Microsoft word - faqs.docx

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please peruse the list below to see if your query can be addressed. If you still have questions,
then you may use the live chat or contact us by e-mail at and or telephone number 592-222-0001/75.
How do I use TradSys Online?

First time users are required to register on the system before it can be used. Once this process is
completed, you then log in as a returning user and proceed to the pre-defined reports on the left-
hand panel of the page. There you can select the report you desire. Reports have been grouped
into two categories, (a) Trading Partners and (b) Commodity. The first group of reports returns
data on CARICOM and its Member States trade with specified trading partners, while reports
selected from the second group generates data on CARICOM and its Member States trade by
selected commodity. All parameters are determined by the user. Reports that have been
generated can then be saved in five different formats, namely, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word,
PDF, XML and HTML. These applications will have to be installed on the user’s computer in
order for the files to be opened.
How do I register to use TradSys Online?

On the middle right hand side of the Home page, there is a section which allows new users to
register. It also permits users who have already registered to log into the system. When creating a
new username, it must take the format of a valid e-mail address since this will be the address to
which the confirmation of the registration will be sent as well as all future correspondence from
the CARICOM Secretariat. The password should be at least six (6) characters in length.
I’m a registered user, how do I get to generate the reports I need?

All users are required to log into the system in order to be able to generate reports. Should a user attempt
to execute a report without logging in, he/she will be directed to the login page. Registered users should
enter the e-mail address they had used to register, select the <I am a returning user and my password
option, and then enter their password. A message will be displayed indicating that you have
successfully logged into the system.
I’ve entered my username and password but I cannot log into the system.

If your login information is incorrect, you will be alerted and allowed to re-enter your
I’ve forgotten my password, what do I do?

In the event you have forgotten your password, select <Forgot Password?>. The system will then
ask you to enter a valid e-mail address and click <Submit>. Credentials are resent to the email address
specified. If the e-mail address specified is not present in the system, the user is prompted to try again.
How do I log out of the system?

To log out of the system, simply click on the <Logout> option. This is located towards the left
side of the top menu bar.
How do I access the data I am seeking?

The data can be accessed through the use of pre-defined reports which have been grouped into
two categories, (a) Trading Partners and (b) Commodity. The first group of reports returns data
on CARICOM and its Member States trade with user specified trading partners, while reports
selected from the second group generates data on CARICOM and its Member States trade by
selected commodity. All parameters are determined by the user. You can find detailed
descriptions of what each report will generate under Help Æ Manual.
Why do I only have access to aggregated data?

TradSys Online has two levels, or tiers, of access. Tier One, the default level, to which all
registered users are allowed access, only permits access to groups of commodities classified
according to the first two digits of the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System
(HS) or the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC). These two classification systems
are used internationally to classify merchandise trade. Tier Two, the second level, provides users
with access to the more detailed level of data. However, the level of detail available is still
determined by the Member State whose data is being queried.
How do I get access to the more detailed data?

Access to the second level is restricted to government ministries/agencies in Member States,
researchers and selected regional and international organisations. In order to gain access to the
more detailed level of data, the user will be required to contact the Secretariat with their request,
stating the organisation that they represent and the reason for which the data will be used. The
Secretariat will then facilitate this request at its discretion.

Which classification system is used?

The 2007 version of the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) Common External Tariff (CET)
based on the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System 2007 (HS2007) is used.
All data based on the 1996 and 2002 versions of the CET have been converted to HS2007 at the
tariff line, or most detailed, level. However, notes are provided within the commodity
description to guide the user where these changes have taken place. For example, the note “Code
added in HS02 - previously included in HS96 030310 (now HS07 030319)” means that there was
a change that occurred in the 2002 revision of the CET; the item was previously included in
HS96 030310, but given that the data were converted to the 2007 CET, the historical data was
now placed under HS07 030319, since it is not possible to split the data and allocate portions to
the newly disaggregated HS2007 numbers, 030311 and 030319.
The data is also available in the fourth revision of Standard International Trade Classification
(SITC Rev. 4).
How many digits should I use for my query?

