Definition: Imports

External trade

Imports into a given Member State are:
a) goods which enter the statistical territory of the Member State from a non-member country and are:
  - placed under the customs procedure for release into free circulation (goods intended to be consumed in the importing Member State or dispatched to another Member State), either immediately or after a period in a customs warehouse; or 
 - placed under the customs procedure for inward processing (including inward processing in a customs warehouse) or processing under customs control (usually goods destined to be processed, transformed or repaired for subsequent re-export) either immediately or after a period in a customs warehouse. 

b) Some movements of goods are included in Eurostat statistics according to specific rules. In particular, ships and aircraft are included in arrivals of a given Member State when ownership is being transferred from a person resident in another Member State to a person resident in the Member State in question.
Source:
Eurostat, "Statistics on the trading of goods - User guide", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 1998, p. 16
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