Frequently Asked Questions

Which countries’ trade data do you publish?
At present, we publish, with monthly updates, the official “merchandise trade” data of over 65 countries/regions. We are continuously adding to this list. In addition, when requested, we incorporate annual UN data on some of our Internet software to complement that which we presently have.

How much historical data is available for each country?
The availability of historical data varies from country to country. For most of the major trading countries around the world, monthly trade data is available back to at least 1995.

What type of data is available in your software?
The data for most products include information on value, quantity, unit price, reporting country, and trading partner country on both exports and imports classified in the Harmonized System (HS). Trade data is available at the 2-digit, 4-digit, and 6-digit levels, down to the most detailed levels provided by each country. Some countries provide us with information which we include in additional data fields, such as: importer/exporter information, port/customs district data, re-export/domestic export data, etc.

What is the source of your data?
We only use the official source from each reporting country. This is usually the customs agency or the national statistics agency.

What is the difference between the World Trade Atlas and the Global Trade Atlas?
The World Trade Atlas and the Global Trade Atlas contain basically the same information. The difference is in the way the data is presented. For those who need to view trade flows in a specific product over many countries, the Global Trade Atlas offers the best alternative. For those who need to view trade flows for one country over a broad range of products, the World Trade Atlas is the best alternative. Both contain data which is updated monthly.

How do you deal with different currency exchange rates?
GTI’s software allows the user to convert from the reporting currency to any other major currency using the monthly exchange rates of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This is located at:

What is the time lag for the release of the data?
This depends on the country. Some countries publish data one month after the figures are processed, while other countries may have a time lag of several months before the data is released. On average, there is a time lag of 2.5 months. GTI software is updated as soon as the data is receives from the source country – usually within a day or two.

How are goods classified?
Goods are classified using the Harmonized System (HS), which is the most common coding system used for international trade data.

Do you publish production data, or information on tariffs?
We currently do not publish this information in our software.

Do you publish State import data?
The U.S. Government does not publish imports by individual States. We do, however, have a joint venture with the U.S. Bureau of Census to publish State Export data. This is available by subscription via the Internet. A further description is available at this web site under “Products”.


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