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IMTS Publication List


A. Publications available (Please see links to download)

1- International Merchandise Trade Statistics Compilers Manual - Revision 1 (IMTS 2010-CM)

Series F No. 87 Rev. 1 (Download EN)(Download RU)

Year 2013

The Compilers Manual is the cornerstone of the United Nations Statistics Division action plan for the implementation of IMTS 2010. The Manual contains further and more detailed explanation of certain recommendations and provides practical guidance for compilers by describing good or best practices applicable under different circumstances. The Manual promotes the adherence to good practices and recommends specific solutions to compilation issues related to international merchandise trade statistics. The structure of IMTS 2010-CM is largely similar to that of the original Compilers Manual of 2004, and the updates respond to the need to (a) incorporate guidance on the implementation of new recommendations and encouragements contained in IMTS 2010 and (b) reflect any new or updated country practices

2- International Merchandise Trade Statistics Compilers Manual - 2004

Series F No. 87 (Buy online) (Download)

Year 2004

The Manual is published by UNSD at the request of the United Nations Statistical Commission to assist United Nations Member States in the implementation of the methodological guidelines laid out in International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions (published in 1998). The Manual has been prepared in cooperation with other international organizations and country experts. It is directed to all institutions which play a role in the collection, compilation and dissemination of trade statistics, and it may also serve as a guide to users who wish to understand better the nature of trade data. The Manual discusses in detail the conceptual and institutional framework of data collection, the sources of data, methods of data compilation, and data dissemination, reconciliation and exchange.

3- International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Supplement to the Compiler's Manual - 2008

Series F No. 87 (Buy online) (Download)

Year 2008

The Supplement covers a number of topics deemed to be beneficial to trade data compilers, including an overview of compiling practices, the revised International convention on the simplification and harmonization of customs procedures (revised Kyoto Convention), the 2007 edition of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, specific compilation issues such as goods for processing and re-exports, an overview of the differences between IMTS and general merchandise in balance of payments statistics, the lessons learned from the Intrastat system of the European Union, and the topic of linking trade and business statistics.

4- International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions 2010 revision 3 -

Series M No. 52 rev. 3 (Buy online) (Download)

Year 2012

This publication contains updated recommendations on methodology for compiling international merchandise trade statistics adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission in February 2008. The Commission further requested that the revised recommendations provide an updated conceptual framework and guidance on data compilation and dissemination, and be harmonized, to the extent possible, with the revised recommendations for statistics of international trade in services, the balance of payments statistics and the system of national accounts. The Commission requested that, in revising the recommendations, due consideration be given to minimizing the cost of the data collection and reporting burden. IMTS 2010 is intended to provide recommendations which are globally applicable and operational, and follows an integrated approach to economic statistics, including the use, where applicable, of common concepts, definitions, classifications and data-compilation strategies.

5- International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions revision 2 -

Series M No. 52 rev. 2 (Out of print) (Download)

Year 1998

This publication contains updated recommendations on methodology for compiling international merchandise trade statistics adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission in March 1997. These recommendations are an essential references for trade statistics analysis and understanding. They take into account new developments in international trade, national practices of data compilation, new international agreements regarding customs procedures, and previously adopted revisions of methodology of national accounting and balance of payments statistics. They address basic issues such as coverage of statistics and time of recording, trade system, commodity classifications, valuation, quantity measurement, partner country, and reporting and dissemination. The publication also contains detailed lists of goods to be included and excluded from imports and exports; two tables which make it possible to determine, at a glance, how various categories of goods are treated in both the general and the special trade systems; and linkages between statistical concepts and international conventions regarding trade matters.

6- Strategies for Price and Quantity Measurement in External Trade - A Technical Report

Series M No. 69 (Out of print) (Download)

Year 1981

This publication is part of a continuing effort by the Statistics Division to develop comprehensive recommendations for national work on price and quantity statistics. It stems from the discussion of price and quantity comparisons in System of National Accounts and Guidelines on Principles of a System of Price and Quantity Statistics. It examines alternative strategies for the measurement of price and quantity in external trade and considers sources of data; approaches to measurement; major problems of pricing; the problem of aggregation; some tentative solutions; and strategies for compiling index numbers. An annex on coverage and structure of index numbers in external trade is included, as is a list of references.

