Title of statistical activity: Water transport

Code of statistical activity: 22031

  1. Contact
  2. Metadata update
  3. Statistical presentation
  4. Unit of measure
  5. Reference period
  6. Institutional mandate
  7. Confidentiality
  8. Release policy
  9. Frequency of dissemination
  10. Accessibility and clarity
  11. Quality management
  12. Relevance
  13. Accuracy and reliability
  14. Timeliness and punctuality
  15. Coherence and comparability
  16. Cost and burden
  17. Data revision
  18. Statistical processing

1. Contact Individual or organisational contact points for the data or metadata, including information on how to reach the contact points.

1.1. Contact organisation The name of the organisation of the contact points for the data or metadata.

Statistics Estonia

1.2. Contact organisation unit An addressable subdivision of an organisation.

Enterprise and Agricultural Statistics Department

1.3. Contact name The name of the contact points for the data or metadata.

Piret Pukk

1.4. Contact person function The area of technical responsibility of the contact, such as "methodology", "database management" or "dissemination".

Leading Analyst

1.5. Contact mail address The postal address of the contact points for the data or metadata.

51 Tatari Str, 10134 Tallinn, Estonia

1.6. Contact email address E-mail address of the contact points for the data or metadata.


1.7. Contact phone number The telephone number of the contact points for the data or metadata.

+372 625 9293

2. Metadata update The date on which the metadata element was inserted or modified in the database.

2.1. Metadata last certified Date of the latest certification provided by the domain manager to confirm that the metadata posted are still up-to-date, even if the content has not been amended.


2.2. Metadata last update Date of last update of the content of the metadata.


3. Statistical presentation

3.1. Data description Main characteristics of the data set described in an easily understandable manner, referring to the data and indicators disseminated.

Annual data: transport of sea containers through ports

Quarterly data: international passenger transport through ports; transport of passengers by sea; transport of vehicles through ports; transport of goods through ports by group of goods; goods transport through main Estonian ports by cargo type and by port; international shipping traffic through ports by type and flag of vessel

Monthly data: loading and unloading of goods in Estonian ports

3.2. Classification system Arrangement or division of objects into groups based on characteristics which the objects have in common.

Estonian Classification of Economic Activities (EMTAK 2008) based on NACE Rev. 2

Maritime coastal areas (MCA)

Standard goods classification for transport statistics (NST 2007)

Nationality of vessels

Vessel Size Classes (GT)

Type of Cargo Classification

3.3. Sector coverage Main economic or other sectors covered by the statistics.

Sea transport enterprises (NACE Rev. 2 50), ports

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions Statistical characteristics of statistical observations.

Cargo types total – shows transport flows with different characteristics. The principal types of cargo are liquid bulk, dry bulk, containers, roll-on/roll-off, and other non-unitised general cargo. This classification is related to maritime transport and cargo handling needs and is not intended to provide a linkage to trade or other economic statistics through product classification.

Cruise passengers arriving by ship from foreign countries – total number of passengers arriving by cruise ship from abroad.

Enterprise – an enterprise consists of one or more companies (public limited company, private limited company, limited partnership, general partnership, commercial association) or branches of foreign companies or sole proprietors. Water transport statistics do not cover branches of foreign companies and sole proprietors.

Freight container – a unit of transport equipment which is of a permanent character and accordingly durable enough for repeated use; specially designed to facilitate the carriage of goods by one or more modes of transport without intermediate reloading; fitted with devices permitting its ready handling, particularly its transfer from one mode of transport to another; designed to be easily filled and emptied; having a length of 20 feet or more. In addition, containers should be stackable and have an internal volume of 1 m³ or more. Swap bodies are excluded.

Loading – loading of cargo onto a ship in the reporting port. Transit goods are included. The tonnage of goods carried includes packaging but excludes the tare weight of containers and ro-ro units.

Main ports – selected ports that handle more than one million tonne of goods annually.

Number of passengers – number of passengers on-board the ship. The ship crew are not considered passengers.

Number of trips – number of ship’s movements from the departure port to the destination port. The ship’s movement back-and-forth on a line are considered one voyage if the departure port and destination port are the same.

Passengers arriving from abroad – total number of passengers arriving by Estonian or foreign vessels from abroad.

Passengers going to foreign countries – total number of passengers going to foreign countries by Estonian or foreign vessels.

Ship voyage – the movement of a ship from the departure port to the destination port, which may be the same port.

Seaport – a place having facilities for merchant ships to moor and to load or unload cargo or to disembark or embark passengers to or from vessels, usually directly to a pier.

TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) – a standard unit for counting containers of various capacities and for describing the capacities of container ships or terminals. One twenty-foot ISO container equals 1 TEU.

Total capacity of ship (gross tonnage) – the total size of ship measured according to the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969. An indicator with no unit.

Transit goods – the country of loading and unloading of goods is a foreign country, Estonia is a transit country. Transit goods are also goods loaded/unloaded at the border from one mode of transport to another.

Trip – transport service of sea vessels rendered according to the published timetable or as often and regularly that a systematic series of voyages is evident. Ship voyage is the movement of a ship from the departure port to the destination port, which can be the same port.

Unloading – unloading of cargo from a ship in the reporting port. Transit goods are included. The tonnage of goods carried includes packaging but excludes the tare weight of containers and ro-ro units.

Vehicles – passenger cars, buses, lorries, trailers and other vehicles.

Volume of transport – to estimate the volume of transport, the following indicators are used: the total number of passengers carried and passenger traffic volume. To measure the transport of goods, the following indicators are used: the amount of goods in tonnes and freight turnover.

3.5. Statistical unit Entity for which information is sought and for which statistics are ultimately compiled.



3.6. Statistical population The total membership or population or "universe" of a defined class of people, objects or events.

Managers of seaports; enterprises whose main activity is water transport


List of active enterprises whose main or secondary activity is port and waterway operation services or water transport. The list is generated from the Business Register for Statistical Purposes.

List of seaports compiled by the Estonian Maritime Administration.

3.7. Reference area The country or geographic area to which the measured statistical phenomenon relates.

Estonia as a whole

3.8. Time coverage The length of time for which data are available.

Transport of goods through ports 1993–…

Transport of sea containers through ports, sea containers moving in ports 1997–…

Shipping traffic through ports, international passenger traffic through ports 2001–…

Shipping traffic through ports by type of vessel, transport of passengers by sea, transport of vehicles through ports 2005–…

Number and gross tonnage of vessels visiting Estonian ports 2005–…

Goods transport through main Estonian ports by cargo type 2010–…

Transport of goods through ports by group of goods 2009–…

Loading and unloading of goods in Estonian ports 1991–…

3.9. Base period The period of time used as the base of an index number, or to which a constant series refers.

Not applicable

4. Unit of measure The unit in which the data values are measured.

Vessels – number; gross tonnage – GT 1000; trips – number

Transport of passengers – number of passengers (thousand passengers)

Transport of goods – tonne, thousand tonnes, TEU, number of vehicles

5. Reference period The period of time or point in time to which the measured observation is intended to refer.




6. Institutional mandate

6.1. Legal acts and other agreements Legal acts or other formal or informal agreements that assign responsibility as well as the authority to an agency for the collection, processing, and dissemination of statistics.


Directive 2009/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 on statistical returns in respect of carriage of goods and passengers by sea (Recast)

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1304/2007 of 7 November 2007 amending Council Directive 95/64/EC, Council Regulation (EC) No 1172/98, Regulations (EC) No 91/2003 and (EC) No 1365/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council with respect to the establishment of NST 2007 as the unique classification for transported goods in certain transport modes


2010/216/: Commission Decision of 14 April 2010 amending Directive 2009/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on statistical returns in respect of carriage of goods and passengers by sea

Commission delegated decision of 3 February 2012 amending Directive 2009/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on statistical returns in respect of carriage of goods and passengers by sea


Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat)

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

International Transport Forum (ITF)

United Nations (UN)

7. Confidentiality A property of data indicating the extent to which their unauthorised disclosure could be prejudicial or harmful to the interest of the source or other relevant parties.

7.1. Confidentiality - policy Legislative measures or other formal procedures which prevent unauthorised disclosure of data that identify a person or economic entity either directly or indirectly.

The dissemination of data collected for the purpose of producing official statistics is guided by the requirements provided for in § 32, § 34, § 35, § 38 of the Official Statistics Act.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment Rules applied for treating the data set to ensure statistical confidentiality and prevent unauthorised disclosure.

The treatment of confidential data is regulated by the Procedure for Protection of Data Collected and Processed by Statistics Estonia: https://www.stat.ee/66485.

8. Release policy Rules for disseminating statistical data to interested parties.

8.1. Release calendar The schedule of statistical release dates.

Notifications about the dissemination of statistics are published in the release calendar, which is available on the website. Every year on 1 October, the release times of the statistical database, news releases, main indicators by IMF SDDS and publications for the following year are announced in the release calendar (in the case of publications – the release month).

