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Source of Merchandise Trade Statistics

The CSO publishes Goods import and export statistics for Intra-EU and Extra-EU Trade Data.

Extra-EU merchandise trade covers imports and exports to and from countries outside the EU. The Irish Revenue Commissioners collect this data via Customs Declarations.

Intra-EU merchandise trade covers imports and exports to and from countries within the EU. Traders who trade within the EU are identified from VAT3 returns; those whose annual imports exceed €500,000 or annual exports exceed €635,000 are obliged to complete the Intrastat survey. This survey is operated by the Irish Revenue Commissioners. Intra-EU Supplies of Goods (E1) and Intra-EU Acquisitions of Goods (E2) on the VAT3 return are used to estimate the Intra-EU trade for traders who are not required to submit Intrastat returns.

Under the terms of the Northern Irish Protocol trade with Northern Ireland is also collected on the Intrastat survey, although the data is included in Extra-EU totals.

The Revenue Commissioners and Customs Authorities supply the CSO with Customs declarations data and Intrastat Survey data, this is used to generate trade statistics.

Legislative Basis

REGULATION (EU) 2019/2152 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2020/1197

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2021/1225

COMMISSION DELEGATED REGULATION (EU) 2021/1704

REGULATION (EC) No 223/2009 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

Who Uses the Results?

Eurostat, Media, Companies, Public, PQs, Other Government Departments and internally within CSO.

Is the Personal Data Confidential?

Yes. All information supplied to the CSO is treated as strictly confidential. The Statistics Act, 1993 sets stringent confidentiality standards. Information collected may be used only for statistical purposes, and no details that might be related to an identifiable person or business undertaking may be divulged to any other government department or body.

Disseminated Data is aggregated by Import/Export flow, Commodity Code and country of Import/export. Data is anonymised and is not published at Vat Number level.

Trade data is disseminated on the basis of passive confidentiality as set out in the legislation, and in accordance with Eurostat guidance in the Compilers Guide for Trade in Goods Statistics.  

Further Information and Queries

International Trade in Goods

Queries to: trade@cso.ie, Telephone 01 4984200,  External Trade, Ardee Road, Dublin D06FX52.

Data Protection Information

If you have any further questions regarding your Data Protection rights and you can't find the answer on our website, you can contact our Data Protection Officer at: Central Statistics Office, Skehard Road, Cork, T12 X00E.  E-mail: dpo@cso.ie