5331.0 - Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2011  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/03/2011   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All  



The Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual Sixth edition states that:

    10.26 Transactions involving general merchandise should be recorded at the time of the change of ownership of the goods. Maximizing consistency in the time of recording between the exporter and importer, the change of ownership matches the time when the corresponding financial account entries are made (such as currency and deposits or trade credit). Goods are considered to change ownership when the parties enter the goods in their books as a real asset and make a corresponding change to their financial assets and liabilities.

    10.27 IMTS: Concepts and Definitions recommends that the time of recording be based on when the goods enter or leave the territory, with the date of lodgement of the customs declaration a suitable approximation. In practice, some data sources may be based on the time of processing the declarations, which is unsatisfactory if there are either long or variable lags in the time taken to process records. There will be lags between the time of export of a good and the time of its corresponding import arising from the period in which the goods are at sea or in transit through other countries. Ideally for international accounts statistics purposes, source data would be adjusted by:
      (a) removing recorded merchandise movements that did not involve a change of ownership in the period, and
      (b) adding merchandise that changed ownership during the period but was recorded in the source data in earlier or later periods.
    In practice, the timing of the change of ownership is usually assumed to be approximately the same as the time of customs recording.

    High-value capital goods

    10.28 The production of high-value capital goods such as ships, heavy machinery, and other equipment may take several months or years to complete. As with other goods, the transaction should be recorded at the time that economic ownership is conveyed from the seller to the buyer. The time of ownership change is as arranged between the parties; for example, it could be a progressive change in line with stage payments, or in full on delivery. The timing in data sources may or may not coincide with the change of ownership; for example, payments data are on the basis of stage payments, whereas customs data are on the basis of the time that the completed item crosses the customs frontier. (If change of ownership differs from time of payment, accounts receivable/payable arise, as discussed in paragraph 5.71.)

    Goods on consignment

    10.29 Goods on consignment are intended for sale, but their sale has not been arranged at the time they are dispatched. Similarly, for goods sent for auction or for temporary storage before sale, the change of ownership may not occur until later. Such goods should not be included in the international accounts until ownership changes, to avoid a source of discrepancies between the goods flow and the corresponding financial entries. However, if it is impractical to record the transactions in this way, they can be approximated by the time of recording in international merchandise trade statistics. If there is a substantial delay in the sale of the goods, it is good practice in major cases to make adjustments to the actual time of change of ownership.

IMTS: Concepts and Definitions refers to the United Nations International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions Series M, No. 52, Rev. 2.


    General merchandise

Previous PageNext Page

Back to top of the page