Read Me First (Disclaimer)
User of UN Comtrade should know the coverage and limitations of the data
The United Nations Commodity
Trade Statistics Database (UN Comtrade) contains detailed imports and exports
statistics reported by statistical authorities of close to 200 countries or
areas. It concerns annual trade data from 1962 to the most recent year. UN
Comtrade is considered the most comprehensive trade database available with
more than 1 billion records. A typical record is – for instance – the exports
of cars from Germany to the United States
in 2004 in terms of value (US dollars), weight and supplementary quantity
(number of cars). The database is continuously updated. Whenever trade data are
received from the national authorities, they are standardized by the UN
Statistics Division and then added to UN Comtrade.
UN Comtrade is available to the
general public and should be used with good knowledge of its limitations.
Please read the following points very carefully before extracting and using
1. The values of the reported detailed commodity data do not necessarily sum
up to the total trade value for a given country dataset. Due to
confidentiality, countries may not report some of its detailed trade. This
trade will - however - be included at the higher commodity level and in the
total trade value. For instance, trade data not reported for a specific 6-digit
HS code will be included in the total trade and may be included in the 2-digit
HS chapter. Similar situations could occur for other commodity classifications. Detailed data processed after 1. January 2006 and published in HS will sum up to the respective totals due to the introduction of adjustment items with commodity code 9999 and 999999.
2. Countries (or areas) do not necessarily report their trade statistics for
each and every year. This means that aggregations of data into groups of
countries may involve countries with no reported data for a specific year. UN
Comtrade does not contain estimates for missing data. Therefore, trade of a
country group could be understated due to unavailability of some country data.
3. Data are made available in several commodity classifications, but not all
countries necessarily report in the most recent commodity classification.
Again, UN Comtrade does not contain estimates for data of countries which do
not report in the most recent classification.
4. When data are converted from a more recent to an older classification it
may occur that some of the converted commodity codes contain more (or less)
products than what is implied by the official commodity heading. No adjustments
are made for these cases.
5. Imports reported by one country do not coincide with exports reported by
its trading partner. Differences are due to various factors including valuation
(imports CIF, exports FOB), differences in inclusions/ exclusions of particular
commodities, timing etc. The recommendations for international merchandise
trade statistics can be found in the International Merchandise Trade
Statistics: Compilers Manual ). Additional methodological information can be found on the same web
6. Almost all countries report as partner country for imports the country of origin (see Metadata & References > Explanatory Notes) which is determined by the rules of origin established by each country (see International Merchandise Trade Statistics, Concepts and Definitions, Rev.2, para. 139 and 140). Hence, the term ‘partner country’ in the case of imports does not necessarily imply any direct trading relationship.
General UN disclaimer
The designations employed and the presentation of material on UN Comtrade do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitations of its frontiers or boundaries. Where the designation “country or area” appears on this internet site, it covers countries, territories or areas.
Before using the UN Comtrade data
you should also read and agree with the License Agreement which can be found at
the bottom bar of each of the web pages of the UN Comtrade site. The License
Agreement specifies that the UN Comtrade data are copyrighted by the United
Nations and are made available for your internal use only. They may not be
re-disseminated in any form without prior written consent of the United Nations
Statistics Division. Please also see the
Policy on Use and Re-dissemination of UN Comtrade data for further information on