1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> International Accounts and Trade >> International merchandise trade - Conceptual framework

Australia's international merchandise trade statistics, relating to the exports and imports of goods, are compiled in broad agreement with the UN recommendations for the compilation of international trade statistics. More information on the concepts, sources and methods used to produce Australia's trade statistics is included in International Merchandise Trade, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods (5489.0).

The UN recommendations state that merchandise trade covers all movable goods which add to (imports) or subtract from (exports) the stock of material resources of a country as a result of their movement into or out of the country.

The UN definition excludes:

  • direct transit trade, that is, goods being trans-shipped or moved through Australia for purposes of transport only
  • ships and aircraft moving through Australia while engaged in the transport of passengers or goods between Australia and other countries
  • non-merchandise trade, consisting primarily of goods moving on a temporary basis (e.g. mobile equipment, goods under repair and goods for exhibition).

International merchandise trade statistics are compiled by the ABS from information submitted by exporters and importers or their agents to the Australian Customs Service.

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