The subject of foreign trade statistics is Germany’s cross-border trade in goods with other countries. Any goods that are physically imported or exported are covered in statistical terms. As a rule, services are not covered by foreign trade statistics (exception: processing trade).
Foreign trade statistics show the monthly and annual volumes of exports and imports, the foreign trade balance, and the year-on-year change rates since 1950.
The country of destination is shown for exports, while the country of origin is indicated for imports. The country of destination is the country where the goods are to be used or consumed, to be treated or processed. The country of origin is the country where the goods were entirely obtained or produced, or where they were substantially processed in economically justified terms.
The data collected and published in the context of foreign trade statistics are based on the eight-digit commodity codes of the Commodity Classification for Foreign Trade Statistics. Chapters 01 to 97 of the Commodity Classification for Foreign Trade Statistics coincide with the European Combined Nomenclature (CN). The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) and its six-digit codes form the basis for both the Commodity Classification and the Combined Nomenclature. For purposes of clarity and comparability of the results, the commodity codes are also related to other commodity classifications. Thus results can be released for different commodity classifications (see: Classifications > Foreign trade).
Against the background of the ongoing globalisation process, the following trade indicators provide information on the importance and development of the German foreign trade activities in both a national and international context. The indicators, which are calculated on the basis of annual values, are regularly updated.
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Compiling foreign trade statistics, which are ordained by the legislators, is based on the principle of compulsory response. Read more about the collecting foreign trade data
© Statistisches Bundesamt, Wiesbaden 2014