Quality description: International trade in high technology

1. Relevance of statistics

1.1 Content and use of statistics

The statistics on international trade in high technology describe the trade in high technology products between Finland and other countries as well as the changes in the trade. The statistics contain data on imports and exports of these products, in full, by product group and by area. The statistics also contain data on longer-term development. The variable is the monetary value of these products.

The statistics on international trade in high technology are used particularly by the public science and technology administration, authorities and researchers as well as by organisations like the OECD that gather comparative data. The data are also aimed at everyone who is interested in the development of the industry.

1.2 Central concepts and classifications

High technology products are products for which research and development account for at least 4% of industry turnover.

The used definition of high technology products is a classification produced by Eurostat in April 2009. It is based on a draft prepared by the OECD in 2008. The definition is based on a version published in 1995. Since 2007, the SITC (Standard International Trade Classification) Rev. 4, has been used for classification of goods. Before that, the goods were classified according to the previous version of the SITC (Rev. 3).

High-technology aggregations based on SITC Rev. 4 (pdf)

1.3 Acts and Decrees

The national Statistics Act (280/2004) is applied to the compilation of the statistics on international trade in high technology.

International trade statistics are based on the legislation of the European Community as well as on the national Statistics Act (280/2004) and Customs Act (304/2016). In the EU legislation, the compilation of statistics is steered by the Basic Regulation on internal trade statistics (EC 638/2004), the Basic Regulation on external trade statistics (EC 1172/1995) and the respective implementation provisions.

The country classification is based on the Commission Regulation (EC 1106/2012) on the country classification of the statistics on the Community external trade and the trade between the Member States.  The country codes comply with those of the ISO/DIS 3166 standard of the International Organization for Standardization.

2. Method description

The statistics are compiled from the official international trade statistics of Finland, produced by the Finnish Customs. Statistics compiled e.g. by Eurostat, the OECD and the UN can be used for the international comparisons.

3. Correctness and accuracy of information

The statistics are compiled according to Eurostat’s and the OECD’s recommendations.

4. Up-to-dateness and timeliness of published data

The statistics on international trade in high technology products are published annually in March-May. At the time of publication, the statistical data are preliminary, because as of 2010, the final international trade statistics for each statistical year are released at the end of August following the statistical year. Monthly statistical data are available in the statistics database Uljas maintained by the Finnish Customs.

5. Availability and transparency / clarity of data

The data of the statistics are published on the Finnish Customs website, where the publication is also available in pdf format. The publication can also be ordered to be sent by e-mail. 

More information on international trade in high technology and on all other international trade statistics is available on the Finnish Customs website, under “International trade statistics”. There one will find the principles of the collection of international trade statistics as well as all the statistics and surveys on Finnish international trade published by the Finnish Customs.

Further information is also available from the Statistics Service of the Finnish Customs at:

- telephone: +358 295 5200 (exchange) or +358 295 52335 (Statistics Service direct)
- e-mail: statistics[at]tulli.fi
- Internet: www.tulli.fi
- Statistical database Uljas: uljas.tulli.fi

6. Comparability of statistics

The statistics on international trade in high technology are available on the Finnish Customs website, under Ulkomaankauppatilastot (in Finnish). Since the statistics for 2000, the statistics are available in electronic format, with one exception: no statistics was produced for 2007 due to a classification change.

Until 2009, Statistics Finland produced statistical data on international trade in high technology. It released preliminary data also in 2008.

Data on international trade in high technology are available in the statistics database Uljas maintained by the Finnish Customs, according to the newest classification (SITC Rev 4) from 2002 onward and according to the earlier classification (SITC Rev. 3) for the years 1996-2002.

The statistics on the industry are, in principle, comparable between different countries, because the classifications are based on international standards in force at the time in question.

The differences in the concepts and definitions used in the compilation of international trade statistics by the EU Member States and their most important trading partners as well as by the UN Member States affect the comparability of statistics.

7. Clarity and consistency / coherence

The data will become more specific after the time of publication, because as of 2010, the final international trade statistics for each statistical year are released at the end of August following the statistical year. Monthly statistical data are available in the international trade statistics database Uljas.

In many countries, the international trade statistics will be corrected during two or three years following the statistical year.

Statistical data on international trade can be found not only in the international trade statistics but also in the National Accounts and the Balance of Trade statistics of the Statistics Finland.

Statistical data on the international trade of the EU Member States are available in Eurostat’s publications, website and Comext database. The international trade statistics collected by the UN are available for use free of charge in the Comtrade database on the UN website. The databases are available for use free of charge.


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