Identification of possible discrepancies

The tables in this section present a comparative tabulation of imports by EU Member States and candidate countries in 2014, as reported by the importers and by their trading partners (all EU and candidate country annual reports for 2014 had been received at the time of analysis [April 2016] with the exception of Albania; see main report for a list of trading partner reports included). As in other sections of the Analysis, trade reported as source ‘I’, trade in artificially propagated Appendix II plants and re-exports of manufactured articles has been excluded, and conversion factors were applied to certain terms and units to facilitate comparison (see Annex A of the Analysis). Quantities have been rounded to whole numbers, where applicable.

In order to enable better matching of shipments between trading partners, purpose and source codes were not taken into account in the comparative tabulation. Purpose codes are often reported using different, but equally valid, codes. Some inconsistencies are also apparent in reporting of source codes, for example in the reporting of pre-Convention items. Trade volumes of less than five units, as reported by the exporting partner, have been excluded from the table as these may be personal effects and could be exempt from import permit requirements, while an exporter-reported quantity of zero could be the result of the exporter not submitting an annual report. Cases where importers’- and exporters’-reported quantities differ by less than 25% were not considered discrepancies of note, and were therefore also excluded.

Many of the entries may be explained by exporters reporting on issued permits which are then not used or only partly utilised, or the transaction taking place in the subsequent calendar year. However, the highlighting of potential discrepancies remains an essential part of continuing to improve the accuracy and completeness of reporting.