Quality description: Monthly statistics on international trade in goods as of 2022
1. Relevance of statistics
1.1 Data content and the use of statistics
The monthly statistics on the international trade in goods contain the monthly data on the international trade of Finland. The monthly statistics show how the export, import, and balance of trade of Finland has developed according to various commodity classifications, branches of industry of the trading companies as well as different countries and groups thereof.
The unit value and volume indexes of the international trade are published in connection with the monthly statistics. They present monthly and cumulative data on the development of prices, terms of trade as well as volumes of exports and imports.
For the purposes of economic analyses and research, the monthly statistics provide a reliable image of the latest developments of the international trade in goods. The monthly statistics are a source of information for decision-makers, planners and researchers of both the public and private sector working nationally as well as in the EU and many other international organisations.
1.2 Key concepts and classifications
The data on intra-EU trade, i.e. trade between the EU Member States, is gathered mainly through the Intrastat system, from the operators who are obliged to provide information. The statistical data on external trade, i.e. the trade with non-EU countries, is obtained from the customs clearance systems.
The classification of goods in the international trade statistics is based on the Combined Nomenclature (CN) of the EU. The export statistics are compiled by country of destination based on the FOB (‘free on board’) value and the import statistics by country of origin based on the CIF (‘cost, insurance, and freight’) value. The country of origin is the country where the goods were produced or manufactured or where the latest economically significant part of the production or manufacture was performed. For example, the packaging of goods is not considered production or manufacture. As for export, the country of destination is the last country known at the time of the export, where the goods are going to be exported to from Finland, either directly or via another country. The import data is also published according to countries of consignment in the statistical database Uljas.
In the monthly statistics, the CN-based statistical material has been combined according to the following classifications:
- Standard International Trade Classification (SITC, Rev.4, ex 2007)
- Classification of Products by Activities (CPA)
- The Classification by Broad Economic Categories (BEC, rev. 4)
1.3 Acts and regulations
The international trade statistics are based on the legislation of the European Union as well as on the national Statistics Act (280/2004) and Customs Act (304/2016) of Finland. In the EU legislation, statistics are governed by regulations on European business statistics:
- Regulation (EU) 2019/2152 of the European Parliament and of the Council on European business statistics, repealing 10 legal acts in the field of business statistics
- Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1197 laying down technical specifications and arrangements pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2019/2152 of the European Parliament and of the Council on European business statistics repealing 10 legal acts in the field of business statistics
- Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/1704 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2152 of the European Parliament and of the Council by further specifying the details for the statistical information to be provided by tax and customs authorities and amending its Annexes V and VI
- Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/1225 specifying the arrangements for the data exchanges pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2019/2152 of the European Parliament and of the Council and amending Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1197, as regards the Member State of extra-Union export and the obligations of reporting units
The country classification is based on the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1470 on the nomenclature of countries and territories for the European statistics on the international trade in goods and on the geographical breakdown for other business statistics. The country codes comply with those of the ISO 3166 standard of the International Organization for Standardization.
2. Method description
The information on Finland’s trade with other EU countries is gathered mainly from statistical declarations submitted by companies via the Intrastat system of internal trade. In the system, importers and exporters provide Customs with required monthly statistics, if the value of the company’s export and/or import exceeds the threshold value laid down by Customs for each year.
Data on the goods trade between Finland and non-EU countries is obtained from customs declarations, which must be submitted for all import and export consignments. The data on both intra-EU trade and external trade are combined when compiling the statistics on the international trade of Finland.
As a rule, all goods exported from and imported into Finland are recorded in the statistics. The prerequisites for including goods in the statistics are that the goods physically arrive in or depart from the country. By way of exception, watercraft and aircraft are recorded in the statistics upon a change in economic ownership.
3. Correctness and accuracy of the data
The statistics on international trade in goods are revised, and the figures of the monthly statistics are preliminary until the end of the statistical year. The figures change as the primary material is supplemented and reviewed. The monthly figures of the statistics are supplemented, e.g. by estimations on missing statistics declarations and those on companies with figures remaining below the threshold values. Each EU Member State defines its threshold, i.e. minimum value of inclusion, in the statistics for the calendar year, based on the annual value of importation and exportation by companies.
Excluded from the statistics are, e.g. goods in transit and goods for and after repair. In addition, the smallest companies are released from the obligation to declare statistical data on internal trade. International trade in services are also excluded from these statistics.
4. Timeliness and punctuality of the published data
The exact publication dates and times of the monthly statistics are announced for one calendar year at a time. The publishing schedule is maintained on the Finnish Customs website. The monthly statistics are published around 60 days after the end of the statistical month on the last working day of the month.
The data of the monthly statistics are specified when the following monthly statistics are produced. The final figures of each statistical year are always published at the end of August the next year when the statistical year is closed.
5. Availability and transparency / clarity of the data
The monthly statistics on international trade in goods are published on the Finnish Customs website on the dates announced in advance. The monthly statistics can also be ordered to be sent by email. Detailed statistics according to categories of commodities and countries are available free-of-charge from the statistical database Uljas, where the data is published at the same time as the monthly statistics. The unit value and volume indexes are published in connection with the monthly statistics.
More information on the monthly statistics and other international trade statistics is available on the Finnish Customs website, under ‘Statistics.’ On these pages, you find e.g. the principles of the collection of international trade statistics as well as all the statistics, surveys and notices on Finland’s international trade in goods, published by Finnish Customs.
Further information is also available from the Statistics Service:
- telephone: 0295 52335
- e-mail: statistics[at]tulli.fi
- website: tulli.fi/statistics
- Uljas statistical database: uljas.tulli.fi
6. Comparability of statistics
Monthly statistics on international trade are being produced since the 1960's. They are available on the Finnish Customs website since 2000. Statistics older than that are only available as paper versions. Unit value and volume indexes have been produced since 1997 based on the CPA classification. The correlation tables for the different versions of the CPA classification can be found on the Finnish Customs website.
7. Clarity and integrity / coherence
The EU member states have sought to harmonise the methods, concepts and definitions used in the compilation of international trade in goods statistics. Harmonisation improves the coherence and comparability of statistics.
The data in the monthly statistics is specified in connection with the publication of the following monthly statistics until the end of the statistical year.
Statistical data on international trade is available not only in the international trade statistics in goods but also in the national accounts produced by Statistics Finland and in the balance of payment statistics. These statistics are compiled using different methods.
In the Statistics Service section on the Customs website, there are links to international trade-related websites of different countries and international bodies, such as the EU and the UN.