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Questions and Answers Regarding Changes to Low Value Estimates for Goods

  1. How often do you intend to update the low value estimating factors?

    We will continue to explore the feasibility of updating the low-value estimation factors as newer data are available.

  2. Will there be any historical revisions to the low value estimates prior to January 2010?

    We will not produce any historically revised estimates prior to January 2010.

  3. How will Census address the break in the time series that occurs with the new data?

    Low-value estimates will not be seasonally adjusted beginning with January 2010 until a sufficient amount of data are available to determine seasonal patterns for the new estimates. For time series purposes we will provide monthly estimates for 2010 using the 2009 methodology, and these estimates will be made available upon request.

  4. Will the new low value estimates provide improvements in the timeliness, coverage and/or accuracy of the trade statistics?

    Since recent data and information from a variety of sources have been taken into account to produce the new estimates, there will be considerable improvements in the quality and accuracy of the statistics. In addition, the new methodology improves the coverage of import statistics by summarizing data into detailed commodity statistics. The timeliness of the estimates will also be improved, as the new methodologies use data from the current month rather than the prior month.

  5. If I get my data from sources other than the U.S. Census Bureau, will these data reflect the revised low-value estimation methodology?

    The U.S. Census Bureau is the official source of U.S. international trade statistics, however, other public and private organizations receive trade data from the U.S. Census Bureau and publish according to their respective missions. It is the responsibility of these organizations to acquire the revised data from the U.S. Census Bureau and make adjustments to their data products.

  6. What commodities will be impacted by this revised methodology?

    Due to the nature of the summarization of more data into detailed statistics, potentially any import commodity where transactions valued under reporting thresholds occur may be impacted by this revised methodology.

  7. How do the revised export low value estimates produced by the new methodology compare with those produced by the previous methodology? For Imports?

    The revised export estimates should be larger than those produced by the previous methodology. The import low value estimates will be smaller, but the net effect of adding summarized data to statistics and the revised estimates will increase total import values somewhat, although generally less than the increase in exports.

  8. Will modified import collection programs have a major effect on the summarization process and/or the new low value estimates?

    We do not anticipate any major effect on the summarization or low value estimates as new data collection methods are introduced.

  9. Is it anticipated that the reporting thresholds (i.e., $2000/$250 for imports and $2500 for exports) change in the near future?

    No, we do not anticipate the reporting threshold to be changed any time in the near future.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Foreign Trade | |  Last Revised: March 11, 2015