Exporter Register Database

Detailed information for 2000





Record number:


The Exporter Register Database is a list of establishments engaged in the export of commodities. The database is structured by type of industry and record the value of the merchandise these establishments export.

Data release - February 25, 2002


The Exporter Register Database is a list of establishments engaged in the export of commodities, which records the values of the merchandise these establishments export. It was designed to meet demand for information about the exporting community not offered by standard merchandise trade statistics.

The establishments are classified by industry grouping, size, province or territory of residence, country of destination, and employment size (for the current reference period only).

The data released from the Exporter Register Database are main aggregates consisting of the number of establishments who exported $30,000 in at least one year since 1993.


  • International trade
  • Merchandise exports
  • Merchandise imports

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population for the Exporter Register Database is all exporting establishments whose merchandise exports exceed $30,000. The establishments are classified by industry grouping, exporter size, province or territory of residence of the exporter, destination of export, and employment size (for the current reference period only).

Instrument design

This methodology does not apply.


This survey is a census with a longitudinal design.

This methodology does not apply.

Data sources

Data are extracted from administrative files.

Canadian trade statistics are compiled according to the "General" system of trade as defined by the United Nations Statistical Office. The general trade system, in principle, presents all goods entering the country (imports) and all goods leaving the country (exports). It differs from the "Special" system of trade in the treatment of imported goods into Customs bonded warehouses. Under the special trade system, these goods are counted only if and when they are withdrawn from Customs warehouses for home consumption. They are not counted in export statistics unless they have first cleared Customs.

The closing of the statistical month for exports and imports is defined as the last calendar day of the month based as closely as practicable on the date of clearance from Customs.

Import data are captured by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA or Customs) from B3 forms and from electronic import transaction entries. Data for Canadian exports to countries other than United States are compiled by the International Trade Division from B-13A forms received via the CBSA and from Summary Reports and Canadian Automated Export Declarations (CAED) submitted directly to Statistics Canada.

Canadian exports to the United States are compiled using United States import statistics (from the U.S. Customs Service via the U.S. Census Bureau) and account for approximately 85% of the value of Canada's export trade. This procedure is used for all Canadian exports to the United States except exports of natural gas and electricity. These two commodities are recorded directly from Canadian sources in both Canadian and U.S. customs data, as the Canadian sources are viewed as more accurate than U.S. import data for these series.

Error detection

Validation, combination, unit value and 'reasonableness' edits are performed on exports data during the edit and imputation process. Validation edits use a number of meta data tables which allow the comparison of a reported variable to a list of valid codes. Other validity checks ensure that a reported variable respects the characteristics it is supposed to, e.g., numeric variables are reported as numeric. Combination edits include commodity/country, commodity/trader and commodity/province. Unit value lows and highs are calculated for each Harmonized System1 (HS) code. Data that fall within this range are accepted while those that fail are rejected.


Both manual and automated imputations are performed on exports data. Data that fail an edit and are beyond an established threshold are manually reviewed and corrected. The method of correction usually takes the form of telephone follow-up to the exporter and importer or their representative, the broker. Sometimes a link to the electronic invoice will suffice to obtain the necessary information to take corrective action.

Data that fail the edits and are below a value threshold are automatically imputed. In the case of a unit value failure the quantity is the variable automatically imputed. Quantity is imputed by randomly selecting a unit value between a high and a low unit value range.

Export documents received too late for incorporation in the current month are assigned to the month the transaction took place. If a monthly summary report from a high volume exporter is not received on time, the data are imputed for the current month and revised with the trade value in the following statistical month.


A relatively small but significant portion of exporters were not successfully linked to the Business Register. The number of exporting establishments and the value of their exports were estimated for the unlinked portion, in order to provide a more complete and reliable picture of the exporting community. A step-by-step approach is used to calculate the estimated values for the unlinked portion of the exporter register based on observed patterns within the linked portion of the data.

Step 1 is to estimate the export value of the unlinked portion by NAICS industry, exporter size, employee class (for current year only), province and trading area.

Step 2 is to calculate the average exports per establishment by NAICS industry, exporter size and employee class (for current year only) in the linked portion.

The last step estimates the number of exporters by NAICS industry, size, employee class (for current year only), province and destination.

The estimated counts for the unlinked portion represent 5% of the total number of exporters from 1996 to 2000. This is similar to the proportions of unlinked documents over the same periods. The proportion of unlinked value is only about 3% from 1993 to 2000. This reflects the fact that low-value documents are more likely to be unlinked and, therefore, are more likely to be associated with smaller establishments with a lower average value of exports.

Quality evaluation

Transaction-level data are aggregated and subjected to month over month and year over year analysis to detect errors and explain observed movements.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Data accuracy

Every effort is made to ensure that administrative data are conceptually correct for the use to which they are put. Any anomalies or inconsistencies detected are verified with the source, and where necessary, adjustments are made to reconcile data with the conceptual framework of our series. The administrative agencies used are considered to be the best source available, and data received from them is judged to be of very good quality, even in those circumstances where adjustments have been made.

Customs-based trade statistics more accurately measure imports than exports. This occurs because Customs agents are typically more vigilant with respect to goods entering the country than they are with those leaving the country.

It is not unusual for the accuracy of export statistics to be adversely affected by undercoverage and/or country misallocation. Undercoverage occurs when the proper documentation is not filed with Customs. While Statistics Canada does not have a direct measure of undercoverage, a monthly estimated adjustment is included within BoP based data. Country misallocation occurs when the country of final destination is inaccurately reported on the Customs documentation. This occurs most frequently when goods are routed through an intermediary country before continuing to their final destination with the intermediary country being reported as the final destination of the goods.

Statistics Canada also periodically conducts reconciliation exercises with its major trading partners other than the United States.

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