International trade in goods (ext_go_agg)

National Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: The Institute of Statistics (INSTAT)

Time Dimension: 2000-A0

Data Provider: AL1


Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

The Institute of Statistics (INSTAT)

1.2. Contact organisation unit

Eurostat, Statistical Office of the European Communities,
Unit G5 International Trade
L-2920 Luxembourg

For any question on data and metadata, please contact:

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 21/02/2014
2.2. Metadata last posted 21/02/2014
2.3. Metadata last update 21/02/2014

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

External trade statistics of goods are a very important instrument for decision makers in the publics and private sectors. They help in the preparation of bilateral and multilateral negotiations in the context of trade policy and for the assessment of market economies. They assist companies in market research and in determining their trading strategies. External trade statistics are important not only for these relationships, but at the same time is an important instrument for other statistics. They have an important role in the national accounts statistics, are an important element in the Balance of Payments (BOP), etc.

External trade statistics of goods are intended to provide data on trade goods, export-import of goods in Albania. The main source of statistical data providing of foreign trade of goods is the General Authority of Customs. Information collected each month, through the Customs Declarations. This declaration provides necessary data for customs and statistical purposes and also collects statistical data for the period of the transaction, for the type of goods, net weight, gross weight, the statistical value of the goods, country of destination, country of exporter, origin country, type of transaction, type of concession etc.

3.2. Classification system

External trade statistics published at the national level, by country/group of states, 2-digit level and grouped by sections 21 and nine commodity groups of the Combined Nomenclature (CN):

External trade statistics process the data of import and export by 9 groups of Trade International Standard Classification (SITC).

External trade statistics processed also by another classifications (e.g. Nomenclature of economic activities, products Nomenclature, Classification by Broad Economic Categories) used for the needs of other sectors in INSTAT and various institutions.

3.3. Coverage - sector

All sectors which are related to trade of goods such as Agriculture, Fish, Industry, Trade, excluded services activities.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

Key definitions of indicators used and published in foreign trade statistics.


These in general are goods destined to be send to a third country, subject to customs regime or outside processing arrangements, or re-exported after inside processing. 


These in general are goods coming from a third country and are directly unloaded or placed to a warehouse according to the customs procedures to accomplish free zones processing, active or customs processing. 

F.O.B ( Free on board):

It’s the delivery condition of goods, indicating that the price of goods includes transport and handling cost to a specified port for shipment. 

C.I.F. (Cost, Insurance, Freight):

It’s the delivery condition of goods indicating that the price includes insurance and freight to an agreed port of destination. 

The general trade system records all goods entering or leaving the economic territory of a country with the exception of simple transit trade. So in this case are recorded as imports of all goods entering the customs warehouse of a country, even if they do not appear in free circulation in this country. At the same time, outgoing goods from customs warehouse country recorded as exports of the country.

The special trade system is a narrower concept. In this case all goods from a foreign country that are received into customs warehouses, are not recorded in the special trade aggregates unless they subsequently go into free circulation in the country of receipt or are placed under the customs procedures for inward processing. Similarly, outgoing goods from customs warehouses are not recorded as exports.

3.5. Statistical unit

Any natural and legal person lodging a customs declaration.

3.6. Statistical population

Trade in goods of the includes all goods which add or subtract from the stock of material resources of Albania by entering (imports) or leaving (exports) its economic territory including goods for processing. Information on the goods is provided by legal or natural person.  

3.7. Reference area

External trade statistics in goods cover trade flows entering or living the statistical territory of Albania (country level).

3.8. Coverage - Time

Annual data: 1991-2012.

Monthly data: M1-2005 / M1-2013.

3.9. Base period

The unit value indices are calculated using the previous year base.

4. Unit of measure Top

The value of trade is expressed in ALL; Million ALL.

The net mass in kg and the quantity in supplementary unit (e.g. m, m2, number of items) are used to measure the volume of the trade.

