International trade in services, geographical breakdown (BPM6) (bop_its6)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat)


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

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1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat)

1.2. Contact organisation unit

G2: Structural business statistics and global value chains

1.5. Contact mail address

L-2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 06/03/2015
2.2. Metadata last posted 06/03/2015
2.3. Metadata last update 03/10/2016


3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

The Balance of Payments (BoP) systematically summarizes all economic transactions between the residents and the non-residents of a country or of an  economic area during a given period and provides harmonized information on international transactions which are part of the current account, the capital and the financial account.

Data on International Trade in Services (ITS), are an important component of the BoP current account, and are used, alongside with data on Foreign Direct Investment, to monitor the external commercial performance of different economies.

ITS data are collected by national enterprise surveys, International Transaction System (ITRS) and administrative records.

Guidance for compilers is provided in the Manual on Statistics of International Trade in services 2010 (http://unstats.un.org/unsd/tradeserv/TFSITS/msits2010/docs/MSITS%202010%20M86%20(E)%20web.pdf)

3.2. Classification system

Up to reference year 2012 the methodological framework followed in the compilation of the Balance of Payments was the one defined in the fifth edition of the International Monetary Fund Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5).

New international standards such as the 6th edition of the IMF Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6), together with the need to coordinate with the implementation of the System of National Accounts 2008 and ESA2010 transmission programme led to an essential update of the methodology used for measuring trade in services (in the general context of BoP). This update was reflected in the European Commission (EC) Regulation 555/2012 (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:166:0022:0066:EN:PDF) what amended the existing BoP EC Regulation 184/2005 and proposed new data requirements aligned with the BPM6 methodology.

Therefore from reference year 2013 ITS data will be reported merely under the BPM6 methodology.

A correspondence table between the BPM5 and BPM6 classification is attached in the annex section below. Moreover, the impact of the transition to the new methodology for ITS is also discussed in the following Statistics Explained article: Measuring international trade in services - from BPM5 to BPM6



Annexes:
ITS Conversion Matrix BPM5 - BPM6
3.3. Coverage - sector

Not applicable

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The balance of payments (BoP) is a statistical statement that summarises, over a given period of time, all the transactions of an economy with the rest of the world. The balance of payments records all economic transactions undertaken between the residents and non-residents of a country during a given period. A transaction is defined in the BPM6 as an interaction between two institutional units that occurs by mutual agreement or through the operation of the law and involves an exchange of value or transfer.

The concept of resident in the BPM6 is identical to that used in the 1993 System of National Accounts (SNA). The concept is not based on nationality or legal criteria. It is based on the notion of a centre of economic interest. An institutional unit is a resident unit when it has a centre of economic interest in the economic territory of a country for a period of at least one year.

The balance of payments provides information on the total value of credits (or exports) and debits (or imports) for each BoP item and on the net result or "balance" (credits minus debits) of the transactions with each partner.

The balance of payments includes three broad sub-items: the current account, the capital account and the financial account.

The current account shows the flows of goods, services, income and current transfers between resident and non-resident units.

Services are the second major category of the current account. In the production of data on International Trade in Services the references are the IMF's BPM6 and the United Nations' Manual on Statistics of International Trade in Services.

The classification of services according to the BPM6 methodology comprises 12 services categories, namely the following:

  1. Manufacturing services on physical inputs owned by others (SA)
  2. Maintenance and repair services (SB)
  3. Transport (SC)
  4. Travel (SD)
  5. Construction (SE)
  6. Insurance and pension services (SF)
  7. Financial services (SG)
  8. Charges for the use of intellectual property (SH)
  9. Telecommunications, computer and information services (SI)
  10. Other business services (SJ)
  11. Personal, cultural and recreational services (SK)
  12. Government goods and services n.i.e. (SL)

Total services (S) corresponds to the sum of the above 12 services categories: S=SA+SB+SC+SD+SE+SF+SG+SH+SI+SJ+SK+SL(+SN)

An additional item SN - Services not allocated can be used for the services that can not be classified under any of the 12 categories mentioned above.

SA and SB correspond to newly introduced items with the implementation of the BPM6 methodology (previously reported under goods). On the other hand "merchanting" is no longer a part of services but has been moved under goods.

Further details on the classification of the different services items are available in the BoP Vademecum (Annex), where also a correspondence table between the services items of the BPM5 and the BPM6 methodology is included. 

3.5. Statistical unit

Any individual, corporation or other institution that provides information on the transactions between the residents and non-residents of a country during a given period.

