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5368.0.55.021 - Information Paper: Revision to correspondences to AHECC and Customs Tariff, Aug 2014  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/06/2014  First Issue
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INTRODUCTION

This information paper outlines statistical impacts resulting from changes to the correspondences underlying Australia's import and export statistics. The ABS maintains two classifications, the Combined Australian Customs Tariff Nomenclature and Statistical Classification (Customs Tariff) for import goods, and the Australian Harmonized Export Commodity Classification (AHECC) for export goods. Both of these classifications are based on the World Customs Organization's Harmonized System (HS), which was last updated for implementation at the start of 2012. The ABS concords Customs Tariff and AHECC to the United Nations Statistics Division's Standard International Trade Classification Revision 4 (SITC R4), the main classification scheme used to analyse merchandise trade statistics. These correspondences have been updated to bring them in line with international standards, and this paper provides a summary of these changes.

The ABS also maintains the Balance of Payments Broad Economic Categories (BoPBEC) and the Balance of Payments Commodities for Exports (BoPCE) classifications for import and export statistics. While BoPCE has been unaffected by the correspondence changes, there is a small impact on BoPBEC.

The ABS will implement the changes to the correspondences from the August 2014 reference month and the impact on time series is described in this paper.


DATA AND CORRESPONDENCES

Available from the Details tab of this paper are datacubes presenting:

  • recorded trade exports and imports on a SITC R4 basis before and after the correspondence changes for 2012-13, at the one-digit, two-digit, three-digit and five-digit levels of SITC R4
  • updated correspondences between the AHECC and SITC R4
  • updated correspondences between the Customs Tariff, SITC R4 and BoPBEC.


OVERVIEW OF IMPACTS

Statistics on the export and import of goods are presented on two bases - (recorded trade and balance of payments) in the International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat. no. 5368.0) publication. The use of the various classifications and the impact on time series is broadly summarised in the following table.

TABLE 1: CLASSIFICATIONS USED IN TRADE STATISTICS AND IMPACT ON TIME SERIES OF CHANGES FROM AUGUST 2014 REFERENCE MONTH

Exports

Imports

BasisClassificationImpact on time seriesClassificationImpact on time series

Recorded tradeSITC R4No break in series.
Data revised from January 2007 onwards
SITC R4No break in series.
Data revised from January 2007 onwards
Balance of PaymentsBoPCENo impactBoPBECNo break in series. Data revised from January 2012 onwards - the only change to the BoPBEC correspondence applies to a code that has been operative only since January 2012.



There are no breaks in series as a result of the correspondence changes. From the August 2014 reference month, data will only be available on the basis of the new correspondences. To allow clients to analyse the effect of the changes, statistics can be provided (for a limited time) for 2012-13 on both a current and new basis for SITC R4. Changes will apply from when the AHECC and Customs Tariff codes first became operative. Some of the codes became operative on 1 January 2007 and some on 1 January 2012. Open dates of affected codes are shown in datacubes 2 (AHECC correspondences to SITC R4) and 3 (Customs Tariff correspondences to SITC R4) of this publication.

Final details of the impact on balance of payments time series (including chain volume measures and implicit price deflators) will be described in the August 2014 issue of International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat. no. 5368.0) and the September quarter 2014 issue of Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia (cat. no. 5302.0).


BACKGROUND

The ABS has revised the correspondences between the Customs Tariff and SITC R4, and AHECC and SITC R4, to bring these in line with international standards. No codes have been added or removed. This has resulted in a redistribution of imports and exports across SITC R4 codes, with the total level of merchandise imports and exports remaining unchanged.

The international standard correspondence is published on the United Nations Statistics Division website. Here is a link to the correspondence: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/trade/conversions/HS%20Correlation%20and%20Conversion%20tables.htm

In some cases a HS code corresponds to a number of SITC R4 codes. In these cases the ABS has ensured that each AHECC and Customs Tariff code corresponds to one of the correct SITC R4 correspondence codes. There are a number of cases where no AHECC and Customs Tariff code corresponds to a particular SITC R4 code option.


ANALYSIS OF IMPACT ON EXPORTS AND IMPORTS ON A RECORDED TRADE BASIS

SITC R4 exports

An example of the impact of the revised correspondences on exports on a recorded trade basis is detailed in Table 2.

TABLE 2: IMPACT ON RECORDED TRADE SITC R4 EXPORTS FOR 2012-13

Prior to the correspondence changes
Following the correspondence changes
Difference

$'000
$'000
$'000
%

Sections (1-digit)
No impact
Divisions (2-digit)
No impact
Groups (3-digit)
776 Thermionic, cold cathode or photo-cathode valves and tubes
136,835
133,249
-3,586
-2.62
778 Electrical machinery and apparatus, n.e.s,
409,227
412,813
3,586
0.88



The AHECC correspondence changes have had no impact on SITC R4 at the one-digit or two-digit levels. At the three-digit Group level, two SITC R4 codes have been affected:
  • group 778 'Electrical machinery and apparatus, n.e.s.' increased by $4m (0.88%)
  • group 776 'Thermionic, cold cathode or photo-cathode valves and tubes' decreased by $4m (2.62%).

