UNSD inquired through an informal email consultation with our regional partners whether the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted the data production of IMTS. Most regions reported that – so far – there is no interruption in data production and transmission at least until the reference period of February 2020. It was stated that export/import activities through airport/port continue and the related basic customs data are expected to be submitted to statistical agencies in a timely manner. However, the transformation of the basic customs data into IMTS may be impacted in some countries as not all national statistical agencies are appropriately equipped to support the staff in working from home. Moreover, those regions that rely on enterprise survey data reported that the data transmission for January/February 2020 may be delayed due to lack of responses from the enterprises included in the sample. The regions also responded that a prolonged quarantine/lockdown period may impact regular data production in the future.
UNSD will continue to monitor the impact of the COVID19 and update this initial assessment report for IMTS. As appropriate, UNSD will continue to provide business continuity guidance and assistance to countries in preparing their IMTS data.