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Statistics specification: International trade in goods

Title of statistics

International trade in goods


Finnish Customs


International Trade Statistics describes the trade in commodities between Finland and other EU Member States, and between Finland and Third Countries, i.e. internal and external trade. These statistics constitute an official source on the import, export, and trade balance of Finland.

Data content

These statistics, which cover all import and export, indicate the monthly values of the import in, export from, and trade balance of Finland. The preliminary monthly statistics comprise such information regarding the EU and the Euro territory, and the territories not in the EU. The monthly statistics even specifies the information according to countries, groups thereof, and continents.

The CN statistics contain monthly detailed information on the import and export of goods. Principally, all goods exported from and imported in Finland are recorded to statistics. International trade in services is not included in these statistics. An inclusion in these statistics requires the goods physically arrive in or depart from this country. By way of exception, water- and aircraft are recorded to statistics upon a change in ownership.

These statistics do not comprise e.g. the import and export of goods and groups thereof according to countries. The value information is expressed at all levels of the classification, but it is feasible to state the quantities at the more accurate classification levels only.

International Trade Statistics are compiled according to the Standard International Classification SITC owing to its international comparability. This classification maintained by the UN is applied in most countries. The goods are classified on the basis of the detailed nomenclatures (HS, CN) into rougher categories, which also take account of the degree of processing.

Classifications based on products, industries, and uses of goods are regularly applied to describe the structure and development of all import and export without specifying the countries. The data, however, are compiled also according to the countries. Statistics complying with these classifications indicate the values only.

Data collecting method

Data on trade by Finland with other EU Member States are collected from statistical declarations lodged by enterprises through the Intrastat system of internal trade. Information on the trade between Finland and Third Countries is obtained from customs declarations, which shall be lodged on every import and export consignment. The data on internal and external trade are combined to form the International Trade Statistics.

Applied classifications

The compilation of statistics on commodities is based on the Combined Nomenclature CN of the EU. Export is recorded to the statistics by the countries of destination according to the FOB ("free on board") value and import by the countries of origin according to the CIF ("cost, insurance, and freight") value. The Combined Nomenclature CN comprises some 10,000 headings.

The SITC statistics are compiled since 2007 according to Rev. 4 of the Standard International Trade Classification of the UN on international trade. The data complying with the SITC classification are deducted from the Combined Nomenclature CN according to the definitions formulated by the UN. The most accurate level of the SITC classification contains 2 970 product categories.

The CPA statistics are compiled according to the Classification of Products by Activities and indicate the structure of import and export by the product categories according to activities.

The data complying with the CPA classification are deducted from the Combined Nomenclature CN. The MIG categories are deducted from the CPA categories.

The Classification by Broad Economic Categories (BEC) of the UN is based on the SITC nomenclature and is aggregated according to macroeconomic end-use categories.

The NACE statistics comprise data according to industries of the enterprises (Nomenclature générale des Activités économiques dans les Communautés européennes NACE 2002).

The MIG statistics indicate the import and export according to the principal use of goods (Main Industrial Groupings MIG). This product classification is not official.

The country classification is based on the Commission Regulation (EC, 1833/2006) on the nomenclature of countries and territories for the external trade of the Community and the internal trade between the Member States. The country codes comply with those of the ISO/DIS 3166 standard of the International Organization for Standardization.

Updating frequency


Completion or publication date

Preliminary statistics on import and export are completed abt. six weeks after the respective statistical month. Detailed statistics on international trade are published after abt. nine weeks upon the statistical month.

The publication times of the preliminary statistics and monthly statistics are defined towards the end of each year so that the timetable indicates the accurate dates of issuance of the monthly publications during the next year. The publication timetable is maintained on the web site of the Finnish Customs.

Time series

Data exist on all import and export since 1856. Data exist in electronic form in the Uljas database since 1987. Information earlier than this is available in print or on micro cards at the archives.

Data according to the CN nomenclature exist since 1995. Since it annually undergoes amendments, it is not possible to form consistent time series on all products. Also changes in the country specification restrict the compilation of country-specific time series. Data exist in electronic form in the Uljas database.

From 1988 to 1994 the statistics on products were compiled in accordance with the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System HS. These product statistics and those complying with earlier applied classifications may be inquired at the Statistics Service.

Statistics complying with the SITC classification exist since 1988 (Rev. 3) and 2007 (Rev. 4). No annual amendments are committed to the SITC classification, which enables comparisons based on longer time series. Data exist in electronic form in the Uljas database.

International trade statistics complying with the earlier SITC versions were compiled from 1958 to 1987. These may be inquired at the Statistics Service.

Information according to products by activities, industries, and main use of goods exists since 1997. Data exist in electronic form in the Uljas database.


import, export, trade balance, international trade, goods, CN, Intrastat, SITC, product categories, main use, CPA, NACE, MIG

Contact information

Finnish Customs / Statistics
Statistics Service, Tel. +358 295 52335
E-mail: statistics[at]
Statistical database Uljas:

Further information

Beside International Trade Statistics, statistical information on international trade is obtainable from the National Accounts and the Balance of Trade statistics of the Statistics Finland.

Statistical information on the international trade of the EU Member States is available from the publications, web site and Easy Comext database of Eurostat. This database can be consulted free of charge through Internet.