CEPII, Recherche et Expertise sur l'economie mondiale


BACI provides data on bilateral trade flows for 200 countries at the product level (5000 products). Products correspond to the "Harmonized System" nomenclature (6 digit code).

Please read our FAQ, the documentation and the CEPII working paper. If you don't find the answer to your question, please contact us.

Reference document to cite: Gaulier, G. and Zignago, S. (2010) BACI: International Trade Database at the Product-Level. The 1994-2007 Version. CEPII Working Paper, N°2010-23. BibTex

Person in charge & contact: Pierre Cotterlaz, bacicepii.fr

Licence: Etalab 2.0


Last update: April 9, 2024. See the release notes.

This is the 202401b version. It supersedes version 202401 which contained some intra-national trade flows.


BACI relies on data from the United Nations Statistical Division (Comtrade dataset). Since countries report both their imports and their exports to the United Nations, the raw data we use may have duplicates flows: trade from country i to country j may be reported by i as an export to j and by j as an import from i. The reported values should match, but in practice are virtually never identical, for two reasons:

1) Import values are reported CIF (cost, insurance and freight) while exports are reported FOB (free on board).
2) Mistakes are made, because of uncertainty on the final destination of exports, discrepancies in the classification of a given product, etc...

BACI provides a unique, reconciled trade flow by implementing an harmonization procedure whose two main ingredients are:

1) CIF costs are estimated and removed from import values to compute FOB import values.
2) The reliability of each country as a reporter of trade data is assessed. If a reporter tends to provide data that are very different from the ones of its partners, it will be considered as unreliable and will be assigned a lower weight in the determination of the reconciled trade flow value.

1 When is BACI updated?

BACI is updated every year in January.

2 Why are there differences between BACI and Comtrade?

Even though the source of our data is Comtrade, we perform various operations to improve this data, that are expected to create discrepancies between BACI and Comtrade. See the CEPII working paper for more details.

3 Is data for the last year definitive ?

Values and quantities of the flows taking place during the last year present in BACI may be substantially revised in the subsequent version. This is because we download our source data (Comtrade) in January, and the last year may not yet be complete at that time. More precisely, it is likely that some trade flows will be missing, or reported by only one of the countries instead of the two of them. For more information on the timing of Comtrade updates, visit their data availability page.

4 Can trade flows be revised in subsequent versions of BACI ?

Yes, it may happen, most likely because of changes in the Comtrade source data. Indeed, Comtrade sometimes revises trade flows that occured in the past. Also, we regularly implement slight methodological improvements to the construction of BACI. Therefore, different versions of BACI may provide a different information for the same trade flow, and users should not mix versions of BACI.

5 What are the conditions to use BACI?

BACI is distributed under the Etalab Open Licence 2.0, which means that any use is authorized, provided the source is mentionned. Mentioning BACI and the CEPII is an appropriate reference, ideally a link to the webpage can be added.

6 Why does BACI provide data only in the HS nomenclature?

The Harmonized System is the standard nomenclature for international trade, used by all custom services. This is therefore the most natural choice for trade data. Users wishing to merge BACI with data expressed in alternative classifications can use the concordance tables provided by the World Bank.

7 Is there data for Taiwan?

The UN does not disseminate trade statistics referring to Taiwan. Therefore, COMTRADE and BACI do not have any trade data for Taiwan as such. Nevertheless, trade data of ‘Asia, not elsewhere specified’ (iso 490), is a good proxy for trade of Taiwan. In theory trade data for territories belonging to Asia, but not specified by country, could end up in this category, but in practice, only trade of Taiwan is included under this code, except for a couple of reporters.

8 What is the geographic coverage of BACI?

We have the same geographic coverage as Comtrade. This corresponds to most of the existing countries. A list of the countries available in BACI is included in the data files.

9 Can the trade flows data be opened with Excel?

No, the BACI trade flows files are too large to be opened with Excel, or another spreadsheet software.

10 How to report an issue / suggest an improvement?

Do not hesitate to send an e-mail to baci@cepii.fr. If you write us to warn about an issue, please indicate the version of the database that you are using (HS revision and version identifier).