7- Price and Quantity Measurement in External Trade: Two studies of national practice

Series M No. 76 (Out of print) (Download)

Year 1983

This publication has been designed as a supplement to Strategies for Price and guantity Measurement in External Trade, A technical report prepared by the Statistical Office of the United Nations Secretariat and published in 1981. Through the presentation of two case studies of national practice and experience, the present report aims to provide detailed practical guidance on the development and implementation of the two main approaches to price and quantity measurement in external trade. The relative merits of the two approaches and also of an approach combining the best features of each have been extensively discussed in the earlier report. Both publications should be of direct assistance to countries initiating work in this important area , as well as to those planning to improve existing work.

8- Statistical Territories of the World for Use in International Merchandise Trade Statistics

Series M 30 rev 3 (Download)

Year 2002

This publication defines each country’s customs territory and economic territory and the definition used for international merchandise trade statistics practices. It also gives the basis upon which individual countries compile their trade statistics. For many countries the statistical territory coincides with the customs territory, indicating that many countries use customs records as their main source of statistical data. The results also show that for some countries the statistical territory coincides with the economic territory and the geographic territory. This analysis provides users with a better understanding of a country’s merchandise trade statistics, and greatly facilitates international comparisons of external trade data.

9-National Practices in Compilation and Dissemination of External Trade Index Numbers

Series F 86 (Buy online) (Download)
Year 2005

This publication summarizes the collection of technical information on the index numbers of international trade statistics. The United Nations Statistics Division sent out a questionnaire to a number of countries at the beginning of 1999. By 2002, the Division had received responses on compilation practices from a total of 76 countries and one customs union.

The present report describes the compilation practices of each respondent according to the following characteristics:(a) Index number series produced; (b) Source of information; (c) Index calculation methods; (d) Limitations of indices, problems encountered and other methodological observations specific to the country; (e) Release dates; (f) Revision policy; (g) Dissemination; (h) Compiling agency and contact information. The results of the survey summarized in this publication include national compilation and dissemination of index numbers of external trade and descriptions of national practices.

10-Methods Used in Compiling the United Nations Price Indexes for External Trade, v.II--(Also incorporating quantum indexes)

Series M 82 (Buy online) (Download)
Year 1991

This volume contains details on history, sources of data and methods used by the United Nations Statistics Division in compilation of the price (unit value) indexes of total exports and imports, manufactured goods exports, fuel imports, exports of machinery and transport equipment. It describes the derivation of quantum indexes and indexes of terms of trade for selected countries and for major regions of the world and includes an annex which provides samples of tables published in the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics and a full list of current sources.

11-Standard International Trade Classification Revision 4

Series M 34 rev. 4 (Buy online) (Download)
Year 2006

This publication provides codes for and descriptions of all of the 2970 SITC, Rev. 4 basic headings and corresponding HS07 subheading codes. In addition, in the three appendices are correspondence tables correlating the following: the subheadings of HS07 to the basic headings of SITC, Rev. 4; the basic headings of SITC, Rev. 4 to the basic headings of SITC, Rev. 3; and the basic headings of SITC, Rev. 3 to the basic headings of SITC, Rev. 4. Many countries and national and international organizations continue to use SITC for various purposes, such as for the study of long-term trends in international merchandise trade and aggregation of traded commodities into classes more suitable for economic analysis.

12-Standard International Trade Classification Revision 3
Series M 34 rev. 3 (Out of print) (Download)
Year 1986
This basic classification, known as SITC, Rev. 3, groups all commodities into headings suitable for economic analysis. SITC is recommended by the United Nations for use in all countries for their external trade data and thus promotes international comparability of trade statistics. This publication describes the history of SITC and usage and two annexes show the correspondence between the basic headings of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) of the Customs Co-operation Council and SITC, Rev. 3, and between Revision 2 and Revision 3 of SITC.

13-Guidelines on Principles of a System of Price and Quantity Statistics

Series M 59 (Out of print) (Download)

Year 1977

These guidelines discuss an interrelated framework within which most work on the collection and compilation of all kinds of elementary series, aggregates and index numbers of prices and quantities may take place. The object of these guidelines is to show how the different kinds of price and quantity statistics and indexes that are required for different uses are related to one another and to suggest methods of ensuring their consistency.

14- International Trade Statistics Yearbook 2015/Annuaire Statistique du Commerce International 2015 Vol. I & II

Series G 64 (Buy online) (Download Vol I)(Download Vol II)

Year 2016

The International Trade Statistics Yearbook: Volume I - Trade by Country, provides an overview of the latest trends of trade in goods and services of most countries and areas in the world. The publication is aimed at both specialist trade data users and common audience at large. The presented data, charts and analyses will benefit policy makers, government agencies, non-government organizations, civil society organizations, journalists, academics, researchers, students, businesses and anyone who is interested in trade issues. Part 1 consists of two detailed world data tables on merchandise trade. One presents total merchandise imports and exports by countries, areas and regions in a time series up to the latest year, the other shows world merchandise exports by group of commodity and by provenance and destination in many smaller time series sub-tables. Part 2 contains the country trade profiles for most countries and areas in the world. The profiles offer an insight into the merchandise and services trade performance of individual countries and areas by means of brief descriptive text, concise data tables and charts using latest available data.

