External and intra-European Union trade - Statistical yearbook. Data 1958-2001, 2002 Edition
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M THEME 6
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European Union and world trade1
1Λ Trends in world trade2
1B Share of trade with the European Union, the United States and Japan 18
1C From EU-6 to EU-15: External trade trends with main partner countries 2
European Union trading partners 29
2A: Main trading partners 3
2B: Trends in EU trade by partner country
2C: Product breakdown of EU trade by main partner country 4
2D: Extra-EU trade indices by partner country 50
Extra-EU trade by product3
3A Trends in Extra-EU trade by product5
3B Main EU trading partners8
3C Extra-EU trade indices by product 76
Intra-EU trade by product9
4A: Trends in Intra-EU trade by product 8
4B: Intra-EU trade indices by product1
Member States and EU trade
5A: Trade balance by Member State
5B: Intra-EU trade byr State
5C: Extra-EU trade by Member State7
5D/5E: Breakdown by Member State of goods traded (Intra- and Extra-EU)8
5F:n byr State and by product of Intra-EU and Extra-EU trade balances 100
External trade by Member State 103
Belgium and Luxembourg4
EFTA external trade 161
ECU exchange rate7
List of products: Standard International Trade Classification (SITC, Rev. 3) 178
Geonomenclature 2001 18
Economic zones 20013 Foreword
2. Intra-EU trade
Trade statistics - both detailed and global results - have
Statistics on trade between the Member States are based
now proved their worth. They are an instrument of prime
on Council Regulation (EC) N° 3330/91 of 7 November
importance for both public and private users. For instance,
1991 and on the various implementation regulations which
they enable Community authorities to prepare multilateral
have supplemented it or laid down rules on methodology,
and bilateral negotiations on common trade policy; they
thresholds and forms. The system set up for the collection
help European businesses to carry out market surveys
of information on trade between the Member States as
and thus improve their competitiveness; they are an
from 1 January 1993 is commonly known as Intrastat. Its
essential source of information for statistics on the balance
main features are:
of payments, the national accounts and short-term
economic studies. This non-exhaustive list highlights the - Monthly statistical declarations sent directly by
variety of users and their requirements. businesses to the competent national authorities;
- A system of thresholds abolishing all statistical
The environment in which trade statistics are collected has
formalities for almost two thirds of businesses;
changed radically In recent years, leading to a detailed
- A close link with the tax system. revision of the regulations. For statistics on trade with non-
member countries, the introduction in 1988 of the
Combined Nomenclature of goods (CN) and the Single With the introduction of this new system, the comparability
Administrative Document had already led to considerable of Intra-EU results before and after 1 January 1993 is
methodological changes. However, the major changes limited, owing to a degree of under-estimation of flows.
were brought about by the introduction of the single This is because of some businesses' failure to respond
market on 1 January 1993. This led to the abolition of and the introduction of thresholds which exclude the
customs formalities between the Member States which smallest businesses. To correct this under-estimation,
had served as the traditional source of trade statistics, and which varies according to the Member State, some
the introduction of a special collection system called countries make adjustments at an aggregate level (in
INTRASTAT. The accession of three new member states general by partner country). Arrivals, i.e. imports from
in 1995 led Eurostat to recalculate its historical series for other EU countries, are particularly under-estimated.
the European Union to Include Austria, Finland and Consequently, Eurostat considers dispatches now to be
Sweden; therefore figures published here concern the the most reliable gauge of Intra-EU trade.
fifteen Members unless stated otherwise.
If the dispatches of a given Member State are compared
The yearbook on external and ¡ntra-European Union trade with the corresponding arrivals of its partners, differences
sets out to provide data on long-term trends in the trade of may emerge, mainly for the following reasons:
the European Union (EU) and its Member States. It
- Non-response by certain businesses;
contains data on the trade flows, broken down by major
product group, of the EU with its main trading partners on - Some particular movements of goods no yet
one hand and between the Member States on the other. harmonized: postal consignments, sets of
In view of the importance of trade by members of the
Errors or omissions. European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein,
Norway and Switzerland) with the European Union, For these reasons, figures on intra-EU trade should be
Eurostat has added a description of trade with these interpreted with caution. They are also subject to frequent
countries (Chapter 6) to that usually given for Member revision.
States only. Eurostat also foresees broadening this
information to include non-member countries (notably
central and eastern European countries) in accordance
with bilateral agreements yet to be finalized.
Statistics on external trade and Intra-EU trade at the most
detailed classification level are published monthly on CD-
ROM. They are also available on-line from the Eurostat's
databases (Comext, Newcronos). 3. Extra-EU trade External trade statistics are usually recorded on the basis
of customs declarations submitted by the declarant when
For data relating to the years 1978 to 1995, the Member clearing customs. The Single Administrative Document is
used for this purpose. In some Member States, certain States forwarded statistics on trade outside the European
Union in accordance with a uniform methodology provided businesses are allowed to make a summary declaration.
for in Council Regulation (EEC) N° 1736/75 and the
Statistics on external trade and intra-EU trade are compiled regulations deriving from it. Since the beginning of 1996,
on the basis of Community regulations. The same data have been collected, transmitted and diffused in
regulations are generally the basis for the compilation of accordance with Council Regulation (EC) Nc 1172/95 and
statistics published nationally by each Member State. its implementing rules (Council Regulation (EC) N° 840
Nevertheless, methodological differences do arise, as a 196) which however retain the former methodological
result of which Community statistics and national statistics principles.
do not match exactly.
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