Uljas - System for distribution of Foreign Trade Statistics

The detailed foreign trade statistics of Finnish Customs can be obtained from the Uljas database (distribution system for foreign trade statistics).

The database can be accessed at the website: http://uljas.tulli.fi

The database can be used free of charge and it doesn't require registration. The foreign trade statistics are available in the database as soon as they are published. Foreign trade data is updated on the same schedule as the monthly statistics on the foreign trade published by the Finnish Customs. The database can be used in Finnish, Swedish and English.

Statistics published monthly are preliminary. The figures change as the primary material is supplemented and reviewed. The final figures of the statistical year are published at the end of August the next year.

Uljas is versatile

The database contains three goods classifications:

  • The Combined Nomenclature, CN: The CN is a goods classification used in the customs administration and the foreign trade statistics of the EU. At 8-digit level, which is the most precise one, the CN has about 10,000 commodity subheadings. The CN is useful for following the foreign trade of a single, clearly defined commodity. The 6-digit level of the CN is equivalent to the HS classification (Harmonised System), which is widely used for customs statistics also outside the EU.
  • The Standard International Trade Classification, SITC: The SITC is a classification issued by the UN. With the SITC, it is easier to get an overall picture of the trade e.g. when comparing trade relations between countries or other larger entities. The SITC extends to the 5-digit level, with more than 3,000 subheadings.
  • The Classification of Products by Activity, CPA: The CPA is a classification system applied by the EU, where the goods are classified according to the activity where the goods are typically produced. The CPA is often applied to studies by activity, although the classification describes goods, not businesses. The CPA extends to the 6-digit level, with about 1,400 subheadings.

In addition, ULJAS contains an industrial classification:

  • NACE/TOL (Nomenclature générale des Activités économiques dans les Communautés européennes). The NACE classification is based on the EU standard industrial classification. Finland’s national version of the classification is called TOL.NACE/TOL is the industrial classification of units dealing in economic activities.The industrial classification differs from the goods classification in that a company can belong under only one industry, whereas the goods of the company can belong under several goods categories in the goods classifications.The industry of a company is determined based on the main line of business reported by the company.NACE/TOL is useful in monitoring the development of companies dealing in foreign trade in different industries.In the ULJAS database, there are about 270 TOL classifications at the three-digit level, which is the most precise level.

In the database you can get data by trading partner. In addition to separate countries, the database contains various country classifications, such as the EU area, the Euro area, the UN classification of the developing countries, and the continents. The area classifications are up-to-date, so it is convenient to construct time series backwards.

Statistics on logistics are also available in the Uljas database. Border traffic statistics indicate the volumes of Finland’s border traffic according to vehicle and border crossing station. Border traffic statistics are published within seven weeks of the end of the statistical month. Transport statistics provide information on the volumes of Finnish imports and exports by mode of transport, commodity group and country. Transport statistics are updated according to the same schedule as the monthly survey on foreign trade.

The complete country report in the Uljas database provides some key data from the foreign trade statistics concerning the trade between Finland and other countries. Data on a specific country can be obtained easily and quickly by browsing the drop-down menu in the report. The latest, monthly updated information is always available.

How to utilise the Uljas database?

The Uljas database has been made so easy that one can learn to use it by experimenting. The database can be used free of charge, so one can study and analyse the material as much as one wants. For instance, by sorting data in ascending or descending order, one may find interesting and surprising details.

The graphs generated by the database give an overall picture of the prevailing trends. The database contains data starting from the late 1980's, so it's also possible to construct long time series. The years when the subheadings were valid are shown in the menus, which makes it easier to collect historical data. Statistical graphics can also be produced in Uljas.

The produced statistics can be saved on one's own computer e.g. as XLS or CSV files for further processing and then transfer the files to other programmes, such as cartography programmes.

The data can be used freely, but the Finnish Customs shall be acknowledged as the source.
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