Merchandise trade, data collection and sources: The primary objective of the Canadian International Merchandise Trade Statistical Program is to measure the change in the stock of material resources of the country resulting from the movement of merchandise into or out of Canada. When goods are imported into or exported from Canada, declarations must be filed with Canadian Customs giving such information as description and value of the goods, origin and port of clearance of commodities and the mode of transport. In 1990, Canada entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States concerning the exchange of import data. As a consequence, each country is using the other’s import data to replace its own export data. Canada’s international merchandise trade statistics are, therefore, no longer derived exclusively from the administrative records of Revenue Canada, Customs and Excise, but from U.S. Customs records as well.
Merchandise trade, definitions: Canadian merchandise trade statistics are compiled according to the “General” system of trade defined by the United Nations Statistical Office. Under this system, imports include all goods that have crossed Canada’s territorial boundary, whether for immediate consumption in Canada or stored in bonded Custom warehouses. Domestic exports include goods grown, extracted or manufactured in Canada, including goods of foreign origin that have been materially transformed in Canada, including foreign goods withdrawn for export from bonded customs warehouses. Total exports are the sum of domestic exports and re-exports. Thus the general trade system, in principal, presents all goods entering through the country (imports) and all goods leaving the country (exports).
Valuation of imports: For Customs purposes, imports are recorded at values established according to the provisions of Canada’s Customs Act, which, since January 1985, reflect valuation methods based on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Valuation Code System. It generally requires the value for duty of imported goods be equivalent to the transaction value or the price actually paid. To determine the transaction value of imported goods, all transportation and associated costs arising in respect of the goods being appraised prior to and at the place of direct shipment to Canada, are to be added to the price of the goods. Therefore, Canadian imports are valued f.o.b. (free on board), place of direct shipment to Canada. This valuation excludes the freight and insurance costs in bringing the goods into Canada from the point of direct shipment.
Valuation of exports: To countries other than the United States, exports are, in principal, valued or recorded at the values declared on export documents which usually reflect the transaction value; i.e., the actual selling price, or in the case of a non-arm’s length transaction, the transfer price used for company accounting purposes. Canadian exports to overseas countries are valued at f.o.b. (free on board), port of exit, including domestic freight charges to the port of exit, but net of discounts and allowances. As of January 1990, Canadian exports to the United States are valued f.o.b., point of exit from Canada.
Method of transportation: For exports, the mode of transport information represents the mode of transport by which the international boundary is crossed. For Canadian exports via the United States to Mexico, the mode reported would be the mode used to cross the Canadian/U.S. border. If, for example, Canadian export shipments destined for Mexico travel by truck through Fort Erie, Ontario, then the mode reported in this table, and in Canadian international trade data, will be truck. For imports, the mode of transport information represents the last mode of transport by which the cargo was transported to the port of clearance in Canada and is derived from the cargo control documents of Canadian Customs. This may not be the mode of transport by which the cargo arrived at the Canadian port of entry in the case of inland clearance. If, for example, Canadian import shipments from Mexico crossed the Canadian/U.S. border by rail, but are not cleared by Canadian Customs until they reach another city by truck, the mode reported, in Canada’s international trade statistics, will be truck.
In this and similar tables and for both import and export shipments, the category of pipeline and other are, for the most part, pipeline movements. Other represents mail and parcel post and other miscellaneous modes of transport.