3.6. Statistical population

BoP statistical population includes all the economic transactions between residents and non-residents.  The coverage of the statistical population assured by the reported transactions can be very different for different BoP items. Information on the transaction can be provided by individuals, corporations, or institutions. 

3.7. Reference area

The data generally cover the European Union, Euro area, EU Member States, candidate countries (Iceland, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey), Norway, Switzerland, the USA and Japan.

However, both quarterly and annual statistics under balance of payments has a specific geographical coverage.  Details are summarised in the BoP Vademecum (Annex)

3.8. Coverage - Time

Annual ITS data according to the BPM6 methodology are available from 2010 onwards.

Countries reported for the first time annual ITS in BPM6 for reference year 2013. As far as revisions are concerned they were free to send revisions either according to the BPM5 or BPM6 methodology. As Eurostat opted for double dissemination in both methodologies for reference years 2010-2012 for the EU aggregates, where national data were not available in BPM6 Eurostat converted the corresponding BPM5 data into BPM6 using the conversion matrix presented in the BoP Vademecum (Annex). Please note though that this is not a full methodological conversion but rather an effort to transfer as much data as possible from one methodology to the other. These converted data were then presented to the countries and they were published only after their agreement.

As far as revisions of reference years 2012 are concerned, the AITS data published in Eurostat reference database for Croatia, Estonia, Greece and Lithuania were converted by Eurostat and are therefore flagged with the e (estimated) flag in the database.

 

For years prior to 2010 annual ITS data are available only according to the BPM5 methodology. 

3.9. Base period

Not applicable


4. Unit of measure Top

Data are presented in millions of Euro.


5. Reference Period Top

ITS detailed annual data are available from 2010.

Countries reported for the first time AITS in BPM6 for reference year 2013. As far as revisions are concerned Member States were free to send revisions either according to the BPM5 or BPM6 methodology. Eurostat opted for double dissemination of the EU aggregates in both methodologies for reference years 2010-2012. Where national data were not available in BPM6 Eurostat converted the corresponding BPM5 data into BPM6 using the conversion matrix attached below. These converted data were presented to the countries and they were published only after their agreement.

In this perspective please note that, as far as revisions of reference year 2012 are concerned, the AITS data published in Eurostat reference database for Croatia, Estonia, Greece and Lithuania were converted by Eurostat and are therefore flagged with the e (estimated) flag in the Eurostat reference database.


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

The Regulation n°184/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 January 2005 on Community statistics concerning balance of payments, international trade in services and foreign direct investment (OJ L35/23 of 8/02/2005), was applied as from reference year 2006 onwards. In addition, Commission Regulation (EC) No 601/2006, Commission Regulation (EC) No 602/2006, Commission Regulation (EC) No 707/2009 and Commission Regulation (EU) No 555/2012 have been published (OJ L106/7 and L106/10 of 18/04/2006), respectively implementing and amending Regulation (EC) No 184/2005.

In the compilation of BoP, responsibility is shared between Eurostat and the ECB. Eurostat focuses on detailed ITS data as well as quarterly and annual aggregates of the EU (and subsequently also for the euro area), whereas the European Central Bank (ECB) is in charge of compiling and disseminating only the euro area monthly and quarterly balance of payments statistics. A Memorandum of understanding (with a BoP Annex) has been signed between the two parties.  For more information on euro area Balance of Payments data, see the ECB website http://www.ecb.int/stats/external/html/index.en.html

All legal related information can be accessed at: EUR-Lex website.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Not applicable


7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Member States have the option to flag part of their data as confidential; this action represents the primary confidentiality. Whenever a country choses to apply the primary confidentiality in their data, cells are flagged as confidential (using the C flag) in the files transmitted to Eurostat. Eurostat performs then a secondary confidentiality treatment (when not applied by the countries or complementary to a potential national secondary confidentiality treatment) in order to avoid any (direct or indirect) recalculation of confidential cells. In practice, an automatised procedure is run to ensure the non-disclosure of confidential cells by hiding additional data, along the partner (counterpart_area), service item (bop_item) and flow (accounting_entry) dimensions according to the respective integrity rules available in the BoP Vademecum (Annex). The criteria of hiding additional cells should be defined with the perspective to minimise the number of additional confidential cells. The outcome of the secondary confidentiality treatment is then submitted to the concerned country, in order to give their agreement for the dissemination of the processed dataset.


8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

Not applicable

8.2. Release calendar access

Not applicable

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.