15- International Trade Statistics Yearbook 2014/Annuaire Statistique du Commerce International 2014 Vols. I & II
Series G 63 (Buy online) (Download Vol I)(Download Vol II)

Year 2015

This publication presents the detailed merchandise and services imports and exports of individual countries (areas) by commodity and service category and by partner country (volume I), the world trade in individual commodities (3-digit SITC groups and 11 main EBOPS categories) (volume II) and total world merchandise trade. The two volumes are prepared at different points in time during the year: Volume I - Trade by Country is made electronically available in June, and Volume II - Trade by Commodity, in December, as the preparation of the tables in Volume II requires additional country data which, normally, become available later in the year. Beginning with 2013 edition, trade in services data was introduced to the International Trade Statistics Yearbook: Volume I - Trade by Country.
16- Commodity Indexes for the Standard International Trade Classification, Revision 3
Series M 38 Rev.2 (Out of print)

Year 1994

Sales number: 94.XVII.10

The Commodity Indexes for the Standard International Trade Classification, Revision 3 show the classification according to commodities that enter into international trade. Volume I is an item index and gives a full description of each heading, with additional notes and/or exclusions where necessary, and with a representative list of commodities. Volume II is an Alphabetic Index and lists in alphabetical order, all of the commodities appearing in the Item Index along with the code number of the heading under which they fall. It is thus possible for someone seeking trade data about a specific five-digit commodity to quickly find the code number under which this data will be found in other United Nations publications such as the International Trade Statistics Yearbook.

17-Classification by Broad Economic Categories Rev. 5

Series M 53 rev. 5 (More information) (Download Unedited Version)

Year 2016

The BEC (Rev.5) was endorsed by UN Statistical Commission in 2016. The motivation to revise, and in the process to improve the Classification by Broad Economic Categories (BEC), reflects a number of factors (i.e., to better reflect current economic reality and to include services as well goods). Perhaps the most important was the need to introduce greater clarity and simplicity in the structure of the BEC (see diagram below). Crucially, there is a full separation made between economic and end-use categories. The revision also takes the opportunity to introducing a new variable (specification dimension) to help in the analysis of global value chains. This latest revision of BEC has more levels than the previous ones and provides better guidance on end-use categories for analytical purposes. The main changes are that:

  • It provides a new top level of broad economic categories, based on the main outputs of corresponding industries, to facilitate broad analyses of trade and production.
  • It adds services and therefore refers to products rather than goods.
  • It identifies SNA end-use as a separate dimension.
  • It adds a new variable (the specification dimension) to differentiate intermediates that are generic, i.e. consumed across a wide range of industries, from those that are specified, i.e. typically consumed only in certain industries.

18-Classification by Broad Economic Categories Rev. 4

Series M 53 rev. 4 (Out of print) (Download)

Year 2003

The original Classification by Broad Economic Categories (BEC) was produced in 1961 to provide a means for international trade statistics to be analyzed by broad economic categories such as food, industrial supplies, capital equipment, consumer durables and consumer non-durables. The original BEC was linked to the Standard International Trade Classification. Two revisions of BEC were produced to coincide with revisions of SITC, and a third revision made technical corrections. The current publication provides links between BEC and the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (2002 edition) as well as to the basic classes of goods in the System of National Accounts (consumption goods, intermediate goods, capital goods). Each of the 3,121 SITC headings is correlated to one of the nineteen BEC basic headings, as are 5,222 of the 5,224 HS02 subheadings (two HS02 subheadings fall outside the scope of SITC, Rev.3 and are therefore not correlated to BEC).

19-International Recommendations on Statistics of the Distributive Trades and Services

Series M 57 (Buy online)

Year 1975

This is a revision of the publication issued under the same title in 1970 (Sales No. E.70.XVII.16). It incorporates the views of two expert groups on international trade statistics which met in 1977 and 1980, as well as those of the Statistical Commission. The definitions and the statistical treatment of commodity flows in international trade are discussed under the following headings: coverage of the statistics; trade system; commodity classifications; valuation; quantity measurement; partner country; and supplementary topics.


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