5489.0 - International Merchandise Trade, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2015  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/11/2015   
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2.5 Australia uses export and import declarations collated by the DIBP as the primary source for compiling international merchandise trade statistics. Many other countries use a similar method for compiling statistics through their national Customs/Trade Agencies. The jurisdiction of the DIBP does not extend to goods exported and imported by Norfolk Island, Heard Island, McDonald Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Coral Sea Islands, the Australian Antarctic Territory, the Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA) or Australia's territorial enclaves abroad. As a result these areas are excluded from the statistical territory covered by Australia's international merchandise trade statistics.


Included in Australia's statistical territory
  • The six states (New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania), the mainland territories (Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory, Jervis Bay Territory) and the associated coastal islands.
  • Lord Howe Island (New South Wales), Macquarie Island (Tasmania) and the Coral Sea Island Territory (Queensland).
  • DIBP warehouses (note that Australia does not have industrial free or commercial free zones).
  • Australia's territorial waters (to 12 nautical miles offshore).
  • The contiguous zone which extends to a maximum of 24 nautical miles from the territorial baseline.
  • The Exclusive Economic Zone and the continental shelf lying in international waters over which Australia enjoys exclusive rights, or over which it has, or claims to have, jurisdiction in respect of the right to fish or to exploit fuels or minerals below the seabed. Australia's exclusive economic zone extends to a maximum distance of 200 nautical miles offshore but in some instances the continental shelf extends beyond this. It excludes the area in the Timor Sea known as the JPDA (see paragraphs 2.87-2.93 in Special Cases and their Treatment).

Excluded from Australia's statistical territory
  • Norfolk Island, Heard Island, McDonald Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Ashmore and Cartier Islands, and the Australian Antarctic Territory. While all are Australian territories, they are effectively treated as foreign countries in Australia's international merchandise trade statistics. While the ABS can provide information on Australia's exports to, and imports from, each of these territories, no information is available on their trade with other countries. Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Ashmore and Cartier Islands are administered by the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. Each has an administrator appointed by the Governor-General. The Australian Antarctic Territory and the sub-Antarctic territories of Heard Island and McDonald Islands are managed by the Australian Antarctic Division of the Commonwealth Department of Environment.
  • The JPDA is an area of seabed in the Timor Sea over which both Australia and East Timor claim 100% sovereign rights. The DIBP treat the JPDA as an external territory.
  • Installations or apparatus (including satellites in outer space, ships, aircraft and other mobile equipment, pipelines and undersea communications cable) which involve a change of ownership between an Australian resident and a non-resident while outside Australia's statistical territory.
  • Goods supplied to foreign government enclaves in Australia, e.g. embassies and military bases.
  • Goods supplied to Australia's enclaves abroad.