9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Annual ITS data are disseminated in June (preliminary figures based on quarterly data) and in December (regular annual ITS publication).


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

News releases are published twice per year, following the updates of the Eurostat reference database, once in December with the publication of the regular annual ITS data and once in June for the preliminary data.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications
10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult Eurostat reference database on-line or refer to contact details.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not applicable

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not applicable

10.6. Documentation on methodology

The methodological framework followed in the compilation of the Balance of Payments and International Trade in Services is that defined in the sixth edition of the International Monetary Fund Balance of Payments Manual (BPM6) and the Manual on Statistics of International Trade in Services (MSITS 2010).

Detailed metadata files, with methodological information per country, are available under the ITSS Interest Group on CIRCABC in the folder Countries' Metadata

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Eurostat prepares annual Quality Reports for the BoP domain in accordance with Commission Regulation (EC) No 1227/2010 of 20 December 2010 implementing Regulation (EC) No 184/2005 (OJ No L 336/15). In these reports countries are assessed in terms of relevance, accuracy, timeliness, punctuality, accessibility, clarity, comparability and coherence of their ITS data.


11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Quality is assured by the application of concepts according to the sixth edition of the IMF Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6) and thorough validation of the data delivered by countries.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

The ECB publishes an Annual Quality Report on Euro Area Balance of Payments and International Investment Position statistics. This report is the result of a joint ECB-Eurostat Task Force on quality Eurostat prepares annual Quality reports for the BoP domain in accordance with the Commission Regulation (EC) No 1227/2010 of 20 December 2010 implementing Regulation (EC) No 184/2005 (OJ No L 336/15). In these reports countries are assessed in terms of relevance, accuracy, timeliness, punctuality, accessibility, clarity, comparability and coherence of their ITS data.


12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

Annual International Trade in Services data answer users' needs by offering complete and consistent data on international services' trade of the European Union, Euro area, EU Member States, candidate countries (Iceland, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey), Norway, Switzerland, the USA and Japan.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Not available

12.3. Completeness

Data offer complete and consistent description of the components of the ITS components with the geographical breakdown and in accordance with the International Monetary Fund Balance of Payments Manual (BPM6).


13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

International Trade in Services data transmitted by the Member States are checked by Eurostat for their consistency and plausibility. If any problems (e.g. inconsistencies or omissions) are detected, Eurostat contacts the relevant Member State to check the figures and/or confirm correction/updates implemented by Eurostat.

While data on goods are generally based on Foreign Trade Statistics, data on services come from a variety of surveys where the data can be reported either by the banks or directly by the enterprises or the households. Data from national authorities are checked by Eurostat and the European Central Bank (ECB) as elaborated in Section 18.4 "Data Validation".

Asymmetries are another way of assessing the accuracy of statistics on flows, where, values of trade services reported by European countries are compared with that of their partners within the EU. The resulting differences are evaluated. 

13.2. Sampling error

Not applicable

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not applicable


14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

Annual ITS data are released around 11-12 months after the reference period. Preliminary data, with limited detail for partners and posts, are released 4 - 5 months after the reference period.

14.2. Punctuality

Eurostat monitors closely the punctuality of data delivery by the countries. Generally countries meet the transmission deadline very well; namely 9 months after the reference period for annual ITS. As far as the dissemination of the ITS data in the Eurostat reference database is concerned, this is scheduled twice per year; every May the preliminary data for year T-1 are released (based on quarterly data and thus on a limited geographical breakdown), while every December data for year T-1 (with full detail by partner country) are published, together with revisions for years T-2 and T-3.


15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

The underlying methodological framework, which is defined in BPM6, ensures a high degree of comparability across countries. Regulation (EU) No. 555/2012 contains the questionnaires, and also all the details on the coding system, the format of the data and the deadlines for transmission. Each country compiles their ITS statistics using the data coming from a number of surveys and administrative sources.

15.2. Comparability - over time

The data are generally considered highly comparable over time. The methodology is revised according to the revisions of the sixth edition of IMF's Balance of Payments Manual (BPM6). In some countries, methodological breaks can affect time series (normally on a temporary basis). Backward calculations of time series are provided to ensure full time coherence in case of methodological changes.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Not applicable

15.4. Coherence - internal

Not applicable


16. Cost and Burden Top

Not applicable


17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Data are revised with the updated information transmitted by the Member States, according to the timetable specified in the BoP Vademecum (Annex).

17.2. Data revision - practice

Every December data for year T-1 (with full detail by partner country) are published, together with revisions for years T-2 and T-3.

