Statistical Service of the Republic of Cyprus

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Methodological note on External Trade Statistics




1. Concepts, recording system, definitions and classifications

STATISTICAL CONCEPT

External trade statistics cover both extra and intra-EU trade.

Data sources
Since the accession of Cyprus to EU in May 2004, major changes were brought into trade statistics data. Trade statistics with EU Member States and trade statistics with non-EU countries are compiled from two separate sources. This was the consequence of the abolition of custom formalities between EU Member States, which had served as the traditional source of trade statistics, and the introduction of a new data collection system called Intrastat. Customs declarations, the traditional source of almost all trade statistics, were no longer required for most movements of goods within the EU. A new EU wide system for collecting intra-EU trade statistics, Intrastat, was introduced in May 2004 for the compilation of statistics with Member States.

The introduction of Intrastat as from May 2004 involved a methodological break with the past. Intra-EU trade statistics are compiled using the information extracted from two sources: The first is the Intrastat system in which the providers of statistical information submit detailed monthly returns giving information on arrivals and/or dispatches with EU countries to national responsible Authority. The Legal background of Intra-EU trade statistics is the 2004 National Intrastat Law (L38 (I)/2004) relating to the statistics of the trading of goods between Member States and the 2004 National Law (Amended) (L135(I)/2004), as well as the Community legislation and covers about 98% of Cyprus trade with EU. The second component of the Intra-EU trade statistics is the VAT return, on which all traders are required to record the total value of goods imported from and exported to other EU Member States. The information provided on the VAT returns is necessary for determining the total EU trade for those traders below the Intrastat thresholds, for maintaining the Intrastat trader΄s register and for identifying those traders exceeding the thresholds, who are eligible to make the detailed Intrastat return.

The statistics of trade with non-EU countries are compiled mainly from “Theseas” system, the computerized system of Customs Authorities for imports and the Single Administrative Document (SAD) for exports.

RECORDING SYSTEM & DEFINITIONS

Recording system
· Extra- EU trade
The general trade system is recorded for the trade with non-EU countries. Under it, the recorded aggregates include all goods entering or leaving the economic territory of Cyprus with the exception of simple transit trade. In particular, all goods which are received into customs warehouses are recorded as imports at that stage whether or not they subsequently go into free circulation in Cyprus. Similarly, outgoing goods from customs warehouses are included in the general trade aggregates at the time they leave Cyprus. Furthermore, all goods that go or leave directly into/from local market are included.
· Intra- EU trade
The Intrastat system is based on the concept of movement of goods between Member States. Accordingly, it is applied to the goods which move from one Member State to another. As such, intra-EU trade statistics record the arrivals and dispatches of all movable property recorded by each Member State. "Arrivals" are analogous to imports; "dispatches" are analogous to exports.

Arrivals include:
a) goods in free circulation which enter the statistical territory of Cyprus;
b) goods which have been placed under the Customs procedure for inward processing or processing under customs control (for processing, transformation or repair) in another Member State and which enter the statistical territory of Cyprus;
c) Some goods movements are included in statistics based on specific conditions (i.e aircraft and ships).

Dispatches include:
a) goods in free circulation which leave the statistical territory of Cyprus bound for another Member State;
b) goods which have been placed under the Customs procedure for inward processing or processing under Customs control (for processing, transformation or repair) in Cyprus and which are destined for another Member State;
c) Some goods movements are included in statistics based on specific conditions (i.e aircraft and ships).

Statistics do not cover goods in transit, that is goods that are merely passing across a Member State, by any means of transport, but are not stored there for any but transport reasons.

Reference period
· Extra-EU trade
The reference period is the calendar month in which the Customs Authorities accepts and release the declaration.
· Intra-EU trade
Τhe reference period is defined as the calendar month, of arrival or dispatch of the goods.

Statistical Value
The statistical value is the value calculated at national frontiers. It is calculated on a f.o.b. basis (free on board), for exports/dispatches or c.i.f. basis (cost, insurance, freight), for imports/arrivals. Therefore, it includes only incidental expenses (freight, insurance) incurred in the part of the journey located on the territory of Cyprus from which the goods are exported (in the case of exports/dispatches) and in the part of the journey located outside the territory of Cyprus (in the case of imports/arrivals).

The statistical value is generally based on the customs value in the case of extra-EU trade, or on taxable value in the case of intra-EU trade. Under the Intrastat system, the statistical value is not provided by all the information providers. For those traders not liable to submit statistical value, the statistical value is calculated by the Statistical Service of Cyprus from the invoiced amount given in the return.

Domestic and foreign goods
Domestic goods are goods originating in the economic territory of Cyprus; if they have been wholly obtained in it or were substantially transformed by processing in it, so that the processing confers domestic origin. Goods originally imported and having undergone only repair or minor operations which leave them essentially unchanged are not defined as domestic. Minor operations include blending, packaging, bottling, cleaning, sorting, husking and selling.

Foreign goods are goods originating in the rest of the world, i.e. not produced in the economic territory of Cyprus and compensating goods obtained under the outward processing procedure when such processing confers foreign origin.

Partner Country
Exports and dispatches are classified by the country (or Member State) of final destination of the goods. The last country to which the goods are specifically directed on their outward movement from the reporting country is regarded as their final destination. This is not necessarily the country in which the good will be unshipped or that in which they will be finally consumed.

For imports (extra-EU trade), the trading partner is the country of origin. In general, goods obtained entirely from a given country originate in that country. A product, in the production of which two or more countries were concerned, is considered as originating in the country in which the last transformation or substantial processing took place. Packing, repacking, sorting and blending are not regarded as manufacturing processes.
For arrivals (intra-EU trade), the trading partner is the Member State of consignment of the goods. This is the Member State from which the goods were dispatched without halt or legal formality in another country apart from any transport reasons. Conversely, if there was such an operation in another country, that country becomes the Member State of consignment.

CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM AND CONFORMITY WITH OFFICIAL STANDARDS

Product Classification
Products are disseminated according to the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System (HS2, HS4, HS6) and at the most detailed level of the Combined Nomenclature (CN8).

Country Classification
The classification of countries is the country nomenclature (Geonomenclature) as set out annually in the Official Journal of the European Communities. Τhe United Nations΄ ISO alpha-2 coding system is followed, in which each country is identified by a two-letter code.

2. Coverage of the data

STATISTICAL THRESHOLDS
· Extra-EU trade threshold
Through the application of the threshold system extra-EU trade statistics do not cover imports and exports whose value is lower than the customs threshold.
· Intra-EU trade threshold
Through the application of the threshold system, intra-EU trade statistics cover any natural or legal person registered for VAT, whose value of trade is considered to be above the threshold level of Cy £40.000 (for the year 2006), in arrivals or dispatches.
The value of trade of the party responsible for providing information is considered to be above the thresholds when the value of trade with other EU Member States during the previous year exceeds the applicable threshold, or when the cumulative value of trade with other EU Member States since the beginning of the year of application exceeds the applicable thresholds.

3. Periodicity and Timeliness

External trade statistics are published monthly and annually. The first results (provisional data) are published 40 days after the reference month, whereas the detailed data are published 70 days after the reference month.


Contact

Foreign Trade Section
Phone No.: (+357) 22605122
(+357) 22602205
(+357) 22602214


Last update: 25 July, 2006

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