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Foreign trade is intended as all trading of goods between different States. Surveys of the sector are currently performed by ISTAT, which provides statistics divided by country, geographical and geo-economic area and by province of origin and destination for goods. ISTAT is also responsible for calculating the relative index numbers. 

For a long time surveys of foreign trade were also known as “customs statistics” due to their close connection and interdependence with the customs tax system. The statistical names used for the identification and classification of goods is in fact derived from the tariffs applied, and the information base for goods entering and exiting countries outside the EU is still the customs declaration (known as the DAU, or Single Administrative Document - SAD) made when the goods cross EU borders.   

In 1993, the foundation of the Single European Market, suppressing the formalities necessary up until then to register the cross border movement of goods between member States, made exchanges within the EU faster and easier... full text

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