5489.0 - International Merchandise Trade, Australia, Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2001  
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Contents >> Chapter 4. Classifications >> Industry Classifications

4.39 Most analyses of Australian trade focus on trade in particular commodities and/or on trade with particular trading partners. There is also interest in the trade undertaken by individual businesses and industries, but neither of these aspects are well supported by the use of Customs information at the present time. In the past, it has not been possible to bring together from the Customs systems all the import or export transactions relating to a single business, or to classify the data according to the main economic activity of the businesses undertaking the transactions i.e. on a standard industry basis.

4.40 Information on the trade, particularly exports, of individual businesses and industries has therefore been an area of substantial unmet demand. While some information has been available from other sources, there have been a range of methodological and coverage problems with the data. It has not been possible to reliably compare international merchandise trade data with other statistical information produced on a standard industry basis. The introduction of The New Tax System from 1 July 2000 is expected to ultimately lead to major improvements in this area (see Chapter 10, The new tax system for further information).

4.41 Trade statistics are currently published on an industry of origin basis. The statistics are compiled by allocating statistical codes from the AHECC and the HTISC to industry of origin based upon the primary activities of the industries with which they are most commonly associated i.e. commodity codes are assigned to industry classes by matching the commodities to the defined primary activities of classes in the industry classification used.

4.42 These are the industries most likely to have produced the traded items. All trade in a commodity is assigned to one industry class, which is the one that the commodity is most likely to have been produced by, or to have 'originated' from, its 'industry of origin'.

4.43 Industry of origin is a different concept from the standard industry basis on which most economic statistics are compiled and published. Individual businesses usually undertake a number of activities and are classified to an industry based on their main economic activity i.e. they are assigned to the industry class for which their main economic activity is defined as a primary activity. However, businesses classified to a particular industry will often undertake activities which are primary to other industries. Statistics produced on the two bases are therefore fundamentally different.

Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC)

4.44 The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) is the standard industrial classification used in Australia and New Zealand for the collection, compilation and publication of statistics on an industry basis. While it is designed for compilation of statistics on a standard industry basis, it, and any other industry classification, can also be used to produce statistics on an industry of origin basis.

4.45 The classification was developed jointly by the ABS and Statistics New Zealand (SNZ). One of the guiding principles in the development of the ANZSIC was to align it as closely as possible to the International Standard Industrial Classification Of All Economic Activities (ISIC). However, as ISIC is essentially an activity classification rather than an industrial classification, and the structure of Australian and New Zealand industry sometimes varies from that implied by ISIC, the degree of alignment achieved is not as great as that for the national and international commodity classifications referred to earlier.

4.46 ANZSIC replaced the Australian Standard Industrial Classification (ASIC) and the New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (NZSIC), which had been in use in Australia and New Zealand respectively for many years previously. International merchandise trade data was first presented, on an industry of origin basis, according to the ANZSIC, in July 1993. Data for periods back to January 1988 were recompiled according to the ANZSIC to provide a consistent series from that date. For periods earlier than 1988, the statistics are presented according to the ASIC.

4.47 There are links available from ANZSIC to the HS and the SITC codes (and vice versa), at the most detailed level of the classifications. An example of the hierarchical structure of the ANZSIC is included below.


Division:AAgriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Group:011Horticulture and Fruit Growing
Class:0115Apple and Pear Growing

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