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Statistics on trade between EU countries - Intrastat

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Statistics on trade between EU countries - Intrastat

Among the data that it gathers, Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical office, collects information on the intra-EU trade of goods (Intrastat). This law sets up the systems and procedures for Intrastat and seeks to ensure that EU countries gather comparable and reliable data for transmission to Eurostat.

ACT

Regulation (EC) No 638/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on Community statistics relating to the trading of goods between Member States and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3330/91.

SUMMARY

Among the data that it gathers, Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical office, collects information on the intra-EU trade of goods (Intrastat). This law sets up the systems and procedures for Intrastat and seeks to ensure that EU countries gather comparable and reliable data for transmission to Eurostat.

WHAT DOES THIS REGULATION DO?

It seeks to simplify the Intrastat system, which was originally established in 1993, and to improve the comparability of statistics between EU countries. The supply of such trading statistics is essential for the development of policies on the EU’s single market and for market analysis.

KEY POINTS

Scope

The regulation covers trade in goods. ‘Trading of goods’ means any movement of merchandise from one EU country to another and ‘merchandise’ means all movable property, including electric current.

EU businesses that are registered for value added tax (VAT) purposes and whose annual trade amount exceeds a certain threshold must provide details of their transactions with other EU countries. These data relate both to arrivals (acquisitions, purchases or imports) and dispatches (removals, sales or exports). Other businesses are exempt from the requirement.

EU countries redefine the threshold value each year and fix a separate value for dispatches and arrivals (allowing for a minimum amount of data to be collected for each trade flow).

Registration

Each EU country’s national statistical authorities manage a register of intra-EU operators (i.e. businesses) made up of consignors and consignees.

Data collected for Intrastat

Businesses that are required to submit declarations for Intrastat purposes must provide the following information:

their identification number;

the reference period;

the flow (arrival/dispatch);

the commodity concerned (using the eight-digit code of the EU’s combined nomenclature);

the partner EU country;

the value of the goods in the national currency;

the quantity of the goods in net mass (weight excluding packaging) and the supplementary unit (litre, m2, number of items, etc.), if relevant;

the nature of the transaction.

Confidentiality

A party that provides information may request that their data receive statistical confidentiality. In this case, national authorities must decide whether the statistical results which make it possible to identify the said provider are to be disseminated or are to be amended so that their dissemination does not prejudice statistical confidentiality.

Transmission of data to Eurostat

EU countries transmit the monthly results of their statistics on the trading of goods between EU countries to Eurostat.

They are responsible for ensuring the quality of the data transmitted in accordance with the standards in force. The statistics must fulfil certain criteria:

relevance;

accuracy;

timeliness;

punctuality;

accessibility and clarity;

comparability;

coherence.

The European Commission, with the assistance of a committee comprising EU countries’ representatives, is able to adopt certain technical changes in respect of this regulation.

WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

From 1 January 2005.

BACKGROUND

Intrastat was set up on 1 January 1993, the date on which the EU’s single market came into effect. It replaced customs declarations as a source of trade data.

For more information, see the Eurostat website.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 638/2004

27.4.2004

-

OJ L 102, 7.4.2004, pp. 1-8

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 222/2009

20.4.2009

-

OJ L 87, 31.3.2009, pp. 160-163

Regulation (EU) No 659/2014

17.7.2014

-

OJ L 189, 27.6.2014, pp. 128-134

The successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 638/2004 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Last updated: 03.04.2015

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