5. Reference Period Top

The reference period for the information on external trade data is the calendar month of export / import of the goods. In practice the reference period is in general the calendar month during which the customs declaration is registered (the date when the goods cross the border/lodging date) by customs authorities.

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

At national level: External Trade Statistics are based on Official Statistical Program 2012-2016; Statistical law; Memorandum of Understanding with General Directorate of Customs;

At European level: External Trade Statistics are based on Regulation (EC) No 471/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Commission Regulation (EC) No 92/2010 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 113/2010.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Agreement with Eurostat to disseminate the External Trade Data for Albania.

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

National legislation:

Article 15, the active confidentiality should be applied for all statistical areas. In order to protect the identification of trader the published total should include at least three traders, from which one trader should not exceed 85% of the total value.

Internal decision:

For goods for CN chapter 93, active confidentiality is applied directly by Customs: all 8 digit codes of CN chapter 93 are replaced by code CN 930000000 before the data are provided to INSTAT.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

INSTAT publishes data at aggregated level only and therefore do not need to apply specific rules. Active confidentiality rules are applied on user request.

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

The precise date of the monthly release for external trade statistics is disseminated on the website of INSTAT.

8.2. Release calendar access

8.3. Release policy - user access

The press conference is organized at INSTAT at fix time each month to inform the users for data released. The data are published after press conference for all the users at the same time at web site; by email. A day later the publication is delivered by mail.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Detailed data: monthly and annual;

Aggregated data: monthly, quarterly and annual.

10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

Regular press releases organized at a fixed date (24th of each month) at 13.00 o’clock.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

External Trade Statistics publications:

  • Monthly: External trade
  • Quarterly: Unit Value Indices (only for some specific users)
  • Yearly: External trade

General publications:

  • Quarterly: Conjucture, Quarterly Statistical Bulletin

Yearly: Albania in figure, Statistical Yearbook

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Micro data are given to specific users after filling standard requesting forms.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not applicable.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

Summary documents are store to the central server of INSTAT; under the Economic Directory / External trade Documents (Methodology Handbook, Data Correction Handbook and National Report).

General Metadata published at web page of INSTAT, in on-line and paper publications.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Missions report only.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Not available.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

Not available.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

External trade in goods statistics are an important data source for many public and private sector decision-makers at international and national level. The external trade data are used for multilateral and bilateral negotiations, to define and implement anti-dumping policy. These data are an important source for the compilation of balance of payments statistics and national.

INSTAT produces information on request from different users. These requests are focused more in the detailed data of external trade in goods statistics.

There are different users of trade data e.g. Bank of Albania, Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy; Min. of Agriculture, Food and consumer Protection; Ministry of Environment, and Water Administration; etc; World Bank; IMF; UN -Organizations, researchers, private enterprises, and students.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

INSTAT has not established a user database and has not carried out a user satisfaction survey.

12.3. Completeness

All external trade statistics which are needed for the internal and external user are available in INSTAT web site or in the other forms.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

Not applicable.

13.2. Sampling error

No sampling error.

13.3. Non-sampling error

No error.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

Monthly and yearly data: 24 days after the reference period (first release).

14.2. Punctuality

All press releases are published in the date indicated in the calendar of publications.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Differences between the methodology, concepts and definitions used to collect and process the data can influence in the comparability of data between Albania and other countries.

15.2. Comparability - over time

Over the years there are many changes regarding definitions, coverage or methods, classifications. These changes influence in the comparability over time, especially in detailed level in the case of changes to classification.

INSTAT revises the data each month, and in case of significant changes it can be possible to revise the data back.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

INSTAT is the official institution to publish the external trade statistics, based on the statistical law.

15.4. Coherence - internal

Not applicable.

16. Cost and Burden Top

Being the administrative source as the unique source, the burden on respondents is almost zero. 

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

General Directorate of Customs provides the national statistical authorities with revised records on imports and exports where statistical data already provided are amended or changed. External trade statistics sector revise each month the data and the revisions are released in the next publication. The final data for the year it’s released in the External Trade Statistics yearly publication of the next year.