8.2. Release calendar access Access to the release calendar information.


8.3. User access The policy for release of the data to users, the scope of dissemination (e.g. to the public, to selected users), how users are informed that the data are being released, and whether the policy determines the dissemination of statistical data to all users.

All users have been granted equal access to official statistics: dissemination dates of official statistics are announced in advance and no user category (incl. Eurostat, state authorities and mass media) is provided access to official statistics before other users. Official statistics are first published in the statistical database. If there is also a news release, it is published simultaneously with data in the statistical database. Official statistics are available on the website at 8:00 a.m. on the date announced in the release calendar.

9. Frequency of dissemination The time interval at which the statistics are disseminated over a given time period.




10. Accessibility and clarity

10.1. News release Regular or ad-hoc press releases linked to the data.

The news release “Transport” and “Water transport“ once a year. The news release can be viewed on the website at https://www.stat.ee/news-releases.

10.2. Publications Regular or ad-hoc publications in which the data are made available to the public.

Not published

10.3. Online database Information about on-line databases in which the disseminated data can be accessed.

Data are published in the statistical database at http://pub.stat.ee under the subject area “Economy / Transport / Water transport” in the following tables:

TS154: International shipping traffic through ports by type and flag of vessel (quarterly)

TS161: International passenger transport through ports (quarters)

TS162: Transport of passengers by sea (quarters)

TS163: Transport of vehicles through ports (quarters)

TS175: Goods transport through main estonian ports by cargo type (quarters)

TS180: Transport of goods through ports by group of goods (quarters)

TS1812: Transport of sea containers through ports

TS185: Loading and unloading of goods in estonian ports (months)

10.4. Microdata access Information on whether micro-data are also disseminated.

The dissemination of data collected for the purpose of producing official statistics is guided by the requirements provided for in § 33, § 34, § 35, § 36, § 38 of the Official Statistics Act. Access to microdata and anonymisation of microdata are regulated by Statistics Estonia’s procedure for dissemination of confidential data for scientific purposes: https://www.stat.ee/dokumendid/51669.

10.5. Other References to the most important other data dissemination done.

Data serve as input for statistical activities 20407 “Consumer price index”, 21408 “Supply and use tables” and 22029 “Transport of passengers and goods by transport enterprises”.

10.6. Documentation on methodology Descriptive text and references to methodological documents available.

Glossary for Transport Statistics (prepared by the Intersecretariat Working Group on Transport Statistics – Eurostat, ITF and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe)


Reference Manual on Maritime Transport Statistics, 2016


10.7. Quality documentation Documentation on procedures applied for quality management and quality assessment.

Published in the Statistical Database, table TC40: Population, sample and respondents of transport enterprises.

11. Quality management Systems and frameworks in place within an organisation to manage the quality of statistical products and processes.

11.1. Quality assurance All systematic activities implemented that can be demonstrated to provide confidence that the processes will fulfil the requirements for the statistical output.

To assure the quality of processes and products, Statistics Estonia applies the EFQM Excellence Model, the European Statistics Code of Practice and the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (ESS QAF). Statistics Estonia is also guided by the requirements in § 7. “Principles and quality criteria of producing official statistics” of the Official Statistics Act.

11.2. Quality assessment Overall assessment of data quality, based on standard quality criteria.

Statistics Estonia performs all statistical activities according to an international model (Generic Statistical Business Process Model – GSBPM). According to the GSBPM, the final phase of statistical activities is overall evaluation using information gathered in each phase or sub-process; this information can take many forms, including feedback from users, process metadata, system metrics and suggestions from employees. This information is used to prepare the evaluation report which outlines all the quality problems related to the specific statistical activity and serves as input for improvement actions.

12. Relevance The degree to which statistical information meet current and potential needs of the users.

12.1. User needs Description of users and their respective needs with respect to the statistical data.

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications

Estonian Maritime Administration

Users’ suggestions and information about taking these into account are available on the website of Statistics Estonia at https://www.stat.ee/statistikatood.

12.2. User satisfaction Measures to determine user satisfaction.

Since 1996, Statistics Estonia has conducted reputation and user satisfaction surveys.

All results are available on the website at https://www.stat.ee/user-surveys.

12.3. Completeness The extent to which all statistics that are needed are available.

In compliance with the rules (regulations).

13. Accuracy and reliability Accuracy: closeness of computations or estimates to the exact or true values that the statistics were intended to measure.
Reliability: closeness of the initial estimated value to the subsequent estimated value.

