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23.9.        Best possible use of available data sources. In the absence of customs records, the use of national registers for ships and aircraft is the established practice in many countries. Countries need to review the contents and completeness of their national registers (including their law of the flag etc.) and they might use available international registers and special surveys of ship and aircraft operators to identify economic ownership and change of economic ownerships for ships and aircraft.[117] Relevant information could also be available from accounts of companies and from the review of leasing contracts or management contracts (for vessels). However, it appears that countries are not availing themselves at this time of the option of reviewing leasing contracts or agreements on the management and operation of ships and aircraft to determine economic ownership. 


23.12.    Conclusions. The task of compilers of merchandise trade statistics is to identify non-reported transactions and to verify reported transactions. The development of a more comprehensive set of case studies, as currently conducted by Eurostat, can assist countries in performing this task.[218]


[117] In the case of ships, the flag administrations (national registers) establish a regular and standardized electronic data exchange procedure with HIS Fairplay on a fleet basis which includes data not only on the company/registered owner but also on the ships. The information is made available toIMO members on the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS).

[218] Eurostat, “Methodological questions from member States relating to the trade in ships and aircraft”, internal document, 28 November 2011.