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16.24.    Concept of country of last known destination.  IMTS 2010 (para. 6.13), defines the country of last known destination as “the last country - as far as it is known at the time of exportation - to which goods are to be delivered, irrespective of where they have been initially dispatched to and whether or not, on their way to that last country, they are subject to any commercial transactions or other operations that change their legal status”. 

16.25.    The identification of the country of last known destination using customs records.  It is advised that the “country of destination”, as required on the customs declaration and recorded by customs, be used as the partner for the purposes of export statistics, provided that customs rules require exporters to identify, as far as it is known to them, the country to which goods are to be ultimately delivered.[16] The country of destination may be taken as the country of last known destination if, at the time of exportation, no additional information is available regarding further movement of the goods.  It is also advised that compilers cooperate with customs in developing and disseminating to exporters clear instructions regarding the reporting of such information.  Compilers should be aware, however, that customs are not normally engaged in systematic verification of the correctness of information about the destination of most goods. The definition of partner country is to be based on its economic territory (see IMTS, para. 16.23). 

16.26.    Use of non-customs sources.  In the absence of customs records, or if compilers deem them not reliable, it is advised that non-customs sources be examined.  For example, “country of destination” may usually be found in the terms of delivery contained in the contract of sale, or derived from shipping or other commercial documents.  Compilers may use enterprise surveys and reports of commercial banks and monetary authorities.  Information contained in the markings on outer packaging of the goods may also be helpful. This work is very time consuming and it is good practice to restrict it to goods of a very high value or to specific controlled goods. 

16.27.    Change of origin and the country of last known destination.  During the delivery of goods sent from one country to another, the goods may enter a third country and undergo processing that will confer on them a new origin.  It is advised that, in such a case, the exporting country record that third country as the country of last known destination. 

16.28.    Verification of country of last known destination. In some cases trading partners’ imports data may be helpful in the verification of provided information and in the identification of the final destination. If specific problems are identified, it is a good practise to inform and educate the traders about the importance of the correct entry of the partner information. Also, countries might consider making adjustments to the partner information, if there is evidence that, to a large extent, a country of transit has been indicated by a declarant as the country of destination (e.g.,China, Hong Kong SAR; and theNetherlands).  The systematic and continuous use of such methods may noticeably improve the statistics.  Care should be taken to avoid double-counting and adjust for mark-ups in partner-country values.


[16] See SAD Guidelines - E17,  Box 17: Country of destination: Using the relevant Community code from Annex 38, enter inBox 17a the last country of destination of the goods to be exported as known at the time of export.