What is a Supplementary Declaration?
Supplementary Declaration is the system for collecting data on the trade in goods
between the countries of the European Union (EU). This system, known as Intrastat
in most Member States, has been operating since the 1 January 1993 and, replaced
customs declarations as the source of trade statistics within the EU. The requirements
of Supplementary Declaration are similar in all Member States of the EU.
Trade statistics are an essential part Malta’s system of economic statistics. These
are an essential part of the country’s balance of payments account and are regarded
as an important economic indicator of the performance of Malta’s economy. As a very
open economy, Malta is heavily dependent on international trade. Both import and
export data are used as indicators of the state of health of the Maltese economy
and in particular of the country’s manufacturing sector.
Trade statistics are used by Government to help set overall trade policy and generate
initiatives on new trade areas. The commercial world uses statistics to assess markets
internally (e.g. to gauge import penetration) and externally (e.g. to establish
new markets for their goods).
In addition to the above, Malta contributes statistical information to European
and international bodies such as Eurostat (the Statistical Office of the European
Communities), the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund.
As a system, Supplementary Declaration forms an integral part of the national statistical
system and it is therefore important that the data submitted is reliable and of
The supply of services is excluded from Supplementary Declaration.
Only movements that represent trade in goods are covered by Supplementary Declaration
although there are some exceptions.
Why is Supplementary Declaration necessary?
The completion of the Single Market on the 1 January 1993 brought considerable benefits
in terms of the freer movement of goods and less complex official requirements.
Customs declarations with the EU had previously been required for all imports and
exports on the SAD and in most cases goods could not continue their journey until
the declarations had been accepted by Customs.
Before the 1 January 1993, the statistics outlined above were taken from these customs
declarations even within the EU. In Malta, the National Statistics Office (NSO)
still compiles its statistics on the basis of customs declarations. However, since
these declarations shall cease to exist as from the 1 May 2004, the NSO is making
the necessary arrangements with the VAT Department in order to adopt the Supplementary
Declaration as the source for such statistics.