1.13 The conceptual framework followed for Australia's international merchandise trade statistics is largely consistent with the international standards set out in the UN publication International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions, Series M, No. 52, Rev. 3 (IMTS 2010). International merchandise trade statistics are an important part of the body of macroeconomic statistics produced by the ABS. The compilation of international merchandise trade statistics is therefore also influenced by the requirements of the international standards adopted for these statistics, i.e. System of National Accounts, 2008 (2008 SNA) and Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, Sixth Edition (BPM6).
1.14 The majority of changes to the international standards introduced with IMTS 2010 move the international merchandise trade concept closer to the balance of payments basis. The ABS considers that in order to meet the range of users needs, it is important to maintain the statistical series of merchandise trade on the basis of International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions, Series M, No. 52, Rev. 2. Changes to align with a balance of payments basis would result statistics that no longer cater for the needs of many data users. For a fuller explanation of the different bases see Conceptual Frameworks (paragraph 12.3) and Balance of Payments Statistics (paragraphs 12.4-12.9 and Table 12.1).