Countries reported for the first time AITS in BPM6 for reference year 2013. As far as revisions are concerned Member States were free to send revisions either according to the BPM5 or BPM6 methodology. Nevertheless, Eurostat opted for double dissemination of EU aggregates in both methodologies for reference years 2010-2012. Where national data were not available in BPM6, Eurostat converted the corresponding BPM5 data into BPM6 using the conversion matrix attached below. These converted data were then presented to the countries and they were published only after their agreement.

In this perspective please note that, as far as revisions of reference year 2012 are concerned, the AITS data published in Eurostat reference database for Croatia, Estonia, Greece and Lithuania were converted by Eurostat and are therefore flagged with the e (estimated) flag in the database.



Annexes:
ITS Conversion Matrix BPM5-BPM6


18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Each year or quarter, the national banks or the national statistical offices of the Member States provide Eurostat with data according to a predefined questionnaire approved by all Member States and designed to fulfil a set of requirements. The Balance of Payments Vademecum (see Annex) is the reference text for national ITS compilers. This document contains the questionnaires, and also all the details on the coding system, the format of the data as well as the deadlines for transmission.

Each country compiles its BoP statistics using the data coming from a number of surveys and administrative sources. Methods used for the collection and compilation of statistics differ among BOP services items within a country, as well as among countries.

Data for international trade in services are derived from a variety of surveys where the data can be reported either by the banks or directly by the enterprises or the households.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Quarterly and annual.

18.3. Data collection

The banks have for a long time provided part of the information used for the compilation of  BoP through the so called "settlements systems" or International Transaction Reporting System (ITRS): banks had to report, generally to their National Central Bank, all the information related to cross-border settlements they had made on their own behalf or on behalf of their customers.  ITRS in the last years has been losing accuracy, because companies are using new techniques in managing their assets and,  moreover, because a new EU Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 2560/2001, 19 December 2001, on cross-border payments in Europe) introduced an exemption threshold for the banks' reporting on behalf of their customers.  To make up for this loss of information, some countries have already introduced new direct reporting systems and new surveys.

On this issue see the Final Report of the Technical Group Direct Reporting, with its Annex C dedicated to the possible ways to use Business Registers for the compilation of BoP and ITS data.  Annex B to this report gives an idea of the mixed positions of EU Member States towards the use of Direct Reporting systems. A summary of the sources used for teh compilation of BoP by members of the European Union can be found in the ECB publication "European Union balance of payments/international investment position statistical methods", May 2007).

Information on BoP and ITS compilation systems in individual countries can also be found in each SDDS country page published in the IMF's Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board in the section Balance of Payments.

Further information can also be found in the MSITS 2010 Compiler's Guide and under the Interagency Task Force on International Trade Statistics dedicated website.

18.4. Data validation

Eurostat submits all data received from the reporting countries to a number of checks. These checks verify the plausibility of the data (e.g. the development of time series), their internal consistency (aggregates should match the sum of the sub-items), their correspondence with data already disseminated by the same country on its NSI web-page.

The validation rules concern three distinct levels: the accounting entry, the geographical breakdown and the services items breakdown; these rules are described in the Balance of Payments Vademecum.

18.5. Data compilation

Time of recording: in line with the BPM6, recording is on a transaction basis ("accruals principle"), meaning that transactions have to be recorded when economic value is created, transformed, transferred or extinguished. The main criterion is change of ownership. The change may be legal or economic.

Valuation: in principle, market prices are used.

In the compilation of BoP, responsibility is shared between Eurostat and the ECB. A Memorandum of understanding (with a BoP Annex) has been signed between the two parties. Eurostat produces Euro area information only regarding the annual detail in trade in Services. All the other monthly and quarterly BoP data related to the Euro area available in Eurostat's database are produced by the ECB. However, within Services, data concerning the Euro area do not match up exactly with those released by the European Central Bank for the same period. The reason lies in a small methodological difference in the data transmitted to Eurostat and the ECB by one Member State. Eurostat is currently working to minimize these discrepancies in the very near future. See the Annex for more details on this issue.

In regard with the compilation of EU aggregates, Eurostat compiles the aggregate EU figures by consolidating the EU Member States' transactions vis-à-vis non-residents of the EU. The balance of payments of the EU institutions is added to the EU aggregate. Intra-EU transactions are not included in the calculation of the aggregate.

18.6. Adjustment

n.a.


19. Comment Top

n.a.


Related metadata Top


Annexes Top
Vademecum January 2015