TSB logo

Why and How to subscribe?

Why and how to subscribe to UN Comtrade?

Certain users may like to have the possibility to download amounts of data above the limit of 100,000 records. For such users, premium access service to UN Comtrade has been created. These users shall subscribe to this premium access service.

All data are available through Public Data API. However, subscription enables access to personalisation and bulk download features. See full comparison between public and premium API at

To subscribe, please go to Subscribers will be granted additional access to Comtrade data through World Bank WITS and/or CEPII BACI (+some analytical functionalities)

Portion of text below applied only to Legacy UN Comtrade
The UN Comtrade premium access service offers several features for personalization. Users can save the query (called Saved Queries), and save individual items as favorites, such as commodity favorites, reporter favorites, partner favorites and year favorites. Users can define their own country groups (which combine several reporters) or commodity groups. Global country groups have already been defined, so users can just attach them to favorites and use later in Basic Selection or Express Selection.

Users can customize their FrontPage and Download Format, or even submit a query into a batch (and an e-mail notification will be sent upon completion of the query). Users can thus avoid having a "Time out" message and have a "powerful" research tool.

For subscription rates, please visit the UN Publications website here.

Access to UN Comtrade is free of charge. As a guest user, you are able to browse data for free and use the database with limited features. For technical reasons there is a download limit of 100,000 records per data query, but there is no limit on the number of data queries a user can do. Nevertheless, there limitations for guest users are as follows:
• cannot create favorites or customized groups
• cannot save a query
• cannot execute elaborate data requests
• cannot set an alert notification for batch processing

As a subscriber to UN Comtrade premium access service, the following features are available for use:
• Saving frequently used commodities, reporters, partners and years and saving your queries. .
• Creating customized commodity and country groups. The system will calculate the aggregated value for the group. For example, you can create a commodity group called ‘manufactured goods’ by adding SITC sections 5 through 8 and subtracting division 68.
• Setting an alert notification and/or an auto batch. These features are built into your saved queries. Every night the saved data queries are checked against newly added or revised data. If new data were added then an alert notification is sent by email to the subscriber and the data request is automatically executed (as “auto batch”). For example, the subscriber can setup a data request regarding a particular set of countries; each time data are added to the UN Comtrade database for any of these countries the auto batch will be run.
• Customizing the front page of UN Comtrade according to your preferences
• Downloading the data a using direct download (up to 150,000 records) or batch download (up to 25 million records).
• Running a complex and heavy query via batch. You'll avoid the "time out" message. The link to the result file will be sent to you via email.
• Customizing the download format. You'll be able to select and change the order of the columns of your result file.
• Subscribing to monthly reports on organizational usage statistics.

Premium Access Service

Premium access service subscription, which is based on IP recognition, allows individual members of your organization to have automatic access with full functionalities including download of data.

The premium access service gives all of the features described above to all users of the organization. The advantages are:
• Each user is recognized by IP Address which enables automatic login.
• Each user can still have all of the personalization features of individual users (by specifying an email address), including batch submission, customized groups, alert notification, etc.
• The Master User can create sub-users with user name and password if access to UN Comtrade is required from outside the defined IP addresses.
• The IP users can make use of the organizational favorites, saved queries and download format set by Master Account.
• Unlimited download. For specific internal projects millions of records can be easily downloaded.

Premium Access Service Subscription Trial

Premium access service subscription trial is available for organizations / universities / companies. To obtain access for a limited trial period, please send a request to In the request, you must include organization/company name & address, contact person and the IP addresses used by your organization to access to the Internet. Once we receive the IP addresses we will proceed with the setup of the free trial subscription.

Renewing Comtrade subscription

It is necessary to contact the UN Sales section ( which is responsible for the administrative and financial handling of the subscriptions to UN Comtrade.

Renewal notification will be sent 30 days and 15 days before expiration date. Then, you would have to contact UN Sales section to renew your subscription.

Note for WITS Customer:
Because User Administration of UN Comtrade and WITS are currently mananged by seperate systems, WITS customer has to re-send all (WITS) email addresses along with renewal request.

Related Questions:

Q: How can I gain full access to UN Comtrade database?
A: You must subscribe to become a premium access service user and have full access to the UN Comtrade features. Unregistered users could use a guest account to login, but will have limited access.

Q: I'm a site license subscriber with unlimited download. Why does the system give me a message about charging my account?
A: As a site license subscriber with unlimited download, you can download as much records as you need (for internal use). This message is intended to warn individual users who have a download limit of a certain number of records. In addition, the message serves as a confirmation in order to avoid mistakes when submitting a batch request.

Q: Are your subscription charges explained on the website?
A: Yes, you can access the subscription rates at:

Q: What is the status of my subscription? When will my account be activated?
A: You should be receiving an email notification as soon as your payment is submitted to our sales section.

Q: Please provide me with the online permission for international trade statistics
A: Online access to UN Comtrade database (imports/exports) is available by annual subscription. The annual subscription would allow you to download the bilateral merchandise trade for all available countries up to 5 digit SITC or up to 6 digit HS.
You can access UN Comtrade, free of charge, or by clicking on First Time User, which would allow you to browse and print a 1000-lines of data at a time. A subscription is needed in order to download data. UN Comtrade is accessed at
The subscription levels and order form are also on the site page. Please refer to these links on how to fully use UN Comtrade:

Q: I already subscribed. When will I receive my userID and password?
A: It normally stakes up to 24 hours before a userID and password are issued. You will be notified by the UN Sales section (, which is responsible for the administrative and financial handling of the subscriptions to UN Comtrade, as soon as they complete your order.

Q: How many IP addresses are allowed for an account? How many users can access the facility at a time?
A: You can submit any number of IP addresses. The system can handle many simultaneous users at a time.

Related Links

Also In This Category

Add Your Comments
Comments require login or registration.
Last Modified: 3 Years Ago
Last Modified By: comtrade_admin
Rated 1 star based on 1 vote
Article has been viewed 44.6K times.
Find Similar