The number of digits used would depend on the level of aggregation desired and the level of
access granted to the user, whether Tier One or Tier Two. At the Tier One level, the user can
only query data up to the first two digits of the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding
System (HS). Data is comparable internationally up to the 6 digit level of the HS. This means
that by selecting any commodity code up to the first 6 digits of the HS, CARICOM’s data can be
compared to any other country in the world as long as that country is using the 2007 version of
the HS.
Why are 10 digit codes needed?

Member States implemented various versions of the CET at different periods, resulting in a
regional dataset that is not strictly comparable over time. The CARICOM Secretariat, in an
attempt to normalize the data to facilitate, among other things, trend analyses, created a
correlation table that was used to convert data classified under the 1996 and 2002 versions of the
CET to the 2007 version. 10 digit codes were used to indicate where such changes occurred. A
10-digit number ending in 01 signifies that that commodity was formerly classified according to
the 1996 version of the HS; on the other hand, a number ending in 02 means that a HS2002
number was converted.
Why do I see 1000S, 100C or units other than kilogram (kg) in the Unit field when running
some aggregated reports?

Prior to the implementation of the1993 CET by Member States, the first units of quantity were
not always kilogram (Kg). These units varied depending on the commodity that was being
reported on and included thousand shingles (1000S), hundreds of cartons (100C), boxes, litres of
alcohol, number, etc. Following the implementation of the 1993 CET, most countries adjusted
their first quantity units to kilogram; however, Belize did not complete the changeover of units
until 2003. For the period prior to 2003, the user therefore needs to be cautious when extracting
data at higher levels of aggregation for Belize and CARICOM as a whole as the quantity figures
shown may actually reflect a mixture of the different types of units encountered for the
aggregated SITC/HS code being queried. Unfortunately, this is not reflected in the stated unit in
the table generated and the user may need to check the 1996 commodity lexicon to determine
which commodities are affected.
I’ve generated my report, how do I save it?

There are five formats in which you can save the tables you have generated. These are Microsoft
Excel, Microsoft Word, PDF, XML and HTML. These options can be found near the top right
corner of your generated output.

How do I find a definition?
The definitions can be accessed alphabetically through the Glossary on the left hand panel.
How many years’ data are available?

Generally, data are available for most countries from 1993 onwards, though there are a few
countries with data from 1991. The user will, however, notice that for some countries there are
some years where no data are available. A table listing the data available within the system can
be found on the top menu under Data Availability.
What is the source of the data on TradSys Online?
The statistics available on TradSys Online are compiled by Regional Statistics Programme of the
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat from official data supplied by the National
Statistics Offices of the CARICOM Member States. The main source of the data is the Customs
Departments in the countries.

How often will the data be updated?

At present, only annual data are available on the site and the database will be updated whenever
new or revised datasets are made available to the CARICOM Secretariat. Users should therefore
check the site regularly in order to obtain the most recent data.
Who do I contact if I experience any difficulty or to report errors and other problems on
the site?

For technical problems regarding the site or any comments, please contact us by e-mail at Please state clearly the nature of the problem or error, and if applicable, the
number or description of the report you were trying to execute.
Is there any other way I can get access to help online?

There are three ways you can access online help. These are:
1. Live Help - You can chat in real time with a staff member of the CARICOM Secretariat’s Regional Statistics Programme. This option is available from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Guyana time (Eastern Caribbean Time). If there no one online to answer your query, there is an additional option whereby you can send an e-mail to the Secretariat describing your problem and the Secretariat will e-mail you a response as soon as possible. To activate this feature, click on the Live Help icon which can be found near the top right hand corner of the Home page. 2. FAQs – May be able to provide users with a quick answer to frequently asked questions. 3. Manual – This report presents a complete guide to the online system and information on how the system can be used to generate trade statistics for the CARICOM Member States.


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