5439.0 - International Merchandise Imports, Australia, Dec 2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/01/2009   
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Changes to the method used to confidentialise data for Imports of goods were advised in the September 2008 issue of this publication. These changes resulted in merchandise trade data from September 2008 that have the confidentiality restrictions 'No commodity details' or 'No value details' being published as 'No country details' in the country totals and 'State not available for publication' in the state totals. In addition, in the balance of payments series, the confidential items were included in the civil aircraft series. Further changes are introduced in this issue.

Confidentially restrictions applied to merchandise trade data are detailed in the Confidential Commodities List (CCL) (cat. no. 5372.0.55.001). From December 2008 reference month, additional restrictions have been applied and these may impact on the interpretation of some series. In particular care should be taken when examining the machinery and transport equipment SITC series and the industrial transport equipment (excl. passenger motor cars, parts and access) BEC series (if needed).

In the Balance of payments series, the civil aircraft component will not be separately available from December 2008 reference month. The civil aircraft component and the confidential items will be included in the capital goods n.e.s. component. This change applies to both the preliminary balance of payments estimates presented in this issue and the more detailed series presented in International trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat. no. 5368.0). These changes impact on the presentation of publication tables 4, 6 and 8.

The additional confidentiality restrictions and the changed presentation of balance of payments series will not have any impact on the total merchandise imports and balance of goods (in original, current price terms) nor the chain volume measures in the quarterly national accounts. The treatment of the civil aircraft series will be reviewed in conjunction with changes resulting from the implementation of the 6th revision to the Balance of Payments Manual. Details will be advised in a future issue of Goods and Services, Australia.