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17.14.    Country practices. Counties’ experiences in the compilation of MoT data differ for several reasons, including the use of different trade systems, availability of data sources, etc. Examples of country experiences in compilation of trade data by MoT, including both good practices and challenges, are provided below.  

17.15.    Country practice: United States of America. TheUnited States applies the recommended definition of MoT as the means of transport used when goods enter or leave the economic territory. Further details can be summarized as follows:

(a)    The data for  “all methods of transportation” include general exports and general imports by vessel, air, truck, rail, air mail, parcel post, and other methods of transportation;

(b)   The data for general exports and general imports transported by vessel and air represent merchandise actually leaving or arriving in theUnited Statesaboard a vessel or an aircraft;

(c)    Imports and exports of (i) vessels moving under their own power or afloat and (ii) aircraft flown into or out of theUnited Statesare included in the "all methods" data but excluded from the vessel and air statistics;

(d)   Mail and parcel post shipments (including those transported by vessel or air) are included in the "all methods" data but excluded from the vessel and air statistics;

(e)    Estimated low-value shipments are included in the "all methods" data but excluded from the vessel and air statistics;

(f)    Imports out ofUnited Statescustoms bonded warehouses and foreign trade zones are included in the “all methods” data but excluded from vessel and air statistics;

(g)   In some instances, shipments between theUnited Statesand countries abroad enter or depart throughCanadaorMexico.  Such shipments are recorded under the method of transportation by which they enter or depart from theUnited Statesregardless of the transportation mode betweenCanadaorMexicoand the country of origin or destination.  For example, if an item is shipped fromChinatoCanadaon a vessel, then shipped fromCanadato theUnited Stateson a truck, the statistics would show an import truck shipment fromChina. 

17.16.    Country practice: Canada. Canada follows the general trade system. The main features of the Canadian experience are:

(a)    Imports.  For imports, the mode-of-transport information refers to the last mode of transport by which the cargo was transported to the port of clearance inCanada and is derived from the cargo control documents of Canadian customs. Therefore, shipments from, for example,China destined forCanada may arrive at a port in the Western United States by marine mode and arrive inCanada via rail. Such shipments are recorded as imports fromChina by rail inCanada’s merchandise trade statistics. Further, the recorded mode of transport may not be the mode of transport by which the cargo arrived at the Canadian port of entry, if the cargo was cleared by Canadian customs at an inland port. If, for example, the commodities imported from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland arrived by ship inToronto but were not cleared inCanada until they reached another city by truck, the mode reported inCanada’s international trade statistics will be “truck”.

(b)   Exports. Exports by land modes of transportation frequently reflectCanada’s trade with a second country entailing transshipment through a third country, generally theUnited States. For exports, the mode-of-transport information represents the mode of transport by which the international boundary was crossed.  ForCanada’s exports through theUnited States to other overseas countries, the mode reported would be the mode used to cross the border betweenCanada and theUnited States. If, for example, export shipments that are destined for theUnited Kingdom travel by truck throughFort Erie,Ontario, and are then shipped by water from aUnited States port to theUnited Kingdom, the mode reported inCanada’s international trade data will be “truck”. 

17.17.    Country practice: Mexico.Mexico follows the general trade system and compiles MoT trade statistics as follows:

(a)    Imports: For imports, the MoT information represents the last mode of transport by which the cargo was transported at the Mexican port of entry and is derived from the cargo control documents ofMexico customs. This may not be the MoT by which the cargo arrived to the port of clearance inMexico, for those cases where the cargo was cleared byMexico customs at an inland port;

(b)   Exports. For exports, the mode of transport information records the last mode of transport with which cargo crossed the customs border on its exit from the country;

(c)    The transportation authority, which is the Ministry of Communication and Transport, provides data at a general level on the transported volume by mode; this information supplements the data on value provided in the customs records. 

17.18.    Country practice: Germany.

(a)    Imports. If imports are leaving the customs warehouse for free circulation, the mode of transport at the time of entering the customs territory of the European Union (and not the mode used for transportation when leaving customs warehouse) has to be reported in the customs declaration. In case the importer is not able to identify that mode of transport, he or she has to declare the presumable mode of transport;

(b)   Exports. Exports are treated accordingly (presumable mode of transport when leaving the customs territory). 

17.19.    Country practice: Brazil. Statistics of foreign trade are released including port of loading and unloading and MoT. To determine the mode of transport for each operation,Brazil has adopted the criteria set by IMTS 2010, that is, the mode of transport used at the moment when goods enter or leave the country.Brazil has also adopted the IMTS 2010 recommendation to classify modes of transport as follows: sea, air, railway, road, pipeline, cables, inland waterway (divided into river and lakes), self-propelled goods, postal consignments, mail or courier shipments, and others. In practice, these data are obtained from entries in the field “unit of the customs boarding or unloading” of the electronic documents for export and import of SISCOMEX. 

17.20.    Quality issues. Obtaining high-quality trade data by MoT is a challenging undertaking. In addition to the reporting errors that affect the general merchandise trade statistics, there are reporting errors that specifically affect data tabulated by MoT.  In general, the businesses or individuals that report the data may not be the same individuals who physically convey the shipments.  This can lead to inaccurate information about how a shipment is transported and where it enters or exits a country.  It is good practice to develop various cross-checking procedures and to document them in trade statistics metadata. 

17.21.    Quality assurance in the United States of America. The United States Census Bureau quality assurance procedures include determining whether reported MoT codes and ports are valid and performing relational checks between the ports and the method of transportation.  With a view to future, the Census Bureau is exploring obtaining transportation information directly from the manifest, as reported by the carrier of the goods. To ensure quality, besides MoT and port relationship checking, the Census Bureau also performs relational edits on MoT/HS commodity and MoT/HS commodity/shipping weight.  For example, a certain commodity such as coal cannot be shipped by air nor can the shipping weight of a commodity shipped by vessel exceed the maximum allowed. 

17.22.    The Census Bureau is substitutingCanada’s import statistics for data onUnited Statesexports toCanada.  In accordance with this data exchange,Canadarequires its importers to report the MoT by which the goods departed from theUnited States.  However,Canadadoes limited edit checks of this field, which can lead to the collection of inaccurate information for exports toCanada.  Additionally,Canadadoes not collect containerization information on theUnited Statesexports as part of the data exchange and, this being the case, all containerized value and shipping weights for exports toCanadaare excluded.