Definitions and data sources for the Export Data Tool

Terms and Definitions

Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding Systems (HS)

Harmonized System (HS) codes are the international standard for classifying trade goods. Products on this site are classified using the HS code revision in use for the respective year of reporting. HS codes are generally 10-digits long. However, government harmonize the HS codes up to the first 6-digits.


World Customs Organization - What is the Harmonized System?

Canada Border Services Agency - Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

The industry data provided through the export tool is classified using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). NAICS are industry classifications of the economic activities in North America jointly developed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Products on this site are mapped into NAICS industries using a concordance. More information can be found on Statistics Canada’s website.


Statistics Canada - Industry Classifications

Markets / Regions

For the purposes of the export tool, the term 'markets' is used to refer to individual countries, U.S. states, or independent market areas.

Regions are markets grouped together by a common geographic area.

Trade regions are markets that are grouped together by a common trade or economic cooperation agreement.


The most year for data available on the export tool represents the latest year for which Alberta export data is available. Generally, international import data is one year behind Alberta export data due to the work involved in gathering, processing, and validating global trade data. The year selection on the export tool will default to the latest year that has both Alberta export data and international import data. 


Alberta export values are provided by Statistics Canada in Canadian dollars while international import data is provided in U.S. dollars. Currency conversion for both datasets uses annual foreign exchange rate averages for the U.S. dollar value of the Canadian dollar. For more information on exchange rates please refer to the Bank of Canada.

Bank of Canada - Exchange Rates

Market Share

The Alberta export market share refers to the portion of a market or region’s imports from Alberta in comparison to their total imports for a given product or industry, expressed as a percentage. Market share is a useful metric to get a general understanding how reliant a market is on Alberta exports of a specific product.


Export values are the current dollar amount of product exported by Alberta to international markets.


Import values are the dollar amount of product imported by any given market or region.

Data Sources

Alberta Exports

Merchandise trade statistics are provided by Statistics Canada through a custom data request. The data is provided on a customs basis (raw values), derived from the administrative records of the Canada Border Services Agency and the United States Customs Border Protection, and cover the physical movement of goods.

The value of goods measured on a free on board (FOB) basis includes all production and other costs incurred up until the moment that goods are placed on board an international carrier for export. FOB values exclude international insurance and transport costs.

The raw data from Statistics Canada is presented with data fields for HS 8-digit product codes, mode of transport, port of exit, Canadian dollar value, destination, province of origin, unit of measure, and quantity. This data is aggregated up to the HS 6-digit level, grouping data by mode of transport and destination. U.S. dollar values are then calculated by using data provided using historical annual average exchange rates from the Bank of Canada.

U.S. Census Bureau – Monthly U.S. Imports by State and HS

The data for U.S. imports by state is pulled from the Data pulled from the U.S. Census Bureau's API. State-level data is only available starting from 2013. This data is primarily compiled from the U.S. Customs' Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), and secondarily from import entry summary forms, warehouse withdrawal forms and Foreign Trade Zone documents.


UN COMTRADE data is a database consisting of data provided to the United Nations Statistics Division by reporter countries/economic areas. All commodity values are converted from national currency into US dollars using exchange rates supplied by the reporter countries, or derived from monthly market rates and volume of trade. Quantities, when provided with the reporter country data and when possible, are converted into metric units. Commodities are reported in the current classification and revision.


BACI data is created by applying a custom methodology created by CEPII to remove trade asymmetries between reporting and partner countries in UN COMTRADE data.

For the purposes of this tool, U.S. import data has been dropped from the BACI data and replaced with U.S. Census Bureau imports by state. This removes data inconsistencies between aggregate state-level data and country-level BACI data. Import data reported by U.S. customs is regarded as having high accuracy.

Tariffs - World Trade Organization (WTO)

Tariff data is obtained from The data contains average bound, applied, and preferential tariffs at the Harmonized System (HS) 2, 4, and 6-digit subheading level.

Tariff values are the preferential tariffs, or those set by trade agreements between Canada and partner countries. For partner countries that don’t have a trade agreement, the Applied Most Favoured Nation (MFN) rate is used. The Applied MFN rate used is the simple average duty, which is the simple average of MFN ad valorem duty rates or ad valorem equivalents of non-ad valorem duty rates.