D.3.  Ensuring the consistency of metadata and data reported to international organizations 

18.36.        Reporting of trade in services data and metadata to all international organizations should be consistent. This can be achieved by ensuring that the total services and main items are transmitted with identical values to all international organizations, even if a  “not allocated” category is used in a compiling country. As mentioned in chapter 17 (section E), compilers should make every effort to  allocate all services transactions to the relevant individual EBOPS services categories and to appropriate trading partners, and should avoid, as much as possible, the use of catch-all services categories (e.g., “other business services”, “other business services n.i.e.”, “services not allocated” or “undefined”) or catch-all partner categories. To conduct such allocations, compilers could use information from partner economies. If that information is not available or reliable, then it is advised to use the most appropriate modelling and statistical techniques, on the basis of the information available to compilers. (See chapter 17 for more information on the estimation and modelling of missing data.) Such practices should be clearly documented in the metadata.

18.37.        If there is no acceptable way to allocate all services, compilers should use a category to be labelled “not allocated”, which will be shown at the same level as the main services items (i.e., not included within any of the services items) or main partners. The corresponding values should be included at the total services level only if such a category corresponds to the classification shown, or at the total world level if it relates to the partner breakdown shown. 

18.38.        A “services not allocated” item is included in the BOP-DSD because it is part of the reporting requirements of ECB and Eurostat for the quarterly Balance of Payments (QBOP) and of the requirements by Eurostat, OECD and the Statistical Division for annual international trade in services data.[1] However, such a category is not included in the QBOP data reporting requirement of IMF. Consequently, for countries that use the category “services not allocated”, the individual services items will not add up to the total services in their report to IMF. In that case, the compiler should indicate in the metadata provided to the agencies that that total services do not correspond to the sum of the main services items owing to the presence of some transactions that are impossible to allocate across services. Table 18.2 presents an example of data reporting in such a case.

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[1] By detailed partner countries for the former and by detailed EBOPS 2010 for the latter.