Identification of possible discrepancies

Tables in this section present a comparative tabulation of imports by EU Member States and candidate countries in 2012, as reported by the importers and by trading partners (all EU and candidate country annual reports for 2012 had been received at the time of analysis [May 2014] with the exception of Iceland; see here for a list of trading partner reports included). As in other sections of the Analysis, trade reported as source ‘I’, trade in artificially propagated Appendix II plants and re-exports of manufactured articles has been excluded, and conversion factors were applied to certain terms and units to facilitate comparison. Quantities have been rounded to whole numbers, where applicable.

Trade volumes of less than five units, as reported by the exporting partner, have been excluded from the table as these may be personal effects and could be exempt from import permit requirements, while an exporter-reported quantity of zero could be the result of the exporter not submitting an annual report.  Cases where importers’- and exporters’-reported quantities differ by less than 25% were not considered discrepancies of note, and were therefore also excluded.

In order to enable better matching of shipments between trading partners, purpose and source codes were not taken into account in the comparative tabulation. Purpose codes are often reported using different, but equally valid, codes. Some inconsistencies are also apparent in reporting of source codes, for example in the reporting of pre-Convention items.

Many of the entries may be explained by exporters reporting on issued permits which are then not used or only partly utilised, or the transaction taking place in the subsequent calendar year. However, the highlighting of potential discrepancies remains an essential part of continuing to improve the accuracy and completeness of reporting.

When comments were received from Member States providing additional information on specific discrepancies (e.g. confirming that the trade did not actually take place in 2012), these transactions have been excluded[1].

[1] All transactions involving Slovenia have been excluded based on comments received and therefore no table is included for Slovenia.