CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE
CHANGES TO EXPORT AND IMPORT STATISTICAL CODES
From 1 January 2012, an updated international Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) and an ABS review of statistical codes has been implemented. Statistical codes in the Australian Harmonized Export Commodity Classification (AHECC) are used for export statistics and Customs Tariff statistical codes are used for import statistics.
All exports data from January 2012 incorporate AHECC changes effective from 1 January 2012, while revisions to data prior to January 2012 are under the previous HS version. In January 2012, data were reported against approximately 580 of the 980 new 8–digit AHECC statistical codes, representing about 15% of total value of exports.
Similarly, all imports data from January 2012 incorporate Customs Tariff changes effective from 1 January 2012, while revisions to data prior to January 2012 are under the previous HS version. In January 2012, data were reported against approximately 1,000 of the 1,340 new 10–digit Customs Tariff statistical codes, representing about 17% of total value of imports.
When using the detailed data, consideration needs to be given to these changes. Most of the data published are on an "as reported to Customs" basis as the ABS does not have the resources to check all import entries. While there have been reporting issues identified in some tariffs, the ABS has found no evidence of a significant deterioration in the overall quality of reporting under the updated HS.
The HS changes could also impact on statistics presented according to related classifications. No significant impacts could be identified in series presented according to BoPBEC and BoPCE. However, it is not possible to be definitive about the impact on other series (such as SITC) because of the normal volatility in the series and the limitations of the available data.
More detailed information about these changes can be found in the Information Paper: Changes to AHECC and the Customs Tariff, 2012 (cat. no. 5368.0.55.017) including correspondences between the codes of the current and the updated version of the Customs Tariff, and correspondences between the updated version of the AHECC and the Customs Tariff, and related classifications. The correspondences can be used to assess the impact on the detailed export and import statistics.