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22.14.    Trade in goods delivered continuously through pipelines: experience of China. It is required that goods delivered continuously through pipelines or fixed power lines across borders, such as electricity, water, gas and oil, be declared monthly, as normal goods, to customs by the companies who sign the contracts for the import or export of those goods. The volume and value of the previous month are to be accumulated if the other statistical items, such as partner country and customs regime, are the same. The customs officer should verify the declaration form, and may check the value by reviewing the contract. Normally, the price is a fixed one, and customs officers may look at the meter measurement to check the quantity (in the case where pipeline trade inspection agreements exist). Statisticians collect the data for statistical purposes after the customs procedures are completed. For example, if a Chinese company is exporting electricity toChina, Hong Kong SAR, the company is required to declare the accumulated quantity and value to customs by month and within 10 days. If a company exports electricity toChina, Hong Kong SAR, andChina, Macau SAR, the company is required to complete two separate declaration forms, one for each of these trading partners. 

22.15.    Trade in gas and electricity: experience of the United States of America. TheUnited States has encountered difficulties in obtaining accurate import information on pipeline shipments of natural gas. Meter readings of pipeline operators are not sufficiently reliable for statistical purposes owing to factors such as the location of meters and inconsistencies in how meters are read by the pipeline operators. Through an agreement with Statistics Canada, the United States Census Bureau receivesCanada’s data on exports of natural gas to theUnited States and includes them as data on imports fromCanada. StatisticsCanada uses administrative data for monthly estimates owing to timing problems and revises the data when actual totals become available. Similarly for trade in electricity, theUnited States receives data on exports and imports from its trading partnerCanada. 

22.16.    Scope and compilation: experience of Germany. Energy, electricity, gas and oil, as well as water, are often regarded as specific goods in trade statistics owing to their particular mode of transport (i.e., through electric lines or pipelines), how they are traded and their fiscal treatment. In the European Union, only electricity and gas that are transported through electric lines or pipelines are considered specific goods. Gas that is not transported through pipelines, whether it is in the gaseous or in the liquid state, is treated like all other goods. The specific rules for electricity and gas transported through pipelines are based on their highly specific physical characteristics. InGermany, information on trading of electricity is collected from the limited number of grid operators, which have proved to be the most reliable data source by far for measuring the quantities crossing the border. However, grid operators do not have any information on prices. Therefore, average values for each partner country is calculated using the declarations of the traders. Moreover, those values are cross-checked with the mirror figures of the partner countries. 

22.17.    Production of external trade statistics on natural gas and electricity: experience of Italy. A new approach to the compilation of external trade statistics on electricity and natural gas in the gaseous state was developed by ISTAT of Italy and implemented for the first time in connection with the final revision of data for 2010 and the first intermediate revision of data for January-August 2011. This was motivated by the increasing prevalence of data-quality problems in 2011 as well as by the need to guarantee consistent time series with a limited structural break (see annex XXII.A for further details).