This paper describes the compilation of the use tables for imports of goods and for trade margins for Belgium in 1995. It introduces a methodological novelty by integrating the compilation of both tables and systematically exploiting the fact that large parts of intermediary consumption and investment (i.e. those directly imported by the using firms) as well as exports (the direct exports by producers) bear no trade margins.
In order to do this we used intrastat and extrastat data on imports and exports of goods in 1995. The results of this approach differ significantly from those of a proportional distribution of imports and margins. Many statistical offices resort to this proportional distribution because of a lack of survey data on the destination of trade margins and imports. In Belgium the proportional approach is less appropriate because the product detail is too limited and the national account data are firm-based without distinguishing local kind of activities.