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15.79.        In the European Union, for outward FATS, two sets of trade variables are recommended for compilation, subject to pilot studies: “exports and imports of goods and services” and “intragroup exports and imports of goods and services”, with intragroup referring to trade between enterprises controlled by the same unit, and the controlling unit itself. The recommendations and definitions provided are in line with those of MSITS 2010 and related guidelines (BD4, HEGI). The European Union FATS Recommendations Manual also provides additional clarifications on trade conducted by foreign affiliates: “Exports/imports of goods and services can be performed directly by the foreign affiliate or indirectly by means of other firms, such as wholesalers, that are resident in the same country and act on behalf of the foreign affiliate. In this latter case no property right transaction must occur between resident firms” (box I.3.1).


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[1] The distinction between related and unrelated parties is made according to the definitions used in FDI statistics.

[2] It is also important to note that exports and imports cannot normally be isolated in standard company accounts.

[3] If merchandise data are used as a source instead of goods, then compilers need to make necessary adjustments to comply with the recommendations regarding resident/non-resident transactions in goods. If that is not possible, then the differences in concept should be clearly documented (see MSITS 2010, box III.1, or the FATS Recommendations Manual  for further information. Chapter 5 of HEGI also provides useful information with respect to the measurement of intrafirm trade.

[4] Naturally a similar consideration can also be made for goods/merchandise.

[5] Eurostat, External Trade by Enterprise Characteristics: Results of the Standardization Exercise 2006, Eurostat Methodologies and Working Papers(Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2007).

[6] Preconditions for establishing services trade by enterprise characteristics (STEC) statistics are the availability of business and trade registers in a country.  Through linking both, normally at the level of the statistical unit (legal unit) and a common identifier, trade flows can be associated with trader characteristics.  For reliable statistics, a high matching rate between records in the linked data sets is required.