14.20. A number of countries compile FOB-type value of imported goods on a regular basis. An example of how this is done is provided in box XIV.1 below.
14.21. Adjustments to invoice value to obtain FOB-type value of imported goods. Table XIV.2 provides guidance on the adjustments to invoice price that are required to obtain the FOB-type value of imported goods. (See para. 14.17 for explanation of the notation used in Table 14.2)
14.22. Estimation of FOB value of imports from alternative data sources. In cases where FOB values are not available from the primary trade data source, they can be estimated using actual or estimated freight and insurance costs for transactions that are provided by traders on declarations, supplemented by information on freight and insurance rates from providers of those services. Further, CIF/FOB adjustment factors could be obtained for a sample of imports through supplementary surveys of importers. The sample could be selected from the imports declarations, with information on importers’ names and contact addresses being the basis for the survey. Another possibility is to obtain information on the exported value in cooperation with authorities in the exporting countries, if processing systems and confidentiality rules allow declarations to be accessed.
14.23. Adjustment factors. If it is not possible to calculate the FOB value of imports directly, adjustment factors can be derived. The allocation of work in this area between trade statistics and balance-of-payments compilers will depend on national circumstances, but the interlinked nature of the tasks means that there should be close cooperation. As freight and insurance costs vary with factors such as the commodities involved, mode of transport, size of consignment, and distance between ports, adjustment factors should be derived in some detail, for example, by country, product and mode of transport. To the extent that the costs vary over time and with the mix of products, they will need to be updated frequently. For adjustment factors from samples, the degree of detail is likely to be considerably less than is possible with complete coverage from customs declarations. Adjustment factors are usually expressed as percentages of trade values, but this is only an approximation, as some costs relate to weight or volume rather than to value. In addition, the relative prices of the good and its transport costs might move in different ways (for example, if metal prices fall, there is no reason to expect that freight costs will also fall). The insurance companies that insure goods when they leave a country are possible sources of information on insurance costs.