1. The relevance of foreign trade statistics

2. History of Data Collecting and Dissemination System

The first official statistics of foreign trade of Brazil date from the nineteenth century and were developed by the Directorate General of Special Statistics Bureau of the National Treasury. Since 1942, we started to use the U.S. dollar as the international standard for the Brazilian trade. Previously, Brazilian foreign trade statistics were made available in sterling pounds.

With the creation of the IMF and the need to inform the foreign trade statistics on the Balance of Payments, it was started, in 1945, the process of recording and compiling the statistics of trade movement and its subsequent recovery.

In 1971, work began on the preparation of periodic publications of foreign trade statistics, made by Portfolio of Foreign Trade (CACEX), from the Bank of Brazil, using large equipment (mainframe).

With the ministerial restructuring of 1990, the Department of Foreign Trade, from the Secretariat of Economy, from the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Planning, went on to produce, analyze and disseminate statistics on foreign trade.

In 1991, it was implemented the ALICE System (Analysis of Foreign Trade Information), developed for the Department of Commerce (DECEX) of the Foreign Trade Secretariat (SECEX) by the Federal Service of Data Processing (SERPRO), to disseminate data on foreign trade for the public and Government, through access on-line.

The deployment of SISCOMEX-Exports, in 1993, led to the automation of operational procedures, reducing costs to government and private sector. With the replacement of some documents by electronic records, the production of statistics on foreign trade gained significant advance.

The implementation of the module SISCOMEX-Import, in 1997, extended the process of bureaucracy cutting in foreign trade. At the same time, provided significant modernization of the data collecting of foreign trade statistics, which previously was based on earlier documents such as Import Guide (IG) and the Import Declaration (DI), which were also replaced by electronic records.

3. Evolution of methodology for calculating statistics

Until 1992, for purposes of calculating the balance of trade statistics, were only operations with currency hedging and the national currency. Starting in 1993, are considered all inputs and outputs of goods, regardless of the type of currency hedging, except merely in transit.

The current methodology used in calculating statistics of foreign trade in Brazil is based on interpretation of recommendations developed by specific documents, as follows:

United Nations (UN)

IMTS (International Merchandise Trade Statistics): Concepts and definitions 2010

4. Key concepts and statistical variables


Corresponds to the goods sent abroad, subject to the definitions in the previous item.


Corresponds to the entry of goods originating from abroad, subject to the definitions in the previous item.

Trade Balance

It is the result of exports less imports. If the balance is positive, is called the surplus, if negative, it is called a deficit.

Current trading

It is the result of the sum of exports and imports and represents the total trade transacted through a country with the outside.


All products subject to an export or import (except for transactions described in "b" of Blance Trade itens operations), computed in the Trade Balance are classified by a code.

Since 1997, Brazil started to use, as classification of goods, the Mercosur Common Nomenclature (NCM), also used by the other participant countries (Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay). This classification criterion is based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS), the methodology adopted by almost all countries.

Added Factor:

The concept of aggregating exports by factor involves the grouping of products into three major classes, taking into account the greater or lesser amount of processing (adding value) that the merchandise has suffered during its production process, up until its final sale.

a) Primary products: products with low value, usually in intensive manpower, whose supply chain is simple and that experience little change. For example, iron ore, grains, agriculture, etc.

b) Industrialized: They are divided into semi-manufactured and manufactured goods, again considering the degree of transformation.

b.1) semi-manufactured: a product that has undergone some transformation. Ex: frozen orange juice; leather.

b.2) manufactured: usually products of of high technology with high added value, like TV, computer computer chip, automobiles, CD with software, etc.

5. Criteria for UF (Federal State) and the Municipality, in the export:

a. UF (Unit of the Federation States)

The criterion for exports in the UF parameter (Unit of the Federation) PRODUCER considers the state that produced the exported commodities, and not the state where the exporting company is localized.

b. Cities:

The criterion for exports by cities is different from that used in export for UF. In this case, it takes into account the tax domicile of the exporting firm.

c. Imports:

On import, the variable "UF" (State) credits the values for the state (UF) of tax residence of the importing company, regardless of the point or State where the goods entered the country (port, airport, highway, etc.).