​We publish a number of outputs for our customers using the trade data collected. These include our National Statistics products: the Overseas Trade Statistics and Regional Trade Statistics, of which both can be found on our website. The trade data is also published via interactive databases as well as data download files.​


Working with CHIEF colleagues

Through working with the Customs Handling Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system, ​consultation with trade bodies via forums such as the Joint Customs Consultative Committee (JCCC) takes place. This considers representations from over 20 member organisations on a face-to-face basis. It gives the opportunity to exchange views on and discuss proposed changes to customs procedures and documentation relating to the entry and clearance of goods. The committee also produces publications via Customs Information papers (CIP) to ensure compliance with rules.​​​

A number of quality audits and checks are undertaken at the frontier by Border Force, Anti-fraud agencies and the Risk and Intelligence Service (RIS) to ensure accuracy of traded goods with cross departmental collaboration work towards improved data quality.



​Within the Trade Statistics unit (TSu) there are a number of working groups which aim to improve quality and raise risks by refining processes and improving credibility parameters. This discussion helps maintain feedback loops to enhance risk prioritisation.

The unit also works closely with with Customs departments via regular liaison meetings to ensure that the statistical data feed is of acceptable quality and raise issues that may affect this.

A range of cross-referencing occurs by regular data sharing partnerships with other government departments such as Department of Energy and Climate Change, Office for National Statistics (ONS) and other HMRC departments. Regular liaison meetings are held to discuss potential issues that may affect statistical quality and consult on major developments.

TSu works closely with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) feeding trade data to support the UK Balance of Payments​ and their own National Statistics product UK Trade. This data sharing ensures extra checks are undertaken to assure trade data.

We provide trade data to Eurostat and attend annual seminars to discuss aspects of data quality. Quality groups meet twice a year to align methodologies and resolve discrepancy issues.

Sign up for email alert services to receive trade and statistics related news and information from the Trade Statistics unit and a number of government sources.​

The Future


New approaches are being looked at for simplifying the data collection system of European Union (EU) data under the SIMSTAT project. This aims to reduce the administrative burden on businesses whilst maintaining data quality. Eurostat and GOV.UK have published information which outlines the aims for the project.

Customs Declaration Services (CDS)

Future processes and procedure changes to European Union (EU) legislation under the Union Customs Code (UCC) cannot easily or cost-effectively be accommodated within the existing CHIEF service. 

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is therefore planning to replace the current CHIEF service to ensure the UK’s international trade community has the best possible operating conditions going forward. You can access more information on the CHIEF replacement system.

Union Customs Code

The Union Customs Code (UCC) will be implemented across the European Union from 1 May 2016. This will affect changes in how goods cross EU borders, special procedures and temporary storage regulations. As a result of this HMRC expects that some changes will need to be made to economic operators’ systems dependant on the type of authority needed for their trade. All exchanges of information going forward will need to be electronic.

More information regarding the UCC and how it may affect your business is available on GOV.UK. ​​