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Q: The European Union was enlarged in 2004 with 10 new members and subsequently in 2007 with two new members. After that, EU-27 or EU has become an international abbreviation, symbolizing all its 27 member countries. Why are there differences between reported data of individual EU countries and EU -27 reported data in Comtrade?

A: EU -27 in the UN Comtrade database is an economic grouping created for statistical purposes. It does not have a political status. The group definition follows the the EU definition from COMEXT. The Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) provides us with the EU -27 data.

EU -27 is regarded here as one entity, which trades with the rest of the world. Intra-EU trade does not make part of it. This means, for example, that trade of the Italy with other EU member states is not part of EU -27 trade. However, the trade of Italy with countries outside of the EU -27 is taken into account.

Since the sources of data of all individual EU countries are the national authorities of each of the 27 member states, and since the source of EU -27 data is Eurostat, there can be differences between reconstructed EU -27 from individual country data in UN Comtrade and the combined EU -27 from Eurostat.  HoweverHowever, it would help if you always kept in mind that Intra-EU trade needs to be deducted from trade reported by the EU member states.

For an overview of the data availability, please see http://comtrade.un.org/db/mr/daReportersResults.aspx?r=97.

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