Six SITC R4 codes were impacted at the five-digit level. The largest impact was a movement from 76432 'Transmission apparatus incorporating reception apparatus' to 76412 'Apparatus for transmission or reception of voice, images or other data (excl. telephone sets)'. Datacube 2 (AHECC correspondences to SITC R4) shows the net impact of all 5-digit changes on 2012-13 financial year data at the higher levels of the SITC R4.

SITC R4 imports

TABLE 3: IMPACT ON RECORDED TRADE SITC R4 IMPORTS FOR 2012-13

Prior to the correspondence changes
Following the correspondence changes
Difference

$'000
$'000
$'000
%

Sections (1-digit)
0 Food and live animals
9,779,966
9,810,324
30,359
0.31
5 Chemicals and related products, n.e.s.
24,112,176
24,005,245
-106,931
-0.44
6 Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material
25,966,920
26,043,492
76,572
0.29
Divisions (2-digit)
09 Miscellaneous edible products and preparations
1,918,215
1,948,574
30,359
1.58
22 Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits
61,875
62,410
534
0.86
29 Crude animal and vegetable materials, n.e.s.
411,043
410,508
-534
-0.13
54 Medicinal and pharmaceutical products
10,511,813
10,404,882
-106,931
-1.02
64 Paper, paperboard, and articles of paper pulp, of paper or of paperboard
2,586,757
2,663,329
76,572
2.96
75 Office machines and automatic data processing machines
8,945,171
8,940,500
-4,671
-0.05
76 Telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment
11,534,880
11,539,552
4,671
0.04
Groups (3-digit)
098 Edible products and preparations, n.e.s.
1,877,603
1,907,962
30,359
1.62
223 Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits, of a kind used for extract of non 'soft' fixed vegetable oils (incl. flours and meals)
17,055
17,589
534
3.13
292 Crude vegetable materials, n.e.s.
323,893
323,359
-534
-0.16
541 Medicinal and pharmaceutical products (excl. medicaments of group 542)
2,460,728
2,384,157
-76,572
-3.11
542 Medicaments (including veterinary medicaments)
8,051,084
8,020,725
-30,359
-0.38
642 Paper and paperboard, cut to size or shape, and articles of paper or paperboard
840,542
917,114
76,572
9.11
751 Office machines
1,729,427
1,724,756
-4,671
-0.27
764 Telecommunications equipment, n.e.s.; parts, and accessories of radio, television, video and similar apparatus, n.e.s.
8,916,031
8,920,703
4,671
0.05
776 Thermionic, cold cathode or photo-cathode valves and tubes
1,216,515
1,214,745
-1,770
-0.15
778 Electrical machinery and apparatus, n.e.s.
2,565,425
2,567,195
1,770
0.07


At the one-digit level of SITC R4, the largest net impact in 2012-13, were:
  • section 5 'Chemicals and related products, n.e.s.' decreased by $107m. (0.44%)
  • section 6 'Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material' increased by $77m (0.29%)
  • section 0 'Food and live animals' increased by $30m (0.31%).

The same commodities also resulted in the largest net impact at the two-digit level. For 2012-13:
  • division 54 'Medicinal and pharmaceutical products' decreased by $107m (1.02%)
  • division 64 'Paper, paperboard, and articles of paper pulp, of paper or of paperboard' $77m (2.96%)
  • division 09 'Miscellaneous edible products and preparations' $30m (1.58)%.
All remaining changes to imports at the two-digit level of SITC R4 represented 1% or less of the affected codes.

The largest net movements at the three-digit level were:
  • group 642 'Paper and paperboard, cut to size of shape, and articles of paper or paperboard' increased by $77m (9.11%)
  • group 541 'Medicinal and pharmaceutical products (excluding medicaments of group 542) decreased by $77m (3.11%).

There were 17 SITC R4 codes impacted at the five-digit level. As with exports, the largest impact was a movement from 76432 'Transmission apparatus incorporating reception apparatus' to 76412 'Apparatus for transmission or reception of voice, images or other data (excl. telephone sets)'. Datacube 3 (Customs Tariff correspondences to SITC R4) shows the net impact of all 5-digit changes on 2012-13 financial year data at the higher levels of the SITC R4.


ANALYSIS OF IMPACT ON EXPORTS AND IMPORTS ON A BALANCE OF PAYMENTS BASIS

BoPCE goods credits (Balance of Payments exports)

These changes to correspondences will not impact the data published on a BoPCE basis.

BoPBEC goods debits (Balance of Payments imports)

Two categories will be impacted by the changes to correspondences. Data from January 2012 will be impacted. There will be a decrease in the category 'Consumption goods n.e.s.' and an increase in the category 'Food and beverages, mainly for consumption'. These changes will decrease 'Consumption goods n.e.s.' by 0.1% and increase 'Food and beverages, mainly for consumption' by 0.3% for the financial year 2012-13. Total merchandise imports and total 'Consumption goods' will not be impacted.


FURTHER INFORMATION

If you require assistance in accessing the datacubes or if you would like further information about the changes, please:
  • visit the ABS website and select Topics @ a Glance, then Foreign Trade;
  • contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070; or
  • write to:
International Trade in Goods and Services Section
Australian Bureau of Statistics
GPO Box 66
Hobart TAS 7001

Email: international.trade@abs.gov.au

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