this publication and the descriptive material included in the regular statistical publications. Comments should be directed to the Director, International Trade, Australian Bureau of Statistics, PO Box 10, Belconnen ACT 2616.