Frequently Asked Questions



This section contains questions of general interest to WITS users. Please review them carefully before sending us an e-mail with your question.

Please click on any of the topics below (Basics, Registration) to display the corresponding FAQ page or click on any question to view the answer. Click here to download the WITS User Manual.

  • What is WITS?
    WITS (World Integrated Trade Solution) is a simple yet powerful tool which:
    • gives access to merchandise trade and tariff related statistical information;
    • includes simulation and analysis tools;
  • Whom is WITS for?

    WITS is useful to anyone involved in merchandise trade and/or tariff related work specifically researchers, policy makers, governments, academia.

  • What is the price of WITS?

    WITS is a free software. However, access to databases can be fee-charging depending on your status. See below for information on each database.

  • Which databases can be accessed with WITS?

    WITS gives access to several major trade flow & tariff databases:

    • the UN Comtrade;
    • the UNCTAD TRAINS;
    • the WTO IDB and CTS;

    In addition WITS provides access to the World Bank and the Center for International Business, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College Global Preferential Trade Agreements Database. Access rights may vary from one user to another either for legal or commercial issues. For more details on each database, see the corresponding FAQ below.

  • Where do I get more information about UN Comtrade database?

    1. The availability of the international trade statistics of UN Comtrade (The United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics database) via the WITS application has been made possible with the permission of the United Nations. UN Comtrade contains annual imports and exports statistics for more than 160 reporting countries or areas, which account for almost all trade worldwide. The trade statistics are detailed giving value and quantity for each commodity broken down by trading partner. These data are copyrighted by the United Nations. They are made available for internal use only and may not be re-disseminated in any form without written permission of the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD).

    2. Free unlimited access to UN Comtrade is available for all users on the website of the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) at . A download limit of 50,000 data records per query is applicable for technical reasons. There is no limit on the number of queries. The same free access and limitations apply for obtaining UN Comtrade data via the WITS application.

    3. Institutional users from developing countries and users from International Organizations can request registration at the UN Comtrade website and will be provided with special arrangements (for details see Those special arrangements would apply also to download of UN Comtrade data via WITS, once registered at the UN Comtrade site.

    4. UN Comtrade offers Premium access, which allows for downloads of more than 50,000 records and for the use of advanced functions of UN Comtrade. Premium access is payable. For details on how to obtain such access see Premium access to UN Comtrade via WITS can be obtained in the same way.

    5. (a) Use of UN Comtrade data is subject to a license agreement which can be found at, irrespective whether the data is accessed via free or premium access.

        (b) Users need to acknowledge the disclaimer which is given in the section “Read me first” on the UN Comtrade website at:

    6. Additional information on UN Comtrade can be found on the following web pages:

        (a) Further details regarding the free basic data access to UN Comtrade as well as information on premium access options at

        (b) For information on re-dissemination of UN Comtrade data see the Policy on use and re-dissemination of UN Comtrade data Questions on re-dissemination should be addressed to

        (c) For metadata see and also see the UN International Trade Statistics Knowledgebase at

    Requests and questions can be sent to :

    United Nations Statistics Division
    IMTS Section
    DC2-1544, 2 United Nations Plaza
    New York, NY 10017, USA
    Fax: 1 (917) 367-5106
    E-mail :

  • Where do I get more information about TRAINS database?

    UNCTAD-TRAINS (Trade Analysis and Information System) is a trade and market access information system combining the database containing data drawn from UN TARMAC, a joint primary data collection with the International Trade Centre, UNCTAD/WTO (ITC), and the WITS software. TRAINS is both a data depository and an analytical tool designed for policy-makers and economic operators engaged in international merchandise trade. It is also a powerful tool for multilateral or bilateral trade negotiations as well as for general research on international merchandise trade.

    TRAINS contains HS-based data for over 1,000 country/years, covering tariff and non-tariff measures as well as imports flows by origin for more than 160 countries and the years since 1988. For tariffs, TRAINS contains not only general applied tariff data but also information on applied preferential tariff including the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and many regional and bilateral preferences.

