The special trade system is in use when the statistical territory comprises only a particular part of the economic territory, so that certain flows of goods which are in IMTS2010 scope are not included in either import or export statistics of the compiling country. Countries may apply various definitions of special trade. Traditionally the strict and the relaxed definitions of the special trade are differentiated.
The strict definition of the special trade system is in use when the statistical territory comprises only the free circulation area, that is, the part within which goods "may be disposed of without customs restriction" (see Annex B). Consequently, in such a case, imports include only goods entering the free circulation area of a compiling country and exports include only goods leaving the free circulation area of a compiling country. Under the strict definition, goods imported for inward processing and goods which enter or leave an industrial or commercial free zone or customs warehouses would not be recorded since they would not have been cleared
through customs for home use. The compensating products after inward processing also would not be included in exports.
The relaxed definition of the special trade system is in use when (a) goods that enter a country for or leave it after inward processing and (b) goods that enter or leave an industrial free zone are also recorded and included in international merchandise trade statistics.
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