Quality description: International trade in goods by enterprise sizes

1. Relevance of statistics

1.1 Content and use of statistics

International trade in goods by enterprise sizes describes the development of export and import classified according to enterprise size categories. The data conveyed by this statistics were calculated both by industries (NACE) and products by activities (CPA).

The statistics on the international trade in goods by enterprise sizes describes the development of international trade in particular from the viewpoint of small and medium-sized firms. The statistics indicated by the enterprise size categories constitute an important instrument for the decision makers as well as planners and researchers in the public and private sectors, both at the national level and within the operations of the EU and several international organizations.

1.2 Central concepts and classifications

Information on the internal trade i.e. the trade between the EU Member States is collected through the Intrastat system from the operators who are obliged to provide information. The statistics on the external trade i.e. the trade with countries not in the EU are obtained from the customs clearance system.

The compilation of statistics on commodities is based on the Combined Nomenclature CN of the EU. The export statistics are gathered as per the countries of destination according to the FOB (free on board) value and the import statistics as per the countries of origin according to the CIF (cost, insurance, and freight) value. The country of origin is the country in which the goods were produced or in which the latest economically important stage of production took place. The packaging of the commodities is not regarded as production. As for export, the country of destination is the last country known at the time of the export of the commodities from Finland, either direct or via another country.

In the statistics on the international trade in goods by the enterprise sizes, the CN-based statistical material has been combined according to the following classifications:

  • Classification of Products by Activities (CPA)
  • Classification of the European Community according to industries i.e. Nomenclature générale des activités économiques dans les Communautés européennes (NACE 2002). The NACE category data of each company are composed according to its main branch of industry.

The data by the enterprise sizes are compiled at the Statistics Finland. The contents of the enterprise size categories comply with those of the Statistics Finland. As regards business register data, the latest available information is used in the statistics. The up-date delay is one year plus two months. This means that business register material supplied in, say, year 2007 contains the definite enterprise data relating to the statistical year of 2005.

The Statistics Finland classifies enterprises into size categories according to the following criteria:

  • Micro enterprises: enterprises employing fewer than 10 salary/wage earners and having an annual turnover or a balance sheet total lower than 2 million €.
  • Small enterprises: enterprises employing fewer than 50 salary/wage earners and having an annual turnover or a balance sheet total lower than 10 million €.
  • Medium-sized enterprises: enterprises employing fewer than 250 salary/wage earners and having an annual turnover or a balance sheet total lower than 43 million €.
  • "SME" enterprises include micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. In the statistics, "SME total" refers to a combined category consisting of those three types.
  • Large enterprises: enterprises employing more than 250 salary/wage earners. Beside this condition, also enterprises having an annual turnover exceeding 50 million € and a balance sheet total exceeding 43 million € are large enterprises.

The business register at the Statistics Finland contains register information on foreign communities on which no data are available regarding the sizes of the personnel or the balance sheet total. For the purposes of this statistics, the size category information on those enterprises is defined on the basis of the turnover only. Despite this, there are operators which cannot be classified into any size category. In this statistics, those operators are referred to the title "Unspecified".

1.3 Acts and Decrees

International trade statistics are based on the legislation of the European Community as well as the national Statistics Act (280/4) and Customs Act (304/2016). Within the EU legislation, the compilation of statistics is steered by the Basic Regulation on internal trade statistics (EC, 638/2004), Basic Regulation on external trade statistics (EC, 1172/95), 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 information on the trade carried on by Finland with the other EU Member States is collected from the compulsory statistical declarations provided monthly by importers and exporters through the Intrastat system of the internal trade. The information on the trade between Finland and Third Countries is obtained from customs declarations, which have to be submitted on every import and export consignment. The data on both internal and external trade are put together to form the statistics on the international trade of Finland.
The Finnish Customs produces the data for the statistics on the international trade in goods by the enterprise sizes through combining the material on international trade with the business register material of the Statistics Finland.

3. Correctness and accuracy of information

The data on the international trade is calculated quarterly, and the statistics is published not later than three months after the quarter to be described. Thus the figures of the quarterly statistics are preliminary and may change. The annual statistics is published not later than six months upon the expiry of the statistical year as soon as the definite data on international trade is available.

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

The statistics on international trade in goods by enterprise size categories is published three months after the quarter involved. The accurate publication date is announced on the web site of the Finnish Customs about one week in advance.

5. Availability and transparency / clarity of data

The statistics on foreign trade of goods by enterprise size categories is published on the web site of the Finnish Customs on the date announced in advance. The statistics can also be ordered to be transmitted by e-mail.

Further information on the statistics on international trade is available on the web site of Customs -> International trade statistics. This site comprises e.g. the principles of compiling international trade statistics as well as all the statistics and surveys on the international trade of Finland published by the Finnish Customs.

Further information is also available from the Statistics Service 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

This statistics is produced regularly since the beginning of 2004.

7. Clarity and consistency / coherence

Beside international trade statistics, statistical information on international trade is available from the National Accounts and the Balance of Trade statistics of the Statistics Finland.

Statistical information on the international trade by the EU Member States is available from the publications, web site, and Easy Comext database of Eurostat. This database can be consulted through Internet free of charge.

The dissimilarities of the concepts and definitions applied by the EU Member States and their most important trading partners may affect the comparability of statistics.


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