E-Learning on International Merchandise Trade Statistics

A self-paced course and includes a forum for discussions and interactions among participants and course facilitators. The course is intended for trade data compilers, statisticians and analysts. It is given free and e-certificates are given to participants who complete and pass the tests.


2030 Agenda
SDG17: Partnerships for the goals
SDG 17: Trade
SDG 17: Systemic Issues
Trade and Development
foreign trade
international trade
This TrainForTrade e-learning course on IMTS was developed and produced jointly by UNSD, UNCTAD and WTO in close collaboration with the Inter-Agency Task Force on International Trade Statistics in 2018. The objective is to provide more globally accessible and rather complete training material for those involved in the collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS). That is, the course is annually organized to meet the needs for technical assistance in the compilation of IMTS and contributes to address the aims of Goal 17 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This year, it will be conducted from 16 March to 24 April.
Download Syllabus

Target Audience

This course was designed mainly for trade data compilers and statisticians working in National Statistical Offices (NSOs), Central Banks, Ministry of Trade and in Customs Administration Offices. However, users of trade data e.g.  professionals involved in trade negotiations and analysts (working for Ministries of Foreign affairs, Agriculture, Transport, Energy, Chamber of Commerce, Industry, etcetera) can also benefit from the course.

Learning Objectives

Main goals of the course are to enhance statisticians' ability to apply the most recent internationally agreed recommendations on IMTS, define best possible data sources, set up adequate (or enforce existing) collection systems, and enhance statistics compilation and production processes. The course focuses on the following topics: Conceptual Framework, Institutional Arrangement, Production and Compilation, Metadata and Quality, Dissemination and Analysis and New Areas of Work. Furthermore, the course emphasizes the importance of quality, metadata, timely dissemination, and links to economic analysis and national policy objectives. The course enhances trainees' capacity to make better use of the internationally agreed guidance, especially the IMTS Concepts and Definitions 2010 and the related Compilers Manual.