6.1 International merchandise trade statistics by partner country are of significant analytical value. The statistics are used to calculate trade shares and analyse trade patterns and product markets. This information is used for business planning and for government trade policy and negotiations. The statistics are also used for checking the accuracy and reliability of each country's international merchandise trade data through confrontation exercises.
6.2 For attribution of partner country, the ABS classifies exports by country of final destination (this is the same concept as country of last known destination) and imports and import clearances according to country of origin. Additionally, the ABS receives the overseas port of discharge for exports and the port of loading for imports. In some cases, the country reported in these fields may differ from the country of consignment.
6.3 In compiling international merchandise trade statistics, Australia, like most other countries, uses customs declarations as the primary data source. Consequently the DIBP's definition of Australia and foreign territories (a narrower definition than economic territory) is used. Australia's economic territory is defined in Coverage (paragraph 2.5) and in the Glossary. The definition of the economic territory of Australia's trading partners is defined by the DFAT.
6.4 This section defines country of origin and country of final destination. It also explains the classifications used to collect, compile and disseminate country, state and port statistics.