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International Trade Statistics Conference Notes

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Morning Session: -- Location: USBC, Conference Room # 3

Process Improvements

  • Presentation: Mainframe Migration and Changes to Revision Schedule - (STC)

    • (STC) has cost recovery in place for queries, whichresults in some limiting of the number of data revisions identified from outside data users.
      • Implemented with Department of Agriculture.
      • Not implemented across the board however, because would result in corrections and review of data only for those who had the money.
      • Automated process so 4 years of data are “open” on the server.
    • (SNZ) policy is 4 months of data open for revision. Will do later on a case-by-case basis is deemed large enough. What are others policies?
    • (STC) No aggregate corrections; only individual records.
    • (ABS)6 months of data open for revisions. Any older on case-by-case basis. Policy left over from mainframe days because that is how much could be held on mainframe. Can tell data users what revisions are awaiting implementation in data.
    • (HMR&C) Data is closed for revisions August of the following year. After August can do case-by-case revision but only with notes.

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  • Presentation: Processing Enhancements to Allow More Corrections to Data - (USBC)

    • How handle carryover.
      • USBC uses late reported data from previous month as proxy estimate for late reported data for current month.
      • STC uses
        • Imports: 3 month moving average at aggregate level to estimate.
        • Exports: a more complicated method. This can give the incorrect impression that the estimate is more precise that actually is.
        • STC recommends a simple method of estimation for carry-over with new revisions.
    • Effect on Seasonals.
      • There will be a cut-off point in the data with the new corrections procedure, as won’t have previous year's revisions.
      • STC requests a contact in Dec. of 2009 before implementation of the new procedure for exports to allow for discussion of how this will affect the data exchange.

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    • (STC) Uses clipping (i.e. imputing the mean)
      • When moved to clipping editors saw more detail and were miffed.
      • Allowed for identification of filers with ongoing errors. For example, paper filers reporting in ones instead of thousands.
    • To get editors on board with changes, talk with editors to establish editing philosophy and how to handle workloads. (i.e. since there are more edits than can be looked at set priorities)
      • (SNZ) look at only HS chapter to identify impact.
      • Might implement cost recovery if get outside calls about specific 10 digit HS.
    • (SNZ) Do you do any specific training to implement selective editing?
      • (HMR&C) recommends talking to managers and editors editing that the change is good for trade statistics.
      • (STC) did not have formal training but lots of one-on-one discussions. Also has training for new employees within first 30 days called “Trade 101” which serves as a guide to HS.

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Afternoon Session: -- Location: USBC,Conference Room # 3

Process Improvements (continued)

  • Presentation:Recent Process Improvements - (ABS)
    Presentation Powerpoint Slide

    • Future
      • Target input editing through selective editing.
      • Examine under coverage and possible ways to fill in gaps.
      • Will use staggered implementation to promote buy-in and a more gradual adjustment so able to get used to it bit-by-bit.

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  • Presentation: Recent Process Improvements - (HMR&C)
  • Presentation Powerpoint Slide

    • How to measure quality
      • Under coverage studies
      • Reconciliation studies
      • Timely corrections
      • Communication with traders to get feedback on accuracy (assurance not a measure)
    • Improving reporting can affect trend. Shows as growth in trade, but really just a measuring more of the data.
      • Publish the fraudulent estimate separately so it can be removed by the user.
      • Measure data by category (HS, country) so a change in trend is ok.
    • Compare edited and non-edited records (maybe also go back to the trade to compare) and measure goodness of editing.
    • (STC) wanted a measure of how accurate codes were.
      • Examined who decided which was the correct code; how to measure codes shifting (in/out); and how codes were chosen and created.
    • (ABS) Used the tax office sample descriptions and recoded based on these descriptions, then measured how often records were coded the same way.

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FTD Web News

What is required for me to ship charity goods to Haiti?
From GLOBAL REACH: "In order to facilitate the movements of these goods, we offer the following guidance that applies to any goods not requiring a license, such as food, clothing, and medicines." (January 22, 2010)

Foreign Trade has GLOBAL REACH
Foreign Trade has just created and published its official blog, "Global Reach." Visit it to discuss the Foreign Trade Regulations, Export Filing (AES), Trade Data, and other trade related topics. Posts are current and relevant to you as the filer, exporter, data user, or curious blog reader. (January 5, 2010)

FTZ: Guidelines for Submtting Statistical Data (PDF) (1.8 MB)
Guidelines and best practices for fulfilling FTZ's statistical reporting requirements are now available.

- Training videos on topics such as the Foreign Trade Regulations, AESDirect, NAFTA, Taxes/Tariffs, Commodities, etc. now available!

2009 Constant Dollar Data
- The Census Bureau identified a processing error that caused incorrect deflators to be applied to the revised data for 2009. The data have been corrected.

- U.S. Census Bureau will modify the structure of several data products to accommodate changing technology and user demand.

- The export environment has dramatically changed. Come and understand what it takes to remain compliant, aware and out of trouble.

2003 AES Option 4 Moratorium
Option 4 Filing Review Process Suspended

AES Compliance Best Practices:
Best Practices for maintaining AES Compliance are now available.

Related Party Database Application:
Time series RELATED PARTY data for specific commodities and countries.

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Source: FTDWebMaster, Foreign Trade Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, D.C. 20233
Created: 30 December 2008
Last modified: 12 July 2011 at 04:09:07 PM