Trade Statistics

2018 No.

2. Purpose of the instrument

2.1 The purpose of this instrument is to amend European Union (EU) regulations which  are being brought into force in the United Kingdom (UK) by the EU Withdrawal Act, to ensure that UK legislation is in place to collect information required for tradestatistics after the UK leaves the EU.

What did any relevant EU law do before exit day?

2.2 EU Regulation 638/2004 established a common framework for the systematic  production of  statistics relating to the trading in goods between Member States. This is termed Intrastat.

2.3 EU Regulation 1982/2004 set up measures for implementing EU Regulation 638/2004, ensuring that each Member State collects similar information and applies the general framework to specific types of movements of goods.

2.4 EU Regulation 471/2009 established a common framework for the systematic production of statistics relating to the trade in goods between Member States and non-Member States. This is termed Extrastat.

2.5 EU Regulation 92/2010 makes further provisions about the nature of data to be recorded about Extrastat trade to ensure that information recorded and shared by each Member State is consistent

2.6 EU Regulation 113/2010 provides additional rules for the compilation of statistical data and applies the general framework to specific types of movement of goods entering and leaving the Member States.

Why is it being changed?
2.7 The UK will no longer be a Member State so the EU Regulations will no longer apply to the UK as a non-member State. We need to preserve these Regulations to ensure that trade in goods statistics continue to be collected, compiled and disseminated and remain consistent with worldwide standards. The preserved EU legislation will enable the ongoing collection of Extrastat trade statistics data where
a customs declaration is required, and will allow the continuation of Intrastat for trade in goods between the UK and the remaining EU Member States. This is to ensure that there is no loss of statistical data, which is needed to meet international
reporting requirements.

What will it now do?

2.8 These preserved EU Regulations will ensure that the UK has the legal right to continue to collect trade in goods statistics. They will also ensure that the nature of the information is consistent with the information currently collected. Most of this information will now be obtained through customs declarations.

6. Legislative Context

6.1 The UK currently applies EU rules on the collection of statistical data, obtained from businesses. These are set out in the EU Regulations 638/2004, 1982/2004, 471/2009,  92/2010 and 113/2010. In addition minor changes will be necessary to the Statistics of Trade (Customs and Excise) Regulations 1992. This is a piece of UK legislation that requires minor changes to ensure the terminology and references are consistent.

6.2 Section 2 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 ensures the collection of trade statistics will continue to apply in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.

6.3 The instrument changes EU references that are no longer appropriate. For example, by substituting the term “United Kingdom” for” Community” or “Member States”, we are limiting the scope of the legislation to that this will only apply to the UK’s jurisdiction. Currently EU legislation applies rather than having application across the EU where the UK has no legislative power.

7. Policy background

What is being done and why?

7.1 Statistics about the nature of goods imported and exported are collected across all countries and are an essential economic indicator. They form part of the National Accounts and Balance of Payments compilation, as well as serving a variety of HM Government, commercial and academic purposes.

7.2 International standards are adopted from the United Nation’s International Merchandise Trade Statistics framework. In international trade, trade statistics for goods are usually collected from customs declarations. One notable exception to this is trade statistics between EU Member States (including the UK currently), where there are no customs declarations and another system (Intrastat) has been developed.

7.3 In the event of a no agreement being reached, when the UK leaves the EU, trade statistics relating to imports and exports of goods will in most cases be collectedfrom customs declarations.

7.4 The Statistics of Trade Regulations (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 preserves the ability to collect trade statistics both through customs declarations and also through Intrastat declarations should customs declarations not be required. For example, Intrastat declarations might be needed if any changes are introduced whichremove the need for customs declarations.