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C.        Legal acts regulating non-customs data sources

1.10.        Legal acts regulating non-customs data sources. As will be discussed in more detail in chapter II and further on in the present Manual, international merchandise trade statistics are based largely on information from customs documents, but, compilers are not limited to using only those documents. Certain kinds of transactions do not pass through customs and therefore information on those transactions needs to be obtained from other data sources. The results of a survey on country practices in the compilation of international merchandise trade statistics, conducted in 2006 by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), showed that, besides customs declarations, countries also use postal records, tax records, currency exchange records, enterprise surveys, aircraft and ship registers, foreign shipping manifests, and reports of commodity boards (see chap. III) for more details on the 2006 survey results). All of those additional data sources may be necessary or useful in completing or verifying a country’s international merchandise trade statistics.

1.11.        The legal acts regulating the content of such data sources, the means by which they are maintained and the access to them are of great importance for the compilers of international merchandise trade statistics. The main national organizations involved in the compilation of international trade statistics are national statistical offices, customs offices and central banks and, in some countries, the ministry of trade or other specialized governmental or private bodies. Other entities such as commodity boards, trade development boards, specialized ministries or the ministry of commerce/economy, etc., may also play an important role, for example, by providing information on particular categories of goods.