1. Concept of country of consignment
16.29. Country of consignment of imports and exports. Special attention should be given to the determination of country of consignment in view of the new recommendations contained in IMTS 2010 to compile this information. In general, the method of compiling data by the country of consignment offers the possibility of obtaining consistent statistics and reasonable comparability, since it promotes the symmetrical recording of the trade transactions by importing and exporting countries (see IMTS 2010, paras 6.18-6.19). The combination of the information on country of origin and country of last known destination as the first partner country with the information on the county of consignment as second partner country should significantly improve the trading partner information and facilitate the reconciliation of partner information among trading partners, e.g., during trade negotiations.
16.30. Country of consignment for imports. The country of consignment for the purposes of import statistics is the country from which goods were dispatched to the importing country, without any commercial transactions or other operations that change the legal status of the goods taking place in any intermediate country. If, before arriving in the importing country, goods enter one or more further countries and are subject to such transactions or operations, the last intermediate country where such transactions or operations were conducted should be taken as the country of consignment.
16.31. Country of consignment for exports. The country of consignment for the purposes of exports statistics is the country to which goods are dispatched by the exporting country, without - as far as it is known at the time of exportation - being subject to any commercial transactions or other operations that change the legal status of the goods taking place in any intermediate country. If there are several intermediate countries, then the first intermediate country into which goods enter after leaving the exporting country should be recorded as country of consignment.
2. Determination of country of consignment
16.32. Determination of country of consignment. The determination of country of consignment depends on a clear and practical definition of commercial transactions or other operations that do or do not change the legal status of the traded and/or shipped goods in intermediate countries. It is good practice to provide such a list of commercial transactions or other operations that change the legal status of goods. Change of ownership of the imported goods and their substantial transformation should be included in such a list. In the European Union practice, for instance, any halts not inherent in the transport of the goods are included in this list as well.
16.33. Difficulties in the determination of country of consignment. The determination of country of consignment is not always straightforward in practice. For exports, there can be a lack of knowledge about the destination of goods at the time of export, as goods can be redirected while at sea or goods can be transhipped from the original country of consignment and therefore not included in that country's imports thus creating the incomparability of partner statistics. For imports, it is important that the country of consignment be not automatically identified as the country from which goods were shipped. The transportation of goods from the country of consignment to the country of last destination may involve the use of multiple shippers and passage through several countries, so that at the time of the importation of goods, the country of consignment and the country of shipment may or may not coincide. Compilers should be aware that the country identified by the importer as the partner country will often be the country where the last shipment arrangements were made rather than the country from which the goods were consigned.
16.34. Use of customs and non-customs sources. Compilers should ensure that the relevant customs records, if available, are collected, processed and incorporated in the trade statistics database. If customs records do not exist or are not complete (e.g., the country of consignment might not be included or “country of consignment” might not be a mandatory field in the customs declaration), non-customs sources should be used to the extent possible. It is good practice to advise customs authorities on the increased importance of information on country of consignment and to cooperate with them in finding ways to ensure better availability of this information in customs records. Countries that do not already compile country of consignment information in the case of exports are encouraged to study the feasibility of such a compilation.
16.35. Special categories of goods. The country of consignment might be used as a sole partner attribution provided to users in cases where country of origin is unknown or is deemed not applicable by trade compilers. For example, in the case of antiques, used cars, aircraft or vessels, the use of country of consignment might be preferable. In such cases, it is advised that the partner-country attribution be unambiguous and clearly indicated as follows: (a) if country of origin is not used, the “country of origin” data field must be left blank while the “country of consignment” data field should contain the country of consignment name, or (b) if both country of origin and country of consignment are known, then both fields are filled with the appropriate country names (which can be the same or different).
 The country of shipment (in the case of imports), is the country from which goods are shipped, whether or not commercial transactions or any other operations that change the legal status of the goods occur after the goods are dispatched from the exporting country. If such transactions do not occur, the country of shipment is the same as the country of consignment (IMTS 2010, para. 6.12). The country of shipment (in the case of exports) is the country to which goods are shipped, whether or not commercial transactions or any other operations that change the legal status of the goods are expected to take place before arrival of the goods in that country (IMTS 2010, para, 6.5).