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5368.0.55.013 - Information paper: Changes to International Trade in Goods Statistics - Countries and Ports, July 2009  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/07/2009   
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18/08/2009 Note: Table 1 has been updated to include new time series identifiers for tables published in 'International Merchandise Imports, Australia' (cat. no. 5439.0) and 'International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia' (cat. no. 5368.0).

INTRODUCTION

This information paper describes changes to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) country and port classifications used in the dissemination of merchandise trade statistics. This paper advises the timing of these changes and their impact on time series.


BACKGROUND

Australian export statistics are available for port of loading (Australian port), port of discharge (overseas port) and country of final destination (overseas country). Australian import statistics are available for port of loading (overseas port), port of discharge (Australian port) and country of origin (overseas country). The port and country information is derived from the United Nations (UN) location code included in export and import documentation provided to the ABS by the Australian Customs Service.

The UN location code is a classification maintained by the UN for trade and transport locations which contains 242 two letter country codes (eg. BR is Brazil) and over 58,000 five letter port or transport location codes (eg. BRRIO is "Rio de Janerio" and AUSYD is "Sydney"). The UN location code classification is updated periodically to include new codes, amend existing codes and delete codes no longer required.

The ABS corresponds each two letter UN country code to an ABS trade country code of up to four letters (eg. BR corresponds to 'BRAZ' with label "Brazil").

The ABS maintains an ABS overseas port classification and an ABS Australian port classification. Therefore, the ABS corresponds each five letter UN port or transport location code to either:

  • a six-digit ABS overseas port code (eg. BRRIO corresponds to ABS overseas port code 076001 with label "Rio de Janerio"), or
  • a three-digit ABS Australian port code (eg. AUSYD corresponds to ABS Australian port code 101 with label "Sydney").

More than one UN country code can be corresponded to one ABS country code and more than one UN location code can be corresponded to one ABS port code.

Countries are added to the ABS trade country classification as soon as practical after they are:
  • included in the UN location code classification,
  • officially recognised by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and
  • implemented by the Australian Customs Service in export and import documentation.

In some cases a new country code is added to the UN location code classification but the country is not recognised by DFAT. In these cases the new country code is corresponded into another country (eg. JE "Jersey" is merged into the ABS trade country code UK "United Kingdom").

The trade country classification aligns as far as practicable to the ABS Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC) (cat. no. 1269.0) which defines the standard country classification used in other ABS statistics.

Ports are added to the ABS port classifications once:
  • they are included in the UN location code classification,
  • they are implemented by the Australian Customs Service in export and import documentation, and
  • there is evidence that the ports will have sufficient regular trade.

When changes to the ABS port classifications are necessary they will generally only take effect from 1 July.


CHANGES TO ABS TRADE COUNTRY CLASSIFICATION

The following three countries will be added into the ABS trade country classification:

ABS trade country codeABS trade country nameUN country location code
SERBSerbiaRS
MTENMontenegroME
FSTEFrench Southern TerritoriesTF

The ABS countries "Serbia" (SERB) and "Montenegro" (MTEN) will replace the existing ABS country code "Serbia and Montenegro" (YUGO), which will be closed. Note that Serbia still incorporates the Kosovo region which has been recognised by DFAT but not yet by the UN.

There are new UN country codes for "Jersey" (JE), the "Isle of Man" (IM) and "Guernsey" (GG). These will be corresponded to the existing ABS trade country code "UK" (United Kingdom).

An update to the list of UN country codes to be used in completing Customs export declarations was released on 2 July 2009 in Table 1.5 of the Australian Harmonized Export Commodity Classification (AHECC) (cat. no. 1233.0).


CHANGES TO ABS TRADE PORT CLASSIFICATION

The ABS overseas port and ABS Australian port classifications have been recently reviewed. For overseas ports, the review was restricted to countries with a large amount of trade not allocated to identified ABS ports. These countries were China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico and South Korea. The review identified a number of ports with sufficient trade to open as new ABS overseas ports. A number of UN location codes were identified as being incorrectly corresponded and will be corrected. A small number of existing ABS overseas ports that had low values of trade will be closed.

The ABS Australian port classification was also reviewed and as a result one additional port code will be opened, some port codes will be closed and one amendment will be made to the UN location code to ABS port code correspondence.


TIME SERIES

Changes to both ABS trade country and port classifications will be introduced with data for July 2009. However, time series back to January 2009 will be updated to reflect the changes.

Country merchandise trade statistics are included in the publications International Merchandise Imports, Australia (cat. no. 5439.0), International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat. no. 5368.0) and Characteristics of Australian Exporters (cat. no. 5368.0.55.006) and in International Trade Subscriptions. The time series spreadsheets listed below will change from the July 2009 publication onwards to include data relating to the three new countries.

PublicationTimes series table(s) impacted
5439.0Table 2
5368.0Tables 14a, 14b, 36a-36j, 37a-37h
5368.0.55.006Table 11

The format of Table 14 in International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat. no. 5368.0) which contains data for selected countries will not change.

Port merchandise trade statistics are available from International Trade Subscriptions.


DETAILS OF CLASSIFICATION CHANGES

Three tables containing new classification codes and changes to existing classification codes can be accessed from the data cube available from the Downloads tab of this information paper.

Table 1 information on changes to the ABS trade country classification:
  • New country codes
  • Closing country codes
  • Country codes affected by changes to UN location code correspondences and/or changing name
  • List of open country codes.

Table 2 information on changes to the ABS trade overseas port classification:
  • New port codes
  • Closing overseas port codes
  • Overseas port codes affected by changes to UN location code correspondences and/or changing name

Table 3 information on changes to the ABS trade Australian port classification:
  • New port codes
  • Closing Australian port codes
  • Australian port codes affected by changes to UN location code correspondences and/or changing name.

FURTHER INFORMATION

If you require further information about the changes, please write, email or telephone:

Balance of Payments and International Trade Section
Australian Bureau of Statistics
PO Box 10
BELCONNEN ACT 2616

Email: international.trade@abs.gov.au
Telephone: (02) 6252 5409

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