TSB logo

Comtrade SDMX, Web Services and Data Exchange

Web services

Even though the API v.1 is still on production, it's no longer being improved. It is replaced by API .v.2:

Data Structure Definition of Global Trade SDMX (based on SDMX version 2.1) is available at

General Information

Please refer to these articles for general information about Comtrade SDMX (based on SDMX version 1.0), Web Services (API ver.1) and Data Exchange:
UN Comtrade SDMX
Data Extraction Using Comtrade Web Service
Data Exchange Suite (DES)

You can get the SDMX format by clicking the SDMX download in any of query result pages (for an example at

The SDMX key families and simple power point presentation about Comtrade SDMX are attached to this article: UN Comtrade SDMX.

Security & Authentication

Comtrade Web Services use IP authentication. A user must have premium access service account in UN Comtrade and Web Service access right is granted.

Depending on access right, the following data can be obtained:
Comtrade Data, Tariff Line Data, Total Trade, Annual Totals, Processed Data or Original Data. The latest three are restricted for data exchange between UN and OECD.

Click here to check your access rights:


There is no need to use special tool to access Comtrade Web Service. Data can be obtained via web browser by providing the right url (see example below).

However, there are many limitations with web browser: limited data download size and difficulty to create url string.

ComtradeTools was developed to help user downloading data with synchronization and DTS engine built-in (it is possible to import data to SQL Server directly).

For an example, if you want to download new data for EU25 countries, you just need to specify a project in ComtradeTools and run it. The next time you run it again, it will only download the latest addition.

Note: ComtradeTools is a command line program. Step by step instruction can be found at

Reminder: ComtradeTools is not required tool. Anybody can make its own download tool.

URL Example

Country code : 381 = Italy
Classification : H1 = HS1996
Years : 2002 and 2003,2002&cc=TOTAL&p=0&comp=false
Country code : 36 = Australia
Classification : S2 = SITC Rev.2
Year : 2004

Attached File

Here is the example of 2005 data for reporter country Albania (no. 8 of UN code) for the HS1996. The attached zipped file holds the XML original file plus the CSV converted file, which will be used for loading to SQL via DTS. The link from the Web below will give you the same information in a Web-Service format.

Attachments (1.00 MB, 17.5K views)

Related Links

Also In This Category

Add Your Comments
Comments require login or registration.
Last Modified: 5 Years Ago
Last Modified By: comtrade_admin
Type: INFO
Rated 5 stars based on 1 vote
Article has been viewed 49.7K times.
Find Similar