    TRAINS gives users the possibility of converting the HS data into other internationally recognized nomenclatures such as the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC), the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) or the Broad Economic Categories (BEC) etc... It also provides a single market, partial equilibrium trade simulation model (SMART model) with which users may simulate trade, revenue and welfare effects of tariff changes by a single market country.

    The TRAINS database is physically located at the World Bank server where WITS application is running, but is directly maintained by UNCTAD. Neither UNCTAD, nor the World Bank, accepts the responsibility for the accuracy or suitability of the information provided by in TRAINS database. The user assumes, therefore, all risk associated with the use of the data in TRAINS. The designation employed and the presentation of the material in this database do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, group of countries, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

    Access to TRAINS database is free of charge and unlimited. Users need simply to register with WITS and the access is provided automatically.

    More information on TRAINS can be obtained at Comments and inquiries about TRAINS may be sent to:

    Fax: (41 22) 917 0044
    Palais des Nations
    1211 Geneva 10

  • Where do I get more information about IDB/CTS Databases?

    The IDB and the CTS databases contain respectively applied customs duties at the tariff line level and WTO Members' commitments on goods (bound tariffs and specific commitments in agriculture). The applied customs duties are furnished to the WTO Secretariat by WTO Member governments on an annual basis and standardized and verified by the WTO Secretariat. The commitments on goods are either prepared by WTO Members themselves or by the WTO Secretariat and are approved by WTO Members.

    The dissemination policy of the databases is defined and administered by the WTO Committee on Market Access. There are certain restrictions on the use and dissemination of the IDB/CTS information that all users must agree to in order to access the database (refer to WTO document G/MA/238 available for downloading at or for more information).

    Permission to download information in part or in full from this database is granted for personal or classroom use, without fee and without formal request. Full citation must appear on any information published from this database. Data downloaded from this database in part or in full may not be distributed for profit or commercial advantage. Users expressly acknowledge and agree that any and all use of this information are at their sole risk. Neither the WTO nor any of its staff warrants that access to and use of these data will be free from interruptions or free from errors; nor does it make any warranty as to the accuracy and reliability of results that may be obtained from use of these data.

    Note: The term "country" in this application does not imply an expression of opinion by the WTO Secretariat concerning the status of any country, territory or area or the delimitatation of its frontiers, or the rights and obligations of any WTO Member in respect of WTO agreements. The Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu is referred to in this application as "Taipei, Chinese". On 1 December 2009, the Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community (done at Lisbon, 13 December 2007) entered into force. On 29 November 2009, the WTO received a Verbal Note (WT/L/779) from the Council of the European Union and the Commission of the European Communities stating that, by virtue of the Treaty of Lisbon, as of 1 December 2009, the European Union replaces and succeeds the European Community. Pre-December 2009 information pertaining to the European Communities can be obtained by selecting the European Union.

    All users may publish IDB and CTS information, or analyses derived from these databases, on the condition that:

    • WTO copyright of the original data is acknowledged;
    • Any conclusions or analyses based on IDB and CTS data are accompanied by a disclaimer stating that they are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the WTO;
    • Any re-dissemination by third parties of IDB or CTS data based on data downloads which goes beyond the purpose of publication of analytical work must be approved by the WTO Secretariat prior to such re-dissemination;

    Requests and questions can be sent to:

    Integrated Data Base Section
    World Trade Organization
    E-mail :

If you haven't found the answer to your question or problem, feel free to send us an email at

Please read the "Basics" FAQ before reading this section.

  • What is WITS registration for?
    Registration is mandatory in order to use WITS. Enrollment allows WITS administrators to broadcast any information regarding WITS (updates, upgrades, server maintenance schedule ...) to all its users.
  • Who should I contact to get access to the various included databases?

    We strongly advise you to check if your institution, government or research center is already registered for each database.

    For additional information please visit :

    For more information, please send an email to

  • I am not able to login?
    • Please check your username (email address with which you registered to WITS).
    • Ensure you are typing in the right password. If you do not remember your password, please use the “Forgot Password” link in the login page
    • Please ensure you have activated your account by clicking the activation link provided in the Registration Confirmation email.
    • If you are not registered, please register in the “Registration Page”. There are no charges for registration.
    • If none of the above answer your question please send an email to
  • Who should I contact for any WITS registration issue?
    Please contact us at