To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect the United Kingdom Balance of Payments for 2010 to be published; and whether it will reflect exports and imports of goods and services which pass through Rotterdam and Antwerp.admitted that there was an error in the original reply. So, we shall ignore that. Let us turn to the corrected response, which consists of a Letter from Stephen Penneck, Director General for ONS.
There is some useful information as to where various figures about imports and exports may be found, together with this explanation:
For UK imports originating from the EU, the "country of dispatch" is recorded on the Intrastat survey form as the country in the EU from which the goods were originally sent to the UK. For UK exports, the "country of destination" is recorded on the Intrastat survey form as the final EU country the goods are destined for, even if the goods travel through other EU countries on the way.But what, I hear people ask, about the "Rotterdam Effect", which should really be called "Rotterdam and Antwerp Effect"?
Glad you ask that.
All Trade passing through Rotterdam and Antwerp is included in the United Kingdom Balance of Payments data and will be shown against the Netherlands and Belgium, respectively, where they are the originating country of dispatch (for UK imports) and/or the country of ultimate destination (for UK exports).Or, in other words, we are given erroneous figures about trade with at least two other member states of the EU and the Single Market because the the imports and exports are attributed "to the country of transit as opposed to the "real" partner country". (Why real should be in quotation marks in the reply is a little mysterious. The country that buys goods from us or sells us goods is the real trading partner without any quotation marks.)
Complications can occur in EU trade when dealing with the "Rotterdam Effect". Some goods might be declared at an earlier than (final) country of dispatch and/or destination. Principally, the "Rotterdam Effect" causes imports and exports to be attributed to the country of transit as opposed to the "real" partner country.
The most recent analysis and data on the impact of the Rotterdam and Antwerp Effect was published in 2005. Is it not time to publish a more up-to-date version?