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Foreign Trade Data - Imports (IMP)

The Foreign Trade Imports data (IMP) covers the universe of firms operating in the U.S. that engage in merchandise import from a foreign destination. Information is compiled from automated data submitted through the U.S. Customs’ Automated Commercial System. Data are also compiled from import entry summary forms, warehouse withdrawal forms and Foreign Trade Zone documents required by law to be filed with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Data on imports of electricity and natural gas from Canada are obtained from Canadian sources.

This database covers the universe of firms operating in the U.S. that engage in merchandise import from a foreign destination. Imports of merchandise include commodities of foreign origin as well as goods of domestic origin returned to the United States with no change in condition or after having been processed and/or assembled in other countries. (See description of American goods returned after processing and/or assembly).

For statistical purposes, imports are classified by the type of transaction:

  • Merchandise entered for immediate consumption - "duty free" merchandise and merchandise on which duty is paid on arrival
  • Merchandise withdrawn for consumption from Customs bonded warehouses, and U.S. Foreign Trade Zones
  • Merchandise entered into Customs bonded warehouses and U.S. Foreign Trade Zones from foreign countries


IMP Restricted–Use Microdata
Economic – Transactions Data
Census Bureau
Unit of Enumeration
Over 59 million in 2011
This is a transaction level dataset. The number of observations varies by year.
Related Links
More Information
U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Importing into the United States - A Guide for Commercial Importers. PDF (468 KB)

 What are Microdata?

Microdata are data at the level of the establishment, firm, individual, or household that are collected through census and survey programs.

 What is the BDS?

The Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS) is a public use data set of annual aggregate statistics describing establishment openings and closings, firm startups, job creation and destruction by firm size, age, industrial sector, and state.

 What are Federal
 Statistical Research
 Data Centers?

Federal Statistical Research Data Centers (RDCs) are U.S. Census Bureau facilities, staffed by a Census Bureau employee, which meet all physical and computer security requirements for access to restricted–use data. At RDCs, qualified researchers with approved projects receive restricted access to select non–public statistical system data.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Center for Economic Studies | (301) 763-6460 | E-mail CES |  Last Revised: March 22, 2013