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Collecting Trade Statistics

F. Padovani

Statistics on forest product exports are collected by the producing enterprises, by forest authorities and by customs offices. Usually, the assembly of formal statistics on trade is carried out by the customs office in relation to the trade ministry’s central statistics office or central bank.

Trade statistics are arranged according to internationally agreed trade classifications.  Most countries use either (i) the UN Standard International Trade Classification – SITC – (the latest version is Revision 3, introduced in 1988 – SITC Rev. 3), or (ii) the Customs Cooperation Council trade classification (CCCN or BTN), up to 1988. Since 1988, many countries have shifted to the new Harmonised System (HS) classification.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) collects international trade data on forest products according to a standard format, which follows the SITC and HS systems of classification as well.

More information about the World Customs Organization, the Harmonised System, all the commodities traded internationally and their six-digit HS code number, can be found at

The HS classification can also be viewed at: Click on “english”, then “classifications” and it can be read under "H". More information about the United Nations Standard International Trade Classification is available at:; access SITC Rev.3.

The SITC classification is also located at:

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