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Definition: INTRASTAT

External trade

With the removal of frontier controls between Member States under the Single Market programme, a new system, known as Intrastat was devised to collect statistics on intra-Community trade. Developed by Eurostat and operational since 1 January 1993, Intrastat involves collecting information directly from businesses and makes use of Value Added Tax (VAT) data and the VAT reporting system.

Intra-EU trade statistics record the arrival and dispatch of movable property recorded by each Member State.

Intra-EU trade statistics do not record goods in transit. Intra-EU trade statistics are not based on either the general or the special trade system; these concern customs procedures. Given its coverage of transactions, however, Intrastat closely matches the general trade system.

Intra-EU trade statistics do not cover the following arrivals and dispatches:
- those effected by private individuals or small enterprises which are exempt from periodic tax declarations;
- those which are excluded pursuant to special provisions of Community legislation.
Eurostat, "Statistics on the trading of goods - User guide", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 1998, p. 9-10