13.1. Overall accuracy Assessment of accuracy, linked to a certain data set or domain, which is summarising the various components.

The type of survey and the data collection methods ensure sufficient coverage and timeliness.

13.2. Sampling error That part of the difference between a population value and an estimate thereof, derived from a random sample, which is due to the fact that only a subset of the population is enumerated.

Not applicable

13.3. Non-sampling error Error in survey estimates which cannot be attributed to sampling fluctuations.

Not measured

14. Timeliness and punctuality

14.1. Timeliness Length of time between data availability and the event or phenomenon they describe.

The data are published 20 days after the end of the reference month (T + 20), 80 days after the end of the reference quarter (T + 80), 110 days after the end of the reference quarter (T + 110) and 80 days after the end of the reference year (T + 80).

14.2. Punctuality Time lag between the actual delivery of the data and the target date when it should have been delivered.

The data have been published at the time announced in the release calendar.

15. Coherence and comparability

15.1. Comparability - geographical The extent to which statistics are comparable between geographical areas.

The data are comparable to data of other European Union countries because common methodology has been used for transport statistics.

15.2. Comparability - over time The extent to which statistics are comparable or reconcilable over time.

The data are comparable over time because of the common methodology used.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain The extent to which statistics are reconcilable with those obtained through other data sources or statistical domains.

The data on freight and passenger transport volume are comparable to the same data in other activities of transport statistics.

15.4. Coherence - internal The extent to which statistics are consistent within a given data set.

The data are made internally coherent by using common methodology in data collection and the same rules of data aggregation.

16. Cost and burden Cost associated with the collection and production of a statistical product and burden on respondents.

Cost of statistical activity 28.9 thousand euros (data for 2018)

Total time of filling in reports of the statistical activity, working days: 54.3

Average time of filling in the reports, hours per report:

Laevad sadamas 1.9


Merevedu 0.7

Kaubavedu sadamate kaudu 1.9

Rahvusvaheline reisiliiklus sadamate kaudu 3.1


(data for 2016)

17. Data revision Any change in a value of a statistic released to the public.

17.1. Data revision - policy Policy aimed at ensuring the transparency of disseminated data, whereby preliminary data are compiled that are later revised.

The data revision policy and notification of corrections are described in the dissemination policy of Statistics Estonia at https://www.stat.ee/dissemination-policy.

17.2. Data revision - practice Information on the data revision practice.

The published data may be revised if the methodology is modified, errors are discovered, new or better data become available within a year from the end of the reference period.

18. Statistical processing

18.1. Source data Characteristics and components of the raw statistical data used for compiling statistical aggregates.


The population is 13 seaports and 40 sea transport enterprises. Census has been used.


EMDE (Estonian Maritime Documents Exchange) data of ship visits


Not used

18.2. Frequency of data collection Frequency with which the source data are collected.



18.3. Data collection Systematic process of gathering data for official statistics.

Data are collected and the submission of questionnaires is monitored through eSTAT (the web channel for electronic data submission). The questionnaires have been designed for independent completion in eSTAT and include instructions and controls. The questionnaires and information about data submission are available on Statistics Estonia’s website at https://www.stat.ee/andmete-esitamine (in Estonian).

Data are collected with the official statistics quarterly questionnaires “Seaborne transport”, “Carriage of goods through ports”, “International passenger transport through ports”, “Shipping traffic” and monthly questionnaire “Loading-unloading”.

Data from Estonian Maritime Documents Exchange (EMDE) are transmitted via X-Road.

18.4. Data validation Process of monitoring the results of data compilation and ensuring the quality of statistical results.

Arithmetic and qualitative controls are used in the validation process, including comparison with the data of previous periods and other surveys.

18.5. Data compilation Operations performed on data to derive new information according to a given set of rules.

In the case of missing or unreliable data, estimate imputation based on established regulations will be used.

Variables and statistical units which were not collected but which are necessary for producing the output are calculated. New variables are calculated by applying arithmetic conversion to already existing variables. This may be done repeatedly, the derived variable may, in turn, be based on previously derived new variables.

Microdata are aggregated to the level necessary for analysis. This includes aggregating the data according to the classification, and calculating various statistical measures.

The collected data are converted into statistical output. This includes calculating additional indicators.

18.6. Adjustment The set of procedures employed to modify statistical data to enable it to conform to national or international standards or to address data quality differences when compiling specific data sets.

Not applied

19. Comments Supplementary descriptive text which can be attached to data or metadata.

Not available