Quality description: Border traffic statistics

1. Relevance of statistics

1.1 Content and use of statistics

The border traffic statistics describe the vehicles and containers that have entered and left the country within international traffic, sorted according to means of transport. The statistics describe the number of means of transport (e.g. vehicles, trailers, containers) crossing the Finnish border. The statistics indicate the empty and loaded means of transport that have arrived in and departed from Finland. The data has also been grouped according to country and border crossing point. Since 2006, the statistics include transports of timber and transports to building projects that cross the border between Finland and Russia. The transports of timber and transports to building projects mainly take place via the border crossing points of Haapovaara, Kortesalmi, Inari (in Lieksa), Talikkajärvi and Leminaho. There are separate statistics for Hamina until April 2011, after which they are included in the statistics for Kotka. As of the start of 2012, the statistics for Tornio also contain traffic data from Krannikatu and Näränperä. Up until the end of 2011, the statistics only contain traffic figures for vehicles passing through route E4.

1.2 Central concepts and classifications

The statistics indicate the number of means of transport that have crossed the Finnish border each month. The means of transport are divided into passenger cars, buses, trucks and trailers and container shipments (loaded and empty containers). The statistics include data on the customs office where the means of transport crossed the customs border. The data is also grouped according to a vehicle’s country of registration or country of destination/departure when such information is available. If it is not available, the country of registration is unspecified. The vehicles crossing the land border have been provided according to country of registration and the sea border details according to country of departure/destination. Because of this, it is advisable to always select ‘unspecified’ as an option when retrieving data from the Uljas database. The traffic statistics also contain data on transit traffic. The border crossing points are further grouped into border stations in Norway, Sweden and Russia, and separately into sea and land border stations.

1.3 Acts and Decrees

There is no legal basis for the compilation of border traffic statistics.

2. Method description

The Finnish Transport Agency collects port-specific data on the means of transport arriving in Finland by sea. The customs districts collect data by customs office concerning the means of transport crossing the land border. The data derived from the various sources are put together at the Statistics of the Finnish Customs.

3. Correctness and accuracy of information

The information obtained from the border crossing points is based on data from traffic counters as well as on manually collected traffic count data. The information on sea border traffic is based on data provided by the Finnish Transport Agency. The greatest risk of error lies in the data obtained from traffic counters, as long queues and traffic congestion may distort the figures given by the counters.

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

The border traffic statistics are produced monthly in electronic format within seven weeks after the end of the statistical month. The monthly border traffic statistics are published in the Monthly publication on the international trade in goods and the yearly border traffic statistics in the Annual publication on the international trade in goods.  

5. Availability and transparency / clarity of data

The border traffic data are published each month in the Uljas service of the Finnish Customs.

More information on border traffic and on other international trade statistics is available on the Finnish Customs website, under “International trade statistics”. On these pages, you 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 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 data has been collected since 1954.  The statistics are available in the Uljas service since 2004.

7. Clarity and consistency / coherence

The data on traffic crossing the sea border is collected by the Finnish Transport Agency. The data on traffic crossing the land border is collected by Customs’ border offices.