1 When is BACI updated?

BACI is updated every year in January. This means that we extend the coverage of the data by adding one year (i.e. 2018 trade flows will appear in the January 2020 version of BACI), but also that we benefit from a more accurate and comprehensive reporting of trade flows of previous years to the UN. For instance, due to the updates of 2017 trade data in COMTRADE between January 2019 and January 2020, BACI trade flows for 2017 will change slightly between the 2019 and 2020 versions. For more information on the timing of reporting to Comtrade, you can visit their data availability page.


2 Why are there differences between BACI and Comtrade?

Comtrade is continuously updated while a new version of BACI is only produced once a year. Therefore the latest reports to Comtrade are not directly incorporated into BACI. To be more specific, any update to Comtrade that occured after January 2019 will be added to BACI in the next version, in January 2020.

On top of this, we perform various operations to improve the quality of the raw trade data reported to the UN, that are expected to create discrepancies between BACI and Comtrade. See the CEPII working paper for more details.


3 Is the data for 2017 trade flows definitive ?

Data for 2017 trade flows is likely to be incomplete given that some countries had not reported their trade flows to the UN yet in January 2019, when we downloaded Comtrade to construct the latest version of BACI. Therefore the coverage is less exhaustive, and some trade flows may be modified in future versions of BACI. For more information on the timing of reporting to Comtrade, you can visit their data availability page.


4 What are the conditions to use BACI?

BACI can be used in any published work. You are not required to send us a copy of your work before publication (although of course we are always happy to hear about the ways in which you have used the data !). However we kindly ask you to add a reference to the CEPII working paper.


5 Why does BACI provide data only in the HS nomenclature?

The Harmonized System is the standard nomenclature for international trade, used by all custom services. This is therefore the most natural choice for trade data. Users wishing to merge BACI with industry level data in alternative classifications can use the concordance tables provided by the World Bank.


6 What is the ISO code of Taiwan?

For political reasons, the UN is not allowed to show trade statistics referring to Taiwan. Therefore, COMTRADE and BACI do not have any trade data for Taiwan as such. Nevertheless, trade data of ‘Asia, not elsewhere specified’ (iso 490), is a good proxy for trade of Taiwan. In theory trade data for territories belonging to Asia, but not specified by country, could end up in this category, but in practice, only trade of Taiwan is included under this code, except for a couple of reporters.


7 Why is there no data for Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland?

In BACI, we aggregate SACU countries in order to make the harmonization of imports and exports declarations. Indeed, some countries do not report trade with each SACU country individually, but with SACU as a whole. It means that Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Eswatini (Swaziland) are recorded as SACU (code 711).

The list of the countries available in BACI can be downloaded here.


8 Why is there no data for Belgium and Luxembourg?

Belgium and Luxembourg are aggregated in BACI, because some countries do not distinguish between them in their declarations. The BACI procedure reconciles trade declaration of importers and exporters, so we have to aggregate the two countries in order to use all the trade declarations.

The list of the countries available in BACI can be downloaded here.


9 Aggregate exports for a country are lower in BACI than in COMTRADE, how is this possible?

If country \(c\) does not report trade data to the UN, the exports of \(c\) appearing in BACI are “fobized” imports reported by the trade partners of \(c\). In Comtrade, the flows are not “fobized”, so summing the values reported by all importers of products from \(c\) should result in a higher figure than the aggregate exports of \(c\) appearing in BACI. .

Additionally, some trade flows might have been reported to the UN after the construction of BACI. This is especially likely for trade flows of recent years (2017).


10 How to report an issue / suggest an improvement?

Do not hesitate to send an e-mail to . If you write us to warn about an issue, please indicate the version of the database that you are using (HS revision and year of publication).