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Q: I was wondering if you could explain how the "trade value" figure on the COMTRADE database is arrived at. Is it simply the value of the goods traded or does it also include freight and insurance?

A:  VALUATION

It is recommended that values for Imports are recorded as a CIF-type value and values for Exports as a FOB-type value.

CIF-type values include the transaction value of the goods, the value of services performed to deliver goods to the border of the exporting country, and the value of the services performed to deliver the goods from the border of the exporting country to the border of the importing country.

FOB-type values include the transaction value of the goods and the value of services performed to deliver goods to the border of the exporting country.

However, several countries do not follow this recommendation. You can obtain specific information about the countries and their practices in the International Merchandise Trade Statistics National Compilation and Reporting Practices URL below: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/tradereport/default.asp