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The U.S. Census Bureau is the official source for U.S. export and import statistics and regulations governing the reporting of exports from the U.S.
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To provide detailed statistics on goods and estimates of services shipped from the U.S. to foreign countries. The United States Code, Title 13, requires this program. Participation is mandatory. The Treasury Department assists in the conduct of this program.
The export statistics consist of goods valued at more than $2,500 per commodity shipped by individuals and organizations (including exporters, freight forwarders, and carriers) from the U.S. to other countries.
Data are compiled in terms of commodity classification, quantities, values, shipping weights, method of transportaion (air or vessel), state of (movement) origin, customs district, customs port, country of destination, and whether contents are domestic goods or reexports. Since January 1989, commodities have been compiled under Schedule B harmonized classifications of domestic and foreign commodity exports. These transactions are classified under approximately 8,000 different products leaving the United States. Statistics are also complied under the Standard International Trade Calssification (SITC), North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), End-Use Commodity Classification, and Advanced Technology Products. These statistics include data about all 240 U.S. trading partners, 400 U.S. ports, and 45 districts.
Data are continuously compiled and processed. Documents are collected as shipments depart, and processed on a flow basis. Reports summarize shipments made during calendar months, quarters, and years. Statistics are reported monthly approximately 40 to 45 days after the end of the calendar month and on a year-to-date basis.
A full compilation (i.e., a "census") of commodity exports, plus U.S. Census Bureau estimates of low-valued exports and Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) estimates of trade in services. Statistics for exported goods transactions are compiled from three sources: Shipper's Export Declaration documents filed with Customs and Border Protection and sent to the U.S. Census Bureau (3 percent of all transactions), comparable data in electronic form submitted directly by exporters and their agents (63 percent), and special computer tapes from Canada for U.S. exports to Canada (34 percent). Estimates are made for low-value exports by country of destination, and based on bilateral trade patterns.
Statistics for U.S. exports to Canada are based on import documents filed with Canadian agencies and forwarded to the U.S. Census Bureau under a 1987 data exchange agreement. Under this agreement, each country eliminated most cross-border export documents; maintains detailed statistics on cross-border imports; exchanges monthly files of cross-border import statistics; and publishes exchanged statistics in place of previously compiled export statistics.
U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services (FT900), press release and supplement, provides summary statistics for goods on a census, balance of payment basis, and services data each month. This includes data for the most recent month and year on goods by various commodity classifications, and by country of destination. Annual revisions are released in June of the following year.
U.S. Merchandise Trade: Selected Highlights (FT920) provides data on value, charges, insurance and freight (CIF), and shipping weight for general imports and imports for consumption by district of entry, district of unlading, world area, country of orgin, and by method of transporation. Final data are released monthly.
USA Trade Online, an online subscription service, provides U.S. export statistics of commodities at the 2, 4, 6 and 10-digit Harmonized Schedule (HS) level. Monthly, year-to-date and annual statistics on value and quantity by country, customs district. Port statistics by 6-digit HS and country are also provided for value, shipping weight, and method of transportation. State export statistics are provided for 6-digit HS or 4-digit NAICS and country are provided for value, shipping weight and method of transportation. Statistics by 6-digit NAICS, country and district are provided for balance; domestic, foreign and total exports; and General Imports Customs value, General Imports CIF value, Imports for Consumption Customs value and Imports for Consumption CIF value.
U.S. Exports of Merchandise - Monthy Provides export statistics in ASCII or dBase format. Each file has various data fields for HS commodities at the 2, 4, 6 and 10-digit level. Country and customs district data for value and quantity are provided on a monthly, year-to-date and annual basis. Files are available for months and years since September 1989.
U.S. Export History Provides five years of historical export statistics in ASCII or dBase format. Each file has various data fields for HS commodities at the 2, 4, 6, and 10-digit level. Commodity data for value and quantity are provided on an annual basis and is issued annually.
U.S. Exports by State Provides export statistics by state of Origin of Movement in ASCII file format. Each file has various data fields for HS commodities at the 6-digit HS level or 3 or 4-digit NAICS level. Commodity data for value, shipping weight, and method of transportation are provided on an monthly, quarterly or annual basis.
U.S. Exports by Port Provides export statistics by port of export in ASCII file format. Each file has various data fields for HS commodities at the 6-digit HS level. Commodity data for value, shipping weight, and method of transportation are provided on an monthly, quarterly or annual basis.
Related Party Trade provides aggregated data about transactions between parties with various types of relationships. The report is based on customs value excluding import duties, freight, insurance and other charges incurred in bringing the merchandise to the U.S. The report is released annually.
Merchandise Trade Reconciliation provides the results of a study into the differences between the official trade statistics released by the United States and Mexico, and Canada and Mexico during 1998 and 1999, and 1996 and 1997. The first report shows the differences during 1996 and 1997. The second report shows the differences during 1998 and 1999.
Profile of U.S. Exporting Companies provides aggregated data about U.S. companies identified as exporters when matched to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Business Register. The exporter “Profile” provides data about the exporting community including number of exporters, the known value of the export trade, employment size, type of company (manufacturers, wholesalers, and other), and major foreign markets. The report includes detailed breakdowns based upon the number of employees of the identified exporting companies. The International Trade Administration released the first report in September 1993, based on 1987 trade data. The Foreign Trade Division has released subsequent reports starting with 1992 trade data, and annually since 1996.
Special Reports and Data Services provides a multitude of export data products that the Census Bureau customizes in response to user requests for a nominal fee. Special products may be prepared once, periodically, or routinely.
The BEA uses the data to update U.S. balance of payments, gross domestic product, and national accounts. Other federal agencies use them for economic, financial, and trade policy analysis (such as export promotion studies and export price indexes). Private businesses and trade associations use them for domestic and overseas market analysis, and industry-, product-, and area-based business planning. Major print and electronic news media use them for general and business news reports.
Export statistics provide a principal economic indicator as well as the most complete and only official source of monthly statistics on U.S. exports.