Import and export of goods


Institute of National Accounts (Instituut voor de Nationale Rekeningen INR)


Import and export: foreign trade statistics are defined according to the Community concept: they refer to the crossing of goods over national borders. The value of the goods is the value at the Belgian border. This value includes, for both imports and exports, the ‘ex-works’ price of the merchandise, plus the costs of transport and insurance up to the Belgian border, but without taxes and subsidies. Exports are regionalised according to the region where the last added value was generated; conversely, imports are regionalised according to the region where the first added value is generated.

Asian Tigers: South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Neighbouring countries: Germany, the Netherlands, France.

BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China

EU13 countries: Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia.

EU15 countries: Netherlands, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Ireland, United Kingdom, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece

Next 11 countries: Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, South Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Pakistan, Turkey and Vietnam.

Remarks on quality

Extra-Community trade, i.e. trade with countries outside the European Union (EU), is recorded on the basis of the customs documents for the Extrastat system. For trade with EU Member States (intra-Community trade), the Instrastat system serves as a source, to which more than 17,000 Belgian companies report directly. These are companies that register more than 1,000,000 euro of shipments and/or more than 400,000 euro of imports from EU Member States on an annual basis.

Intra-Community trade is estimated on the basis of a constant sample. In addition, there is an additional estimate based on VAT declarations, among other things for companies below the Instrastat threshold. The main disadvantage of the INR external trade statistics is that intangible service activities are not included (this should not be confused with tertiary sectors: for example, physical trade transactions are included).


Flanders Investment and Trade: Flemish import and export figures

Institute of National Accounts (Instituut voor de Nationale Rekeningen INR):Foreign trade


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