Trilateral Statistics

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Statistical Terms Merchandise imports
The compilation of international merchandise trade statistics relies principally on customs records complemented, as appropriate, by additional sources to enhance their coverage (for instance, to include electricity, or trade in vessels and aircrafts). These statistics essentially reflect the physical movement of goods across borders.
Imports of foreign goods - goods entering the reporting economy.
annual merchandise trade data at total product level with partner world, from 2014 onwards, are jointly produced with UNCTAD. Data are mainly sourced from national statistical sources, UN Comtrade, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) International Financial Statistics, Eurostat and the Trade Data Monitor online database. Where needed, reported data are complemented by estimates produced by the WTO.
Temporal Coverage
Two systems of recording merchandise exports and imports are in common use: the general trade system and the special trade system. The two systems differ mainly in the way warehoused and re-exported goods are treated.
To the extent possible, total merchandise trade is defined according to the general trade system. It covers all types of inward and outward movement of goods through a country or territory including movements through customs warehouses and free zones.
General trade figures are larger than the corresponding special trade figures because the latter exclude certain trade flows, such as goods shipped through bonded warehouses.
For further explanations, see the United Nations methodological guidelines, International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions 2010.