Methodological change to UK Trade Statistics26 May 2016
From the May 2016 month of account, there will be a methodological change to the way our Non-EU trade-in-goods statistics are compiled. Following a change in legislation, our Non-EU trade-in-goods statistics will switch from the ‘General Trade’ system of compilation to the ‘Special Trade’ system. The special trade system is already used for the trade-in-goods statistics we send to the EU Commission. It is also used (for national purposes) by the vast majority of other Member States so the change will harmonise our release with other EU countries.
In brief, special trade records the physical movement of goods to and from the UK excluding goods that are placed into customs warehouse where duty and VAT has not yet been paid. For further information on the differences between General and Special Trade, please see our Methodology Paper for Overseas Trade Statistics
A further announcement will be made in July ahead of the first release of our May 2016 data.