International Merchandise Trade, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods

Latest release

This publication is a guide for users of International Merchandise Trade statistics

Reference period
2018

Preface

This publication describes the conceptual framework for Australia's international merchandise trade statistics and the data sources and methods used to compile them. The purpose of this publication is to help users of these statistics understand and interpret the statistics.

This is the third issue of this publication, updating the issue released in 2015. This issue describes the conceptual framework for Australia's international merchandise trade statistics and reflects changes to the patterns of international merchandise trade since 2001. Changes to the sources and methods are a result of both the Department of Home Affairs re-engineering their system for processing export and import declarations and changes to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) processing environment. While these changes were not visible to users of these statistics, this publication provides a complete explanation of the sources and methods used to compile and release Australia's international merchandise trade statistics.

The main ABS publications that present international merchandise trade statistics are: 

A number of time series spreadsheets, from January 1988 onwards, accompany these publications which are available on the ABS website. More detailed data are available from the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or via the online Information Consultancy Form.

From time to time, particular concepts, sources or methods used in compiling Australia's international merchandise trade statistics are changed or modified in the light of reviews or other developments. Users will be advised of these changes in the above statistical publications and in periodic updates to this publication.

The ABS invites comments on the usefulness of this publication as a guide to Australia's international merchandise trade statistics. Such feedback will help in planning the content of future issues of this publication and the descriptive material included in the regular statistical publications. Comments should be directed to:

International Trade in Goods and Services Section
Australian Bureau of Statistics
GPO Box 66
Hobart TAS 7001
Email: international.trade@abs.gov.au

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Appendices

History of changes

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13/04/2022 Note: 

The contents of Appendices 6.1 and 6.2 have been updated with the most up to date commodity classifications, including statistical codes that opened on 01 April 2022 and 01 May 2022.

22/02/2022 Note: 

Appendices 2, 6.1 and 6.2 have been updated to reflect the implementation of the Seventh Edition of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS2022), including details of the associated statistical code changes for 1 January 2022. Appendices 9 and 11 have been updated with the most up to date country group membership and preference codes.

13/05/2021 Note: 

The contents of Appendix 6.2 have been updated with the most up to date commodity classifications, including the statistical codes that opened on 29 March 2021 and 01 April 2021. The contents of Appendix 9 have been updated with the most up to date country groups. The contents of Appendix 11 have been updated with the most up to date treatment codes.

22/01/2021 Note: 

The contents of Appendix 6.1 have been updated with the most up to date commodity classifications, including the statistical codes that opened on 1 January 2021. The contents of Appendix 11 have been updated with the most up to date preference and treatment codes.

27/11/2019 Note: 

This publication has been updated with the naming conventions of the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), and to reflect the new Maritime Boundary Treaty between Australia and Timor-Leste which came in to force on 30 August 2019. More information can be found in International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, Sep 2019 (cat no. 5368.0). These changes have been made in text, as well as in Appendices 4, 7, 8 and 9.

25/06/2019 Note: 

The contents of Appendices 6.1 and 6.2 have been updated with the most up to date commodity classifications, including the statistical codes that opened on 1 July 2019. Minor updates have been made to the content at the same time.

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 5489.0.

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