International trade and balance of payments statistics

Trade by enterprise characteristics data



International trade statistics are among the most widely available and consulted data, and offer a picture of trade flows between countries, broken down by types of goods and services. However, such conventional international trade statistics do not offer insights into the actors who are actually engaged in cross-border trade.

The Trade by Enterprise Characteristics (TEC) database aims to fill this gap, and contains international annual trade in goods data broken down by different categories of enterprises. The data provide a solid basis for policy analyses that explore which types of firms are responsible for international trade in goods. It answers questions like who are the firms that are engaged in foreign markets, and what are their characteristics. Both the export and import values and the number of exporting and importing enterprises are available for 26 OECD and 6 non-OECD countries: including 27 EU member states (except Ireland) plus Canada, Norway, Israel, Turkey and the United States.



Access the TEC database

The TEC database is organised in five different datasets 

1. Trade by size classes and detailed economic sector


2. Trade by top enterprises and economic sector


3. Trade by partner zones and countries and economic sector


4. Trade by the number of partner countries and economic sector


5. Trade by commodities groups and by detailed economic sector



The TEC data are collected in co-operation with Eurostat and directly from National Statistical Offices (NSOs). To create TEC data, NSOs have to attribute trade flows to enterprises with different characteristics by merging data on international trade (usually customs data) with business register information on enterprises at the individual enterprise level.  


Further reading:
Eurostat TEC data and methods 


Upcoming and recent events

Data on Trade by Enterprise Characteristics are increasingly in demand by policy makers interested in learning which companies are responsible for international trade flows. TEC data are therefore also increasingly discussed internationally among statisticians with the view of increasing coverage and upgrading data quality. 


Upcoming events

  • 24-26 March 2015, OECD Working Party on Trade in Goods and Services, Paris, France


Recent events 




For any queries about the TEC database, please write to:

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