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Why is Intrastat information collected?

In the EU, statistical data on international trade is collected using two different systems. The statistics on trade with so called third countries outside the EU (external trade) are obtained through the customs clearance system. Data on the trade between Member States (internal trade) are collected through a separate procedure called the INTRASTAT system.

In Finland, Customs collects the statistical data on both external trade and internal trade. Every month, importers and exporters submit the data on their internal trade to Customs. Customs receives and checks the data and uses the internal and external trade data to produce the official International Trade Statistics of Finland. These statistics are also sent monthly to Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the EU.

The compilation of statistics on internal trade is based on regulations which are laid down by the EU and which are in force in all Member States as statutory provisions. The submitted data is confidential and is only used for the compilation of statistics. The data is mainly used for the compilation of international trade statistics, but it can also be used for statistical research and accounts, and it can also be combined with other administrative material, such as the business register, for the above mentioned purposes.

What are trade statistics used for?

Finnish Customs publishes the statistics on international trade once a month. The preliminary statistics are published about 40 days after the end of the month of compilation and the detailed statistics after eight weeks.

The statistics on international trade are used by decision-makers, planners and researchers within the public and private sectors. Statistics are used for example in monitoring the development of the EU internal market and the national economy, for preparing negotiations relating to commercial policy, and for preparing the accounts for the statistics on the balance of payments and the national economy. Companies use statistics especially for market researches and developing commercial strategies.

Statistics on Finland's international trade are available on the Finnish Customs website. Detailed statistical information can be obtained from ULJAS - Statistical Database. The service can be used in Finnish, Swedish and English and is free of charge. Chargeable statistical information is obtainable from the Statistics Service telephone service or via e-mail to the address statistics(at)

Below is a list of the most essential regulations relating to the compilation of statistics, with links to the EUR-Lex database maintained by the Publications Office of the EU.