The revisions done each month are reflected not only in publications, but in the same time they are reflected in the database available in the INSTAT web page

17.2. Data revision - practice

The revised data are published in the periodical publications and web page too and the users are informed with the press release.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

The only source for external trade data is the Customs Authorities. Goods covered by Customs include Electricity and Crude Oil. Pipelined gas or water is not subject to international trade in Albania. 'Ships' and 'Aircrafts' are included in external trade statistics based on customs declaration. At the moment INSTAT does not use any other source.

18.2. Frequency of data collection


18.3. Data collection

GDC is responsible for collecting and checking the customs declarations. The data are collected electronically by Customs Officials.

For statistical purposes these data are delivered monthly to INSTAT for statistical data checking and processing Provisional monthly data are provided to INSTAT every month on the 18th of the month following reference month.

Data are controlled, and then a first release is published around the 25th of the month on paper and web site.

In June, the final updated data relating to previous year's twelve months are sent by Customs. The final revision is published by INSTAT in October. The data is currently provided in excel format on CD (by mail). There are no delays in data deliveries.

18.4. Data validation

Data processing is done with a special program (Eurotrace) for processing external trade data used in other European country.

In program (Eurotrace) are located some validity checks errors, for example. controls related with goods value that needs to be >0, net weight < gross weight, the partner country shouldn’t be AL (Albania), checks for specifics codes that should be analyzed, the unit of products should be the same as the unit set by custom in CN, unit should not exist if is not determined in NK, should have quantity> 0 if unit is determined, adjustments to the product codes or countries according to Eurostat standards, etc.

18.5. Data compilation

Since March 2012, Eurotrace system is implemented and some basic data controls are introduced. GDC performs some data controls but not for statistical propose. These controls are done for taxation purpose so the data received have some validity errors that are corrected in INSTAT. 

Statistical Value:

Customs calculate statistical value FOB for exports; and for import, when the statistical value is underestimated in comparison with the values provided in reference tables; the Customs officers apply an adjustment rate to raise the customs value. The adjusted value is used as statistical value as it is closer to reality.  

INSTAT does not have a regular routine for the estimation of statistical value. In the case when the Statistical value is missing, INSTAT contacts custom to correct and put the value. In the case of no answer we estimate the value using the average price for that product.

The statistical data does not include the nature of the transaction. The Customs is investigating on how to collect it as this information was requested by several institutions. Until now, no way was found to collect it in the current system.

GDC does not apply simplification. Transactions are recorded using customs declarations and data are used in statistics.

Specific goods:

Industrial plants: GDC does not use simplification procedures for industrial plants. Transactions are recorded under the relevant CN codes.

Vessels and aircraft: INSTAT includes 'Vessels' and 'Aircraft' in the trade data based on Customs Declarations.

Motor vehicle and aircraft part: INSTAT includes 'Motor vehicles and aircraft part' in the trade data based on Customs Declarations.

Goods delivered to vessels and aircraft: The Goods delivered to vessels and aircraft are considered as normal export.

Sea products: The sea products are considered as normal export.

Electricity and gas: INSTAT include 'Electricity' in its data. The data are provided monthly by General Directorate of Customs. For the moment trade on electricity and gas (group 271112) is registered by customs and taken into account in the trade of Albania.

Military goods: There are no special procedures in Customs to declare goods under military secrecy. Confidentiality on national level is applied by Customs before sending data to INSTAT by replacing all commodity codes belonging to the CN chapter 93 with CN code 93000000. This confidentiality is based in an internal decision of General Director of Customs.

18.6. Adjustment

No adjustments done.

19. Comment Top

Institute of Statistics

Alma Mezini (Mara)

Head of External Trade Department

Bul. 'Zhan D’Ark', Nr. 3, Tirana, ALBANIA

Tel. + 355 (4) 2233 357 / ext240

Fax: +355 (4) 2228 300


Related metadata Top

Annexes Top