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EU Internal Trade

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the monetary value of UK (a) exports to and (b) imports from other EU countries was (i) including and (ii) excluding the Rotterdam/Antwerp effect in each year since 1997. (277113)

Office for National Statistics data for UK exports to and imports from the EU27 are shown in the following table.

£ million

UK goods exports to the EU

UK services exports to the EU

UK goods imports from the EU

UK services imports from the EU

1998

99,336

105,048

1999

101,537

30,783

109,622

32,510

2000

112,459

33,718

117,644

35,356

2001

114,406

36,850

126,973

37,686

2002

114,737

38,306

136,931

39,715

2003

111,286

41,871

137,404

43,014

2004

111,650

46,037

142,523

45,517

2005

121,486

49,741

158,163

50,423

2006

152,357

53,828

183,748

52,579

2007

127,813

60,078

169,799

55,193

2008

141,136

66,740

180,322

57,954

For technical reasons associated with EU enlargement, consistent figures are not available for trade in 1997 or for services trade in 1998. For some periods, trade in goods figures were affected by transactions associated with missing trader VAT fraud, most notably in the first half of 2006.

No figures are available for the impact of the Rotterdam/Antwerp effect on statistics on UK trade with the Netherlands and Belgium compared with other countries; nor is it obvious how this affects statistics on trade with other EU countries compared with the rest of the world. HM Revenue and Customs regularly analyse asymmetries between UK trade statistics and those produced by other countries: in particular, in December 2005 they published a report called “Analysis of Asymmetries in intra-community trade statistics with particular regard to the impact of the Rotterdam and Antwerp effects” which can be found at:

www.uktradeinfo.com/pagecontent/documents/edicom_rotterdam_effect_2005.pdf

The ONS and HMRC keep the methodologies underlying trade statistics under review.