Explanatory Notes — Canada-U.S. Data Interchange
In accordance with a 1987 Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U.) between the two countries, the United States (U.S. Census Bureau) is substituting Canadian import statistics for U.S. exports to Canada.
Similarly, Canada (Statistics Canada/Canada Border Services Agency) is substituting U.S. import statistics for Canada in lieu of its Canadian exports to the U.S.
Please note that:
- These substitutions are done to improve the quality of the information as Customs-based trade statistics are more accurate at measuring imports than they are at measuring exports. This is the case because Customs is typically more vigilant with respect to goods entering the country than they are with goods leaving the country.
- This does not include shipments destined for third countries by routes passing through Canada or shipments of certain goods to Canada for storage prior to exportation to a third country.
Note Concerning Comparisons of Canadian and U.S. Data
The use of Canada's import data to produce U.S. export data requires some adjustments to make the two comparable.
U.S. exports are valued at the U.S. seaport, airport, or border port of export in the U.S. and include inland freight charges. Canadian imports are valued at the point of origin in the U.S. and do not include inland freight to the U.S. port of exit.
To compensate, Canada adds an estimated 4.5 percent of the value to each transaction to cover inland freight (except for shipments where freight is not a consideration, e.g., large aircraft, vessels and drilling platforms.)
Data users are cautioned that comparison of U.S. exports with corresponding Canadian import data at detailed commodity levels is not recommended as corrections, differences in classification interpretation and in editing and processing environments make these comparisons uncertain.
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