Definition: Trading partners
Community results are broken down by country of origin, country of dispatch and country of destination, in accordance with the Country nomenclature for the external trade statistics of the Community and statistics of trade between Member States: Geonomenclature (Geonom).
For exports and dispatches, the trading partner is the country (or Member State) of final destination of the goods.
For imports (extra-EU trade), the trading partner is the country of origin. In general, goods obtained entirely from a given country originate in that country; goods produced in two or more countries are deemed to originate in the country where the last transformation or substantial processing took place. In certain cases (returned goods, goods which have been processed in a non-member country, works of art), the partner country for imports is the country of consignment.
For arrivals (intra-EU trade), the trading partner is the Member State of consignment of the goods.
In practice the country (or Member State) of consignment is the one from which the goods were originally dispatched to the Member State of import/arrival. In the case of extra-EU trade, it is therefore normally the country in which the export formalities were carried out.
Eurostat, "External trade and balance of payments, Glossarium 1993", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, p. 33 and Eurostat, "Statistics on the trading of goods - User guide", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 1998, p. 15