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5489.0 - International Merchandise Trade, Australia, Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2001  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/05/2001   
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3.2 International merchandise trade refers to goods which cross the customs frontier, and which add to, or subtract from, the stock of a country's material resources.

3.3 Goods are the 'physical objects for which a demand exists, over which ownership rights can be established, and where ownership can be transferred from one institutional unit to another by engaging in transactions on markets.' (SNA93).

3.4 International non-merchandise trade refers to goods which cross the customs frontier, but which do not change the country's stock of material resources. These are:

  • goods traded on a temporary basis (e.g. artwork and other exhibitions);
  • goods which cross the customs frontier to enable their repair, alteration or renovation, and that are subsequently re-imported or re-exported (e.g. aircraft engines and parts in some circumstances); and
  • passengers' personal effects.

3.5 Non-merchandise trade has been excluded from ABS import and export statistics since July 1985.

3.6 Exports are goods which subtract from the stock of material resources in Australia, as a result of their movement out of the country. These goods have been produced or manufactured in Australia. Goods exported with the reasonable expectation of re-import within a limited time, are excluded from merchandise trade results.

3.7 Re-exports (included in merchandise exports statistics) are goods originally imported, which are exported in either the same condition in which they were imported, or after undergoing repair or minor alterations which leave them essentially unchanged. This is not considered to be Australian production or manufacture. Minor operations include blending, packaging, bottling, cleaning and sorting. The major destinations for Australian re-exports are New Zealand and the United States.

3.8 Imports are goods which add to the stock of material resources in Australia, as a result of their movement into the country. They include:
  • goods brought into the country directly for home consumption following the payment of duty, if applicable; and
  • goods which enter the country, but are not immediately cleared for home consumption. These goods are stored in Customs' bonded warehouses, and no duty is payable at this stage.

They exclude goods imported with the reasonable expectation of re-export within a limited time.

3.9 Import clearances are goods that are cleared into the Australian market for home consumption. They include:
  • goods brought into Australia directly for home consumption following the payment of duty, if applicable; and
  • goods cleared from a bonded warehouse following payment of any duty.

3.10 Re-imports (included in merchandise imports statistics) are goods originally exported, which are subsequently imported in either the same condition in which they were exported, or after undergoing repair or minor operations which leave them essentially unchanged. Minor operations include blending, packaging, bottling, cleaning and sorting.

3.11 Goods for processing (included in merchandise exports and imports statistics) are goods entering or leaving Australia for processing and returning to the country from which they were consigned for processing. As processing is more than minor operations and repairs, the gross value of the exports and imports is recorded. The fee earned for processing is included in the gross value of the goods.

3.12 Goods exported from Australia for industrial processing which are expected to subsequently be re-imported or goods re-exported after processing in Australia, are separately identified by an eight-digit Australian Harmonized Export Commodity Classification (AHECC) code. The aggregate value of these goods may, however, be understated if individual items are instead classified elsewhere in the AHECC, according to the material of which the goods are composed.

3.13 Goods re-imported after processing are not separately identified in Australia's import statistics, but included under the Harmonized Tariff Item Statistical Code (HTISC) applicable to the particular commodity imported. The recommended treatment of these goods recognises that the original good essentially loses its identity during processing, and is classified to a different commodity after processing.

3.14
Repairs on goods (included in merchandise exports and imports statistics) are repairs performed by residents on movable goods owned by non-residents, or vice versa. Examples of such goods are ships, aircraft and other transportation equipment. The value of the repair, not the gross value of the goods, is included. Paragraphs 3.54 to 3.56 of this chapter deal with some transactions where repairs may significantly alter the goods, to the extent that they are classified